Acupressure for Osteoarthritis: New Study Needs Participants

The prevalence of Osteoarthritis (OA) is higher in women than in men. Women tend to display more severe knee OA, particularly after menopausal age. Researchers at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) School of Medicine are studying how acupressure can be used for treating pain, including pain from osteoarthritic knees.

Acupressure is an ancient art of healing that uses the fingers to press active points on the surface of the skin to stimulate the body's natural self-curative abilities. When these points are pressed, they release muscular tension and promote the circulation of blood and the body's life force to aid healing.

Yan Zhang, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, said acupuncture and acupressure use the same points, but acupuncture employs needles, while acupressure uses the gentle but firm pressure of hands.

“Previous studies suggested evidence of effectiveness of acupuncture for OA in reducing pain, but little research has been done to examine the impact of acupressure,” Zhang said. “If acupressure demonstrates good feasibility and effectiveness in decreased knee pain among women with OA, this non-invasive patient-oriented, complementary and alternative medicine with few side effects may provide a new cost-effective approach to improve quality of life for women with OA.”

If you are a woman 50 to 70 years old and have been diagnosed with OA of the knee or are suffering from bilateral knee pain, then you may be eligible to participate in an Acupressure for Knee Pain Study at TTUHSC. The study is funded by University Medical Center Health System’s Women’s Health Research Scholar program.

Participation is free. For more information or to enroll in the study, call M.J. Flores at (806) 743-4222 ext. 221 or Susan Doctolero at (806) 743-4222 ext. 223.

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