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I am going to an acupuncturist for knee pain. The pain is caused by osteoarthritis. How many sessions before I start to get relief?

Florian Boschi (Beverly Hills, CA) on Sep 5, 2012
The time frame for results and ultimate outcome varies widely. You should feel a difference after 3 to 6 treatments. In my experience, support with herbs and the right supplements helps greatly. Have your uric acid levels checked to see if your serum iron, HDL cholesterol, c-reactive protein and phosphorus are elevated. (These are inflammatory markers in your blood chemistry.) Glucosamine and chondroitin have shown to be ineffective for remedying inflammation. Instead, opt for herbs and supplements like boswellia, garlic, gotu kola, and a high-quality fish oil, as well as adequate hydration. A non-inflammatory diet and regulation of uric acid levels and blood sugar levels have shown to be effective in reducing inflammation.
White-Eagle Perry (Arvada, CO) on Sep 5, 2012
This is a hard question to answer, because there are many factors involved. Things to take into consideration are: How old are you? (The older you are, the slower the healing process for the most part.) How is your general state of health? (if you are very healthy, you will respond quicker.) How long have you been dealing with this problem? (The longer you have had the condition, the harder it is to treat, or the longer it will take to treat it) Are you on any medications? (Meds can affect the treatment or recovery time.) If you are having a quick and strong response to your treatments, that's a good sign that your recovery may be shorter. However, do keep in mind, that in the long run you may have to go for knee replacement surgery.
Robert Palermo (Denver, CO) on Sep 5, 2012
Knee pain can be successfully treated with acupuncture. There is usually some relief by the end of the first treatment session. Complete relief depends on the duration of the pain and the severity. The longest time it has taken me was 10 treatments, with monthly follow ups for 6 months.
Frieda Mah (Irvine, CA) on Sep 5, 2012
It depends on the severity. Usually, you can feel some relief even during the first treatment.
Lejla Fazlicic (Lincolnwood, IL) on Sep 5, 2012
In my experience, if you don't see any results after 4 to 6 treatments, than I would refer you to your doctor. It's possible that you don't respond well to acupuncture. (About 10 percent of the population doesn't respond to acupuncture treatment.)
Rudek Perez (Orlando, FL) on Sep 5, 2012
Patients ask this question often, and to be honest, it is very hard to give a precise answer. There are many factors (age, severity of condition, nutrition, weight, genetics, etc.) that can influence the outcome. The only way to find out is to start treatment. After three treatments you can tell if you are making progress and get a better idea of how long relief will take.
George Mandler (Stow, MA) on Sep 5, 2012
It depends on how long you have had this issue and your personal state of health and diet. Do you have other joint issues?
Aram Akopyan (Glendale, CA) on Sep 5, 2012
Hello. Depending on the severity of the degeneration and also the chronic nature of the condition treatments vary from eight sessions with once per week treatment to as long as three months with weekly sessions. The key is to understand the underlying complexities of the condition. Recent Article published by Zeel can help clarify your question more. You can find it here.
Sung C. Cho (Torrance, CA) on Sep 5, 2012
Knee pain is commonly treated by acupuncture. How many sessions you need depends on how long you've had the pain and how bad the pain is. I would go see a local acupuncturist. Acupuncture has fewer side effects than traditional medical therapy.
Kate Reust (Seattle, WA) on Sep 5, 2012
There are several non-traditional therapeutic treatment routes open to you. I am assuming you have asked your acupuncturist the question - but want another opinion? The longer the system has been affected by toxins, the longer treatment may take. I have great success using our Dead Sea salts and muds on OA as well as several other arthritis forms and skin conditions. We also combine things like Ionic Foot Detox therapy so we can "peek into the circulatory system" to get a better understanding of other potential issues that may be present. I'm based in West Seattle and would love to answer any questions you may have outside of acupuncture treatment for your OA. Kate
Ellen Goldsmith (Portland, OR) on Sep 5, 2012
There have been numerous studies on the benefits of acupuncture in the treatment of knee pain related to osteoarthritis. In a study that was done in Germany in 2004 called "Acupuncture in Patients with osteoarthritis of the knee: A randomized trial, performed by medical acupuncturists", it was found that patients experienced: "significantly less pain and better function after 8 weeks of treatment than patients who received minimal acupuncture or no acupuncture at all." Receiving, at minimum, bi-weekly acupuncture treatments should bring a reduction in pain within 8-10 treatments. You must consider that if this is a chronic problem that it will take awhile to feel benefit. One or two treatments is most definitely not enough to create a change in your condition. Your acupuncturist may make other recommendations such as dietary changes, exercises or herbal poultices. All these types of additional therapies will help with the pain reduction and help to improve your underlying health and wellbeing
Daniel Cook (Woodinville, WA) on Sep 5, 2012
Relief from pain will vary depending on the severity of your condition, the skill of your acupuncturist, and how well your body responds to treatment. Many people experience immediate results, but many more require several treatments. In my practice, I have a 4 to 6 treatment "rule." That is, I believe we should expect to see some kind of change in the condition within that number of treatments for most situations (there are some exceptions to this). This doesn't mean you'll be pain-free at the end of 6 treatments, but you should have a good idea of how well you are responding. Your acupuncturist may have a different yardstick, so you should definitely direct your question to him or her. Good luck!
