Acupuncture for Knee Pain

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Acupuncture for Knee Pain

Our knees carry the entire weight of the body and are required to move us while walking, running, climbing, descending and changing directions. Knee pains are a common problem. Conventional medicine treatment oscillates between a conservative treatment of medications and more radical treatments of various surgeries. Knee problems can appear in the form of knee injury among young, active people or in different forms of wear and degeneration in the older age groups. This article will present natural ways for treating knee pain naturally. If you are limited in movement or suffer from knee pains, this article is meant for you to help you find the best natural treatment.

What is Knee Pain?

The knee is a joint that needs to carry very big loads. The knees carry nearly the entire body weight, especially in movement of height changes like ascending or descending stairs, or sudden changes of directions like in a basketball game. There are areas in the knee that tend to suffer more from inflammation and knee pains. In terms of its anatomic location, the knee connects the two calf bones (Tibia and Fibula) and the thigh bone (Femur).
Another small bone in the knee is the kneecap or patella. It protects the knee and connects the muscles in the front of the thigh to the tibia. We will discus the main area of the knees that tend to create pain: The knee meniscus and the knee ligaments and tendons.

Pain in the Knee Meniscus?

For the knee bones to not rub against each other, there is a cartilaginous structure between the bones that is called meniscus. The function of the meniscus is to curb the shocks that the knee absorbs. In an acute knee trauma or in cases of “excessive use” a meniscus tear might be created. The knee has two meniscuses, one medial- (spanning the knee join medially) and one lateral (spanning the lateral side of the interior of the knee joint).

What are Knee Ligaments?

Acupuncture for knee pain

In the knee there are ligaments which have the function of holding the joint in place.

Two collateral ligaments have the function to prevent movement of the knee bones to the right and left, such as in changing directions while running. Cruciate ligaments are two ligaments inside the joint, which connect the front and back of the knee crosswise and their function is to prevent a forward or backward movement of the knee bones. A strong pressure on the knee can create a ligament tear or damage to the knee ligaments. In such a case we will see movement or dislocation of the knee joint that will usually lead to inflammation and pain.

The Knee Tendons, are fibrous structures that connect the knee muscles to the bones. The knee tendons can also be injured, over used or tear. The main tendons to consider are the quadriceps and patellar tendons.

Knee wear and tear

Knee pathology can be divided into those that result from a trauma, for example, a basketball game injury, or those that result from wear and old age. Often it will be called arthritis of the knee, degenerative joint disease or osteoarthritis of the knee.
Often there will not be a defined diagnosis and the doctor may settle for a generalised knee injury, because the damage can be in different locations in the knee. The medical treatment will be similar in many cases and will include anti-inflammatory painkillers.

Methods to address knee pain in alternative medicine

Many people are looking for a natural treatment for knee pains when the drug treatment of anti-inflammatories or injections are unsuccessful, and surgery is not a desired option. Over 100,000 Americans die each year because of prescription drugs and living on painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs or steroids is definitely not healthy.
Natural medicine is effective to treat knee injury or the degenerative process in the knee. it can also be useful us a recovery from a surgery.

Acupuncture for treating knee pain naturally

Using Acupuncture for knee pains and knee inflammation is done through acupuncture points that open the energetic blocks and bring back the harmonious flow to the knee joint. Acupuncture treatment for knee problems can help in many cases such as: tendon tear, meniscus tear, knee ligament tear, wear and tear, arthritis, osteoarthritis, edemas and so on. There are cases where surgical intervention is required, such as in cases of a very big or full tear in the ligament and ligament rehabilitation or for an acute meniscus tear. Even in cases of surgical intervention it is recommended to combine acupuncture in order to accelerate the recovery after the surgery.

Balance Method Acupuncture for Knee Pain

Acupuncture is very effective in alleviating the inflammation and in most cases pain relief already comes at the beginning of the treatment series. In Balance Method acupuncture for knee pain, we will use special points that are located in the hand in order to treat the knee. This allows the knee to move during the session and the therapist can check for improvement. Sometimes during a treatment the patient will experience pain relief and a broader movement range.
For example, a patient who is asked to climb a small stairway before the needles are inserted might do so with great difficulty, but soon after having the needles inserted, he will be asked to climb the same stairway. He likely he will do it with much less pain.

This actually shows us if more needles are required or not, and if so, we repeat this until at least a 50% improvement is achieved. In Balance Method acupuncture we generally place the needles in point distal to the problem area.Acupuncture creates a better flow of blood and energy to the knee and creates access to the immune system and other body systems to rehabilitate the damaged tissues. Patients report a sense of flow when the needle is inserted; it is an experience that indicates the opening of an energetic block in the knee. In severe conditions it is advisable to do a more frequent therapy and the more there is improvement in the condition it is possible to reduce the frequency of the treatment.

