Acupuncture Outperforms Glucosamine HCL over the Long-Term for Knee Osteoarthritis

By Chad Dupuis
Tagged in Acupuncture and Research

Glucosamine Hydrochloride (HCL) is often recommended for the management of joint pain by many western and alternative practitioners from various disciplines.  Glucosamine has shown somewhat mixed results clinically and within studies but is generally considered safe and at least somewhat effective.  Researchers from Tianjin Hospital in Tianjin China recently concluded a study comparing properly applied acupuncture points (that is chosen with a relevant diagnosis as opposed to using a set of points as is common in many acupuncture studies) to glucosamine HCL treatments.

120 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee and related pain and mobility issues were divided into an aucpuncture treatment group and a Glucosamine HCL treatment group.  The acupuncture group used proper pattern diagnosis to choose relevant points but they generally included xiyan, ST 35, SP 9, GB 34 among others.  The Glucosamine HCL group was administered 2 capsules 3/x day.  Treatment was offered over 4 weeks with a 9 week follow-up to see what results were maintained.

Researchers found that after 4 weeks both the acupuncture and the Glucosamine HCL treatment groups experienced statistically similar benefits in pain reduction, mobility, etc..  At the 9 weeks follow-up, however, there was a very significant difference between the rates of improvement that had held between the acupuncture group and the Glucosamine HCL group (83.3% s. 61.7% effective rate respectively).

They concluded that acupuncture appears to provide better long-term benefits than the Glucosamine HCL treatment.

Acupuncture Outperforms Glucosamine HCL over the Long-Term for Knee Osteoarthritis

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Authored by: Chad Dupuis on 23 January 2012

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