About 10% of people aged over 55 years in the UK report having some restriction of daily activity because of knee osteoarthritis, around 25% of whom are severely disabled.1 Every year, symptomatic knee osteoarthritis accounts for about 0.5% of all primary care consultations in those over 55 years, rising to 1% in those over 70 years.1 Acupuncture is increasingly being used within the NHS, particularly for painful conditions such as osteoarthritis,2,3 but its place within mainstream healthcare remains controversial. Here we examine what, if anything, acupuncture offers in the management of patients with osteoarthritis of the knee.
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