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Electro-acupuncture can significantly alleviate pain and improve physical function in knee osteoarthritis (KOA) patients, with a low risk of adverse reactions. Chinese authors compiled evidence from 11 randomised controlled trials with 695 participants in their systematic review. Meta-analysis indicated that EA was more effective than pharmacological treatment and manual acupuncture, with 91.4 per cent of patients seeing significant benefits from EA in comparison with 79 per cent from pharmacological treatments and 82.7 per cent from manual acupuncture. EA also demonstrated significant advantages in reducing pain intensity and improving physical function, with no serious adverse events reported in any of the EA groups (the percentage of adverse events reported for other treatments was between 3.3 and 13.3 per cent). The main acupuncture points used were Xiyan MN-LE-16, Xuehai SP-10, Liangqiu ST-34 and Zusanli ST-36. In addition, the results implied that EA should be performed for at least four weeks, for 20–30 minutes per session.

Electro-Acupuncture is Beneficial for Knee Osteoarthritis: The Evidence from Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Am J Chin Med. 2017;45(5):965-985.


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