Chinese Medicine approach to treating knee pain naturally

Chinese Medicine for Knee Pain

The Chinese medicine therapist will aim to get to the source of why a knee pain and inflammation developed.
According to Chinese medicine, the knees are associated with the kidneys. The kidneys are the reservoir of Yin and Yang – our innate and basic energies. When these energies weaken there will also be knee weakness and sensitivity. This explains the degenerative joint diseases of the knees, such as arthritis and osteoarthritis among older people.

When the knee inflammation is caused because of an incorrect action, like through a certain sport like tennis, basketball, running and more, we will often find a great deal of tension in the muscles and tendons across the whole body, which stands in the way of proper joint nourishment. In such a case, the acupuncturist will use points that are connected to the gall bladder and liver which relax the muscles and tendons and nourish the joints. This helps recovery and also assists in preventing further injuries. Therefore, according to Chinese medicine for knee weakness and degeneration, we will treat the kidneys and for tendon and ligament problems we will treat the liver and gall bladder.


Apart from treating the inner source of the disease we also need to treat the expression of the disease by reducing the pain in the area and opening the energetic blocks in specific meridians. We are doing that through acupuncture which helps the “stagnated” energy to harmoniously flow in the body. Often it is necessary to treat other areas in addition to the knee, for example, the thigh muscles and back muscles which affect the knee pains.

Another therapeutic method in Chinese medicine for knee pains, is using medicinal herbs that help rehabilitate the ligaments and cartilages and reduce pain. It should be noted that medicinal herbs that are given by the therapist are far more effective than medicinal herbs that are bought in the pharmacies because they are more accurate and are given according to the therapist’s diagnosis. The Chinese medicine treatment for knee problems is very effective and helps relieve pain and rehabilitate the damaged tissues.

A Case Study: Treating Knee Pain naturally through Acupuncture

Simon, 50 years old is suffering from bilateral knee pains, which limited him in walking and climbing stairs. Simon was diagnosed by an orthopedist with Knee arthritis, a degenerative joint disease, characterized by progressive wearing away of the knee joint. I asked Simon to try to climb a small stool and it caused him tremendous pain in both knees.Simon received a Balance Method acupuncture treatment. The acupuncture focused on points in the arms while sitting, which enabled Simon to get up and see if there was any change in the knee.

Simon was asked to step onto the stool while the needles were still inserted into his hands. Carrying out this activity involved much pain before the session began, but in doing this task during the treatment, Simon reported a decrease in the level of pain by over fifty percent. Simon came for acupuncture twice a week and after a month, reported a significant relief in pain and a large improvement in knee function.
He continued coming in for another five weeks for acupuncture treatment until he could hardly feel the knee pains anymore.

Read more about Balance Method Acupuncture

Recall Healing for addressing knee pain naturally

In Recall Healing we work on the subconscious emotional source that causes the creation of the knee pain. According to the Recall Healing method, every disease is connected to an emotional conflict that exists in the person’s subconscious. Recall Healing for knee pains is done through conversation. A session lasts about an hour and a half and it is usually taking between three to six sessions.

The emotional sources of knee pains can be many. The causes for the disease can be found in the person’s life cycles, during early childhood and sometimes in the genetic lineage. According to Recall Healing, the conflicts of inflammation or pain in any body joint will be different.
The knee joint is connected in many cases to the mother-children-birth relationship.

Apart from that, the knee will be linked to a sense of worthlessness that has to do with a physical activity which involves a movement on the knee. For instance, while climbing a staircase a person experiences a certain emotion; It will be interpreted in the body as an emotion that is linked to the knee and will affect the knee.Getting into the right details is important and there many possible conflicts. We must examine what exactly is linked to that person and how it connects to various experiences in their life, usually more than one.

Healing the emotional conflicts related to the knees

Any person can experience some of the conflicts mentioned here or others that are linked to knee pains, without having knee problems. The disease is caused when the conflicts are too acute or long-lasting and the person does not find a solution. When a person does not find a solution to the conflict, the brain suppresses the conflict into the subconscious and the body and creates an illness.

In a Recall Healing session, we raise anything that is unconscious into the awareness of the person. The conversation is accurately directed to the right places in the person’s subconscious and reaches the sources of the conflict that created the knee pains. When the person raises the conflict from the subconscious into the conscious mind it resolves the conflict that existed in the past. He or she basically relieves the body of the need to hold onto it. The relief of the knee pains is in many cases fast.

Especially in chronic conditions where there is already deeper damage to the balance of the body, it is recommended to combine the Recall Healing with acupuncture or medicinal herbs. In chronic knee pains, sometimes it is necessary to work on reinforcing the knee muscles that have not been active for a long period of time, which brings back stability to the joint. Although Recall Healing for knee pains is very effective, it is not for everyone. Recall Healing is for people who agree to touch sensitive places and to talk about their past.

A Case Study: Addressing Knee Pain with Recall Healing

Andrew, 52 years old, came in with pain and inflammation in the right knee.

