Does acupuncture provide pain relief in patients with osteoarthritis knee? An overview of systematic reviews

Felipe Araya-Quintanilla, Iván Cuyúl-Vásquez, Héctor Gutiérrez-Espinoza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common condition that causes pain and disability in adults over 50 years old. The application of acupuncture, as a method of complementary intervention, could be beneficial for pain relief and knee function in patients with knee OA. Objective: Analyze the effectiveness of acupuncture versus control interventions in patients with knee OA. Methods: An electronic search was performed in the MEDLINE (via PubMed), EMBASE, PEDro, Cochrane CENTRAL, CINAHL, Web of Science and LILACS databases. The eligibility criteria for selecting systematic reviews included clinical trials that compared acupuncture versus control interventions for pain intensity in patients with knee OA. Results: A total of 15 systematic reviews met the eligibility criteria for the quantitative synthesis. In the short term, the mean difference (MD) for pain intensity was −0.32 cm (95% CI = −0.57 to −0.08, p = 0.01). There was a very low quality of evidence according to the GRADE rating. In the short term, the mean difference (MD) for knee function was −8.74 points (95% CI = −13.36 to −4.12, p ≤ 0.001). There was low quality of evidence according to the GRADE rating. All differences were in favor of acupuncture. Conclusion: At short-term, there was low to very low evidence and there were statistically significant differences in pain intensity and knee function in favor of acupuncture versus control interventions in patients with knee OA. However, these differences were not clinically important. For the acupuncture versus sham, in the short-term, no differences clinical neither statistically significant to favor of acupuncture in pain intensity and knee function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-126
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies
Volume29
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Acupuncture therapy
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Overview. meta-analysis as topic
  • Pain management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and Manual Therapy
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Complementary and alternative medicine

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