April 24, 2024
Home » What is Electroacupuncture and How Can it Help Osteoarthritis Patients?

Can individuals with osteoarthritis find the relief they deserve through electroacupuncture to restore knee and hip mobility?

Introduction

The lower extremities provide movement and stability to the body, allowing people to be in motion. The hips, lower back, knees, and feet each have a function to do, and when traumatic issues start to affect the spinal structures, it can cause numerous symptoms to pop up and cause pain-like symptoms. Additionally, degenerative factors are natural to the joints of the lower extremities as many people make repetitive motions to their bodies that lead to the degenerative process. One of the most common degenerative issues that affect the lower extremities is osteoarthritis, which can make many people feel miserable. Today’s article looks at how osteoarthritis affects the lower extremities and how treatments like electroacupuncture reduce inflammation associated with osteoarthritis and restore knee and hip mobility. We talk with certified medical providers who consolidate our patients’ information to understand better how osteoarthritis affects their lower extremities. We also inform and guide patients on how electroacupuncture therapy can help reduce the inflammatory effects of osteoarthritis affecting the hips and knees. We encourage our patients to ask their associated medical providers intricate and important questions about reducing the progression of osteoarthritis through non-surgical treatments. Dr. Jimenez, D.C., includes this information as an academic service. Disclaimer.

Osteoarthritis Affecting The Lower Extremities

Have you been dealing with stiffness in your knees, hips, and lower back in the mornings? Do you feel like you are wobbling a bit too much when walking? Or do you think radiating heat and swelling in your knees? When people experience these inflammatory pain issues in their joints, it is due to osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disorder affecting the cartilage between the bones and the tissue components surrounding the joint. Osteoarthritis is multifactorial, meaning it can be idiopathic or secondary while influenced by heredity factors. (Bliddal, 2020) The most common places where people experience osteoarthritis are the lower back, hand, hips, and, most commonly, the knees. Some of the major environmental factors that contribute to the development of osteoarthritis include:

  • Obesity
  • Age
  • Repetitive motions
  • Family history
  • Injuries

When people are dealing with osteoarthritis, environmental factors can lead to weight overloading on the joints, which results in compression and inflammation. (Nedunchezhiyan et al., 2022

 

 

When inflammation is associated with osteoarthritis, it can cause the joints and surrounding muscle tissues to swell and feel hot to the touch. At the same time, osteoarthritis is one of the leading causes of disability that can become a socio-economic issue for many people. (Yao et al., 2023) This is because many individuals with osteoarthritis have comorbidities that are associated with the effects of inflammatory cytokines, which can cause them to be physically inactive and miserable. (Katz et al., 2021) However, there are various ways to reduce the progression of osteoarthritis and reduce the inflammatory effects on the joints. 

 

Electroacupuncture Reducing Inflammation Associated With Osteoarthritis

When it comes to inflammation reduction associated with osteoarthritis, many people seek out surgical and non-surgical treatments that can help decrease the progression of this degenerative joint disease. Many people will do aqua therapy to relieve pressure off the joints and improve their mobility. At the same time, others use spinal decompression to create negative pressure on the joint space. However, many people have found that electroacupuncture can help reduce the inflammatory effects of osteoarthritis. Electroacupuncture combines electrical nerve stimulation and acupuncture by highly trained professionals that can help decrease the pain intensity in the joints and provide functionality. (Wu et al., 2020) Additionally, since osteoarthritis is associated with inflammation, electroacupuncture can promote blood circulation and adjustment of muscle tension on the joints, and improve mobility. (Zhang et al., 2023)

 

Electroacupuncture Restoring Knee & Hip Mobility

Electroacupuncture can help with hip and knee mobility as this non-surgical treatment helps promote pain limitations and muscular atrophy from biomechanical overloading, thus improving cartilage viscoelasticity. (Shi et al., 2020) This allows the joints to retain mobility in the hips, knees, and lower back. When people go through consecutive treatment for osteoporosis, they can recover their muscle strength over time to restore their mobility and reduce the progression of osteoarthritis. (Xu et al., 2020) By doing so, many people can find the relief they are looking for with electroacupuncture, which can enable them to make small changes in their daily routine to ensure they can function throughout the day. 


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References

Bliddal, H. (2020). [Definition, pathology and pathogenesis of osteoarthritis]. Ugeskr Laeger, 182(42). www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/33046193

Katz, J. N., Arant, K. R., & Loeser, R. F. (2021). Diagnosis and Treatment of Hip and Knee Osteoarthritis: A Review. JAMA, 325(6), 568-578. doi.org/10.1001/jama.2020.22171

Nedunchezhiyan, U., Varughese, I., Sun, A. R., Wu, X., Crawford, R., & Prasadam, I. (2022). Obesity, Inflammation, and Immune System in Osteoarthritis. Front Immunol, 13, 907750. doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2022.907750

Shi, X., Yu, W., Wang, T., Battulga, O., Wang, C., Shu, Q., Yang, X., Liu, C., & Guo, C. (2020). Electroacupuncture alleviates cartilage degradation: Improvement in cartilage biomechanics via pain relief and potentiation of muscle function in a rabbit model of knee osteoarthritis. Biomed Pharmacother, 123, 109724. doi.org/10.1016/j.biopha.2019.109724

Wu, S. Y., Lin, C. H., Chang, N. J., Hu, W. L., Hung, Y. C., Tsao, Y., & Kuo, C. A. (2020). Combined effect of laser acupuncture and electroacupuncture in knee osteoarthritis patients: A protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Medicine (Baltimore), 99(12), e19541. doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000019541

Xu, H., Kang, B., Li, Y., Xie, J., Sun, S., Zhong, S., Gao, C., Xu, X., Zhao, C., Qiu, G., & Xiao, L. (2020). Using electroacupuncture to recover muscle strength in patients with knee osteoarthritis after total knee arthroplasty: a study protocol for a double-blinded, randomized, and placebo-controlled trial. Trials, 21(1), 705. doi.org/10.1186/s13063-020-04601-x

Yao, Q., Wu, X., Tao, C., Gong, W., Chen, M., Qu, M., Zhong, Y., He, T., Chen, S., & Xiao, G. (2023). Osteoarthritis: pathogenic signaling pathways and therapeutic targets. Signal Transduct Target Ther, 8(1), 56. doi.org/10.1038/s41392-023-01330-w

Zhang, W., Zhang, L., Yang, S., Wen, B., Chen, J., & Chang, J. (2023). Electroacupuncture ameliorates knee osteoarthritis in rats via inhibiting NLRP3 inflammasome and reducing pyroptosis. Mol Pain, 19, 17448069221147792. doi.org/10.1177/17448069221147792

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The information herein on "What is Electroacupuncture and How Can it Help Osteoarthritis Patients?" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

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Specialties: Stopping the PAIN! We Specialize in Treating Severe Sciatica, Neck-Back Pain, Whiplash, Headaches, Knee Injuries, Sports Injuries, Dizziness, Poor Sleep, Arthritis. We use advanced proven therapies focused on optimal Mobility, Posture Control, Deep Health Instruction, Integrative & Functional Medicine, Functional Fitness, Chronic Degenerative Disorder Treatment Protocols, and Structural Conditioning. We also integrate Wellness Nutrition, Wellness Detoxification Protocols, and Functional Medicine for chronic musculoskeletal disorders. In addition, we use effective "Patient Focused Diet Plans," Specialized Chiropractic Techniques, Mobility-Agility Training, Cross-Fit Protocols, and the Premier "PUSH Functional Fitness System" to treat patients suffering from various injuries and health problems.
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