Seattle Acupuncture Associates

Acupuncture for Knee Pain

Acupuncture is a proven technique in reducing knee pain and stiffness and improving function. It is effective in patient's knee-related problems such as arthritis of the knees, leg pain due to muscular guarding secondary to ligamentous injury and swelling.


ACL Tear

The anterior cruciate ligament is a structure that extends form the posterior aspect of the femur (thigh bone) to the anterior surface of the tibia (leg bone). This structure allows for forward and backward stabilization of the knee. It is a high velocity injury with rapid deceleration where the ligament is unable to withstand the force applied to it. There are varying degrees of injury with a complete tear as the worst requiring surgical replacement. Acupuncture is employed to stabilize the muscles affecting the knee, decrease pain and swelling.

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Iliotibal Band Syndrome

The Iliotibial band or ITB is a very thick wide fascial layer that runs from the Iliac crest (hip) to the knee joint. The syndrome is caused when this tissue rubs over the prominent bony structures such as the greater trochanter of the hip or the lateral condyle (protrusion) of the femur (thigh bone) and causes irritation and pain. The acupuncture intervention is aimed at reducing the inflammatory process and decreasing the pain levels. In the later stages of recovery it is also used to repropriocept (normalize) the soft tissue affected.

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Jumper’s Knee

Jumpers's knee is a condition produced when repeated high impact forces are placed on the tendons and ligamentous structures of the knee particularly those of the quadraceps femoris tendon and the patellar ligament. Acupuncture is employed to reduce the reactive guarding that is produced from this repetitive injury pattern and reduce the pain.

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Knee Cartilage Tears

Cartilage tears of the knee affect range of motion in the knee due to pain responses that occur following injury or wear and tear from age or overuse. The acupuncture is employed to affect the muscles about the knee to prevent guarding patterns from becoming chronic and unchanging.

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Meniscus Injuries And Tears

The meniscus of the knee is a crescent shaped fibrocartilaginous structure that provides a cushion on both sides of the knee between the femur (thigh bone) and the bones of the lower leg. When torn, this structure causes pain and affects the range of motion at the knee. Surgical repair is a common solution. For minor tears, while healing is more time related due to very little blood flow into structures such as these, pain control is important to regain and then retain full range of motion. Acupuncture is very effective in this regard during the recovery phase.

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Medial Collateral Ligament Strain (MCL)

There are two ligaments that help to stabilize the knee side to side. These are the medial and lateral collateral ligaments, the MCL and LCL. These structures are a common injury diagnosis of the knee. When these ligaments are strained pain and swelling occur. Surgical repair is needed for complete tears. Acupuncture is employed to treat the pain, swelling and inflammation that occur as a result of the injury.

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Osgood-Schlatter Disease

Osgood-Schlatter's Disease is a disease of the adolescent child during their growth phase. It is an inflammation of the upper border of the tibia (shin bone) at the knee due to traction forces during the growth phase. Acupuncture is a useful technique in the reduction of inflammation caused by the traction and a lessening of the traction forces.

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Patella Femoral Syndrome

Patello Femoral syndrome, synonymous with "runner's knee", is a chronic condition caused when the patella (knee cap) does not travel smoothly over the femur (thigh bone). When this happens the muscles of the thigh become increasingly tense in an attempt to provide stability and protect the knee. Acupuncture is used to reduce pain levels and provide stimulus for the muscles that are guarding to ease the tension and recover a more normal movement pattern at the knee.

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Prepatellar Bursitis/Tendonitis

The prepatellar bursa is a fluid filled sac found between the skin and the lower portion of the patella (knee cap). This area in general is often fraught with inflammatory issues such as bursitis and tendonitis due to friction from overuse. Acupuncture is employed to reduce the inflammation and restore normal muscular tone in the area.

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Shin Splints

The condition of shin splints arises when muscular strain in the area about the shin becomes irritated producing inflammation and swelling. This condition is one of overuse or of being deconditioned. Acupuncture is an excellent tool in the treatment of the swelling, inflammation, muscular recovery and pain.

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Knee Pain of Body Pains

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