Acupuncture for osteoarthritis of the knee or hip

9 May 2021

Acupuncture for osteoarthritis of the knee or hip

Photo credit ID: 5182288, Yanik Chauvin,

In the National Health Survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2016-2017, 2.2million Australians (9.3%) suffered from osteoarthritis. It is a chronic and progressive condition where the cartilage that protects the ends of your bones is worn down over time. It can affect any joint, but commonly affects hands, spine, hips and knees. It is the predominant condition that leads to hip and knee replacement surgery in Australia. (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2020).

In a study completed in Germany, acupuncture for patients with knee and hip osteoarthritis receiving needle acupuncture, averaging 10 session over 3 months shows a statistical improvement in subjective measure of symptoms of osteoarthritis, including pain, physical function and stiffness, using Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index (WOMAC) when used in addition to standard routine care. (Witt et al, 2006) It also showed that the quality of life improvements were maintained through to 6 months (3 months post completion of acupuncture), more prominent in the acupuncture than control group, though not statistically significant. (Witt et al, 2006).

Acupuncture is applicable to only a limited number of medical conditions and its role is appropriate only in addition to standard medical care.

Please book an appointment to find out more or talk to your doctor.


National Health Survey, 2017-2018, Table 3.1 Long-term health conditions(a), Persons  — Persons, Australian Bureau of Statistics, viewed on 5 April 2021,

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2020. Osteoarthritis. Cat. no. PHE 232. Canberra: AIHW. Viewed 05 April 2021,

Witt, CM, Jena, S, Brinkhaus, B, Liecker, B, Wegscheider, K & Willich, S, 2006, ‘Acupuncture in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee or hip’, Arthritis & Rheumatism, 54(11), 3485-3493.