Knee Pain Natural Medicine

During the last two months he has been suffering from pain, and got a diagnosis of knee ligament injury and inflammation. He took some anti-inflammatory medicine for a while which helped reduce the pain but stopped because he didn’t want the side effects of the drugs.

Andrew plays basketball with a number of friends once a week. From our conversation, it turns out that the pain started a few days after a certain game. In that game some of the regular members of the basketball team of the “fifty-year-olds” did not show up and they asked a number of young players to join them so that they had enough people. That changed the pace of the game. Suddenly it is necessary to run faster to defend,, jump higher for the ball, and it even feels like the throws reach you more powerfully… it was a very good game. Andrew’s team won, and he scored more than usual. Andrew viewed that game as a positive experience.

Recall Healing

He did not feel pains during the game and came out feeling “he has still got it.” I told Andrew that in Recall Healing we work on the subconscious and not the conscious. In the subconscious, in the past few years, Andrew has experienced mild worthlessness because of a decrease in his physical abilities, in his physical appearance and in his own self image.

In that game he admitted that this worthlessness reached its peak because of the reflection of the game with the young people. Some team members joked about it, about their age and abilities, but Andrew secretly decided that he will “prove to them that he can.” And indeed, he could.
Andrew connected to the sense or worthlessness that subconsciously existed, and understood that competitiveness is irrelevant to these games and that pleasure and physical fitness are the most important thing.

In the session we talked about different incidents in Andrew’s life that had to do with worthlessness and lack of self acceptance and his need to prove himself. The knee inflammation improved a few days later, and Andrew reported a general feeling of relaxation. He started diverting his awareness to self acceptance and the acceptance of other people which positively affected other aspects of his life like the relationship with his family and also in the workplace.

Read more about Recall Healing

Tui na to treat knee pain

Similarly to acupuncture, Tui na (Chinese medicine massage) also works on the meridians and acupuncture points in the knee. The Tui na will usually be local on the knee, thigh and lower back. The Tui na is the Chinese physiotherapy method. Unlike Western physiotherapy or message, Tui na relates to the Chinese diagnosis and to working along the meridians. It is recommended to combine Tui na with acupuncture, but a person who is afraid of needles can certainly go though Tui na sessions for the knee instead of the acupuncture.

Shiatsu is also suited for knee problems. Shiatsu treatment is slower and gentle, some Chinese medicine therapists prefer treating through Shiatsu, which is really a Japanese method, but works according to the same principles of Chinese medicine.

Reflexology for treating knee pain naturally

The reflexology treatment mainly uses pressure points in the foot in order to treat the entire body. The reflexology treatment for knee pain is good for inflammation reduction, and relaxation of muscles, ligaments and tendons. Reflexology treatment of the knee treats all body systems that are linked to the problem and helps bring harmony to the body. The treatment is relatively painless, and the big advantage is that there is no need to touch the knee itself when there is a great deal of sensitivity.

Exercises for knee pains

There are a number of good exercises for knee pains that focus on reinforcing leg muscles, especially the quadriceps. lease consult your therapist before doing these exercises.
– Sit on a table or high chair, straighten the knee and bend back to a sitting position. This is an exercise to strengthen the quadriceps.
– A similar exercise: from the same position lift a straight leg and put it back down.
– With a straight leg, flex and relax the quadriceps without moving the leg. When done quite fast, the leg will look like it is shaking.

We hope this article helped you decide which direction to choose for treating knee pain naturally. We wish you a full recovery and that you may return to optimum health soon.

Rebalance Acupuncture Edmonton

Have Questions?

After reading this information, you may have some personal questions for Elad Shalev. Your questions will be addressed during the first consultation, otherwise you can email the clinic or fill out the free online questionnaire.
You will receive a personal answer from Elad Shalev as soon as possible.

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About the Author

Elad Shalev

Elad Shalev

Elad Shalev, R. Ac, Registered acupuncturist in Alberta, is the founder of ReBalance. The name ReBalance comes from a combination of Recall Healing and Balance Method Acupuncture.

After practicing and teaching different types of alternative medicine over the last 20 years, Elad Shalev came to focus his work on the most effective methods from his experience. His search after healing methods that provide fast results in curing the symptoms while healing the root cause of the disease, led him to Balance method Acupuncture and Recall Healing.

The Rebalance acupuncture clinic is located in Edmonton, Canada.

Elad Shalev

Elad Shalev

Elad Shalev, R. Ac, Registered acupuncturist in Alberta, is the founder of ReBalance. The name ReBalance comes from a combination of Recall Healing and Balance Method Acupuncture.

After practicing and teaching different types of alternative medicine over the last 20 years, Elad Shalev came to focus his work on the most effective methods from his experience. His search after healing methods that provide fast results in curing the symptoms while healing the root cause of the disease, led him to Balance method Acupuncture and Recall Healing.

The Rebalance acupuncture clinic is located in Edmonton, Canada.

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