Jacklin Arastouzadeh (Beverly Hills, CA) on Sep 5, 2012
It depends on the severity of the condition and how your body responds to the treatment.
Kim Vandeveer (Rohnert Park, CA) on Sep 5, 2012
Osteoarthritis is a major issue. It might make a longer time to get the results that you are looking for. I would check in with the local acupuncturist and get on supplements/formulas and get treatments right away. remember that acupuncture is something you can get as a maintenance, trauma related, and any kind of degenerative prevention.
Cari Cater (Smyrna, GA) on Sep 5, 2012
Depending on the type of acupuncture given (local vs. distal--ask your acupuncturist what he/she does), the average number for knee pain due to osteoarthritis is approx. 20-30 sessions. These sessions should be close together, 3x week to start. It is also important to treat the root cause of the arthritis with herbs and other nutritionals.
Adi Barad (Winnetka, IL) on Sep 5, 2012
It depends on your condition. You should consult with your acupuncturist to get a better understanding of your unique situation.
Ta-Li Chang (La Habra, CA) on Sep 5, 2012
usually withing 2-5 sessions will see/feel some relief. factors that have bad affect the out of acupuncture treatment: 1)cold/damp weather 2) body is too heavy 3)weak Qi 4)poor energy 5)poor circulation 6)muscle tightness
Donna Cain (New Canaan, CT) on Sep 5, 2012
Everyone responds differently to acupuncture. The length of time you have had the arthritis and the degree of changes in the bony surfaces of the knee are important considerations when talking about how long it will take to feel better. Typically, the longer you have had the pain, the more treatments you will need to feel better. Acupuncture is cumulative, so the more treatments you have, the stronger the effect and the longer pain relief lasts. Acupuncture is not a cure for arthritis. It helps with inflammation and pain. It doesn't work for everybody. I normally recommend 4-6 treatments to start. If you haven't seen any change in your condition after that, it probably is not going to work for you.
Andy Ly (Sterling Heights, MI) on Sep 5, 2012
You might find relief immediately after the first visit or after 5 visits, depending on the state of your arthritis and the skills of your practitioner.
Andrew Rader (Lagunitas, CA) on Sep 5, 2012
Generally, the longer the situation has been with you, the more time it will take to resolve it. Osteoarthritis is something that has taken years to develop. Acupuncture along with lifestyle changes will help to move the process into a less degenerative mode. There is no absolute formula, but it will take multilple sessions. I generally ask my patients to try a course of 10 sessions over a period of 4-6 weeks to determine how well it is working for them. You can see relief almost immediately, but for it to be longer lasting, you must stay with a course of treatment. Start with a comittment to 6-10 sessions to give it a fair chance.
Nicole Garcia (Fort Lauderdale, FL) on Sep 5, 2012
There is no definite answer to this question. Your response to treatment is dependent on the duration and severity of the issue, and on your overall health. Some patients notice a difference after the first treatment, although it will more likely take 4 to 6 treatments to see real pain relief. Most of my patients complete a weekly course of treatment for twelve weeks, followed by monthly maintenance treatments for prevention. Your acupuncturist might supplement your treatments with herbs or homeopathic supplements to correct the underlying issues and internal imbalances related to your condition.
Richard Ki (Orange, CA) on Sep 5, 2012
Chronic conditions usually requires longer treatment. However, by combing natural herbs with acupuncture treatment, you may expect faster relief.
Dale Tope (Pflugerville, TX) on Sep 5, 2012
The answer to that partially depends on the skill, experience, and techniques used by your practitioner. When I treat knee pain, whether due to osteoarthritis, or trauma, I typically utilize electro-acupuncture. This method uses a microcurrent sent through the acupuncture needles to speed healing and spur the local release of serotonin and other hormones to decrease inflammation and pain. My patients get immediate relief from the pain, which typically lasts 1 or 2 days. We repeat the treatment, and the get relief for 2 or 3 days and so on, until the patient no longer needs my services, or only has to come in once every month or two for a refresher.
Steve Snyder (Portland, OR) on Sep 5, 2012
Generally, your acupuncturist will tell you how many sessions you need, based on factors like your age, how long you have had this problem, and so on. With that said, you should get some relief within 8 to10 treatments.
Carlos Chapa (Mesquite, TX) on Jan 7, 2013
Some patients feel immediate relief after a single session while others take a few. My professional athletes sometimes take up to 10 sessions to feel dramatic relief. Make sure you are seeing a Licensed (not certified) Acupuncturist with at least a Masters Degree in Oriental Medicine.