Moxibustion improves knee osteoarthritis

Objectives: To compare the clinical effect between two acupoint regimens of moxibustion on knee osteoarthritis (KOA), and observe the influences on the serum content of interleukin 1α (IL-1α), interleukin-17A (IL-17A), tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), bone gla protein (BGP) and osteoprotegerin (OPG).

Methods: KOA patients were randomly divided into an observation group (40 cases, 2 cases dropped off) and a control group (40 cases, 3 cases dropped off). In the observation group, moxibustion was applied to Xiyan (EX-LE5), Dubi (ST35), Zusanli (ST36), Dazhu (BL11), Xuanzhong (GB39) and Yongquan (KI1) on the affected side. In the control group, EX-LE5, ST35 and ST36 were selected on the affected side. One session of treatment took 30 min in each group, delivered 3 times a week and the duration of treatment was 4 weeks. The scores of Western Ontario and McMaster University (WOMAC) and visual analogue scale (VAS) were observed and the serum content of IL-1α, IL-17A, TNF-α, BGP and OPG of the two groups were measured before and after treatment.

Results: Compared with those before treatment, the WOMAC score, VAS score and the serum content of IL-1α, IL-17A and TNF-α were decreased (P<0.05), and the content of BGP and OPG were increased (P<0.05) after treatment. Compared with the control group, the WOMAC score, VAS score and the serum content of IL-1α and TNF-α in the observation group were lower (P<0.05), and the content of BGP and OPG were higher (P<0.05). The total effective rate of the observation group was 89.5% (34/38), and that of the control group was 83.8% (31/37), with no statistically significant difference.

Conclusions: Moxibustion therapy of “nourishing the kidney and benefiting the marrow” can relieve joint pain, improve joint function, reduce the level of inflammatory factors and ameliorate bone metabolic indicators. The effect of the acupoint regimen in this moxibustion therapy is better than that of the local acupoint selection.


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About Attilio

Doctor of Chinese medicine, acupuncture expert and author of My Fertility Guide and My Pregnancy Guide.

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