In this case study we will be discussing acupuncture for knee pain relief. The patient presented with chronic left knee pain that was associated with discomfort and clicking with movement. The knee pain was from an old injury that happened while playing football where he was hit from the outside of the knee, forcing the knee to collapse inwards.The signs and symptoms were localized knee pain and instability of the knee joint. The assessment revealed that there was ligamentous damage as well as scar tissue formation. The goal of the treatment was to decrease the knee pain and reduce any inflammation present in the knee itself.Another goal of the treatment was to increase circulation. Ligaments are considered avascular (low or little blood supply) and generally takes longer to heal oppose to muscles (highly vascular). Therefore, increasing circulation to the knee was another goal of the treatment. This was achieved by stimulating specific acupuncture points in the body to further increase the body’s natural healing process.
Needles were inserted along the right elbow to decrease pain on the left knee. This works because the knees and elbows are considered a mirrored image of each other. Other points were also included on the forearm, opposite lower leg and the same foot to further stimulate the acupuncture points and increase qi/blood circulation.
Needles were retained for roughly 30 minutes and active movement was encouraged every couple of minutes to further increase qi/blood circulation.
Acupuncture points used for this case study were:
Contralateral ashi points around LU5, LI11 and HT3
Contralateral PC 6 and GB 34
Ipsilateral LV 3
Upon re-assessing the knee, the pain had dramatically decreased during movement and in a standing position. The discomfort and clicking that was associated with the pain had also subsided drastically. However, minor pain was still present in the back of the knee. A couple of more acupuncture sessions along with exercises to strengthen the muscles of the knee will provide pain relief and prevent the recurrence of injury in the future.