From walking, running, dancing to moving around in general, our knees play a significant role in our everyday routines. However, in more recent years, we have accommodated to a more sedentary lifestyle, making us less dependent on this natural mechanism to move. Unfortunately, this has translated into chronic bodily issues. Research suggests that there has been a significant increase in the prevalence of knee pain and overall chronic joint pain in the United States over the past 30 years. There is no cure for this problem, but there are several ways to manage the pain. You are most likely reading this article because conventional treatment for knee pain may not have worked with you. The following article will discuss the acupressure points for knee pain that you can easily treat at home.
Can Acupuncture Help With Knee Pain?
Acupuncture treatment involves inserting thin metal needles into the skin at specific points (also known as “acupoints”) throughout the body to achieve healing. This practice operates on the belief that the body has energy channels that become imbalanced in cases of pain or disease. It balances out these energy blocks by stimulating acupoints. Interestingly, these acupoints are not just isolated to one system or area. They are all part of an energetically interconnected system, so each point has the potential to affect multiple areas or systems at once. It is very common for practitioners to include multiple points for the treatment of one or several issues. Acupuncture has been used to treat everything from allergies to strokes. While research is still limited as to the extent of acupuncture treatment on certain conditions, studies have shown that it effectively treats chronic pain, including knee pain due to osteoarthritis. It may sound too good to be true, but don’t knock it until you try it! Keep in mind that results may vary from person to person, so it is best to keep an open mind if you are trying acupuncture out for the first time.
For muscle spasms, we have another article that covers acupuncture for muscle spasms.
Can Acupressure Help With Knee Pain?
Acupressure works just like acupuncture but is less invasive. Instead of needles, you apply pressure to acupoints via the fingers, hands, or a special device. It is a great alternative for those still on the fence about acupuncture but still want to experience some of the possible benefits. It is also more convenient since it can be done anytime and anywhere. Acupressure has been shown to be an effective short-term treatment for chronic knee pain. Some other benefits include improvement in blood circulation and muscle tension. Later on, you will learn more about specific acupressure points for knee pain that you can treat in the comfort of your own home.
How To Give A Knee Massage
Massaging is another excellent option for knee pain management. Follow the below steps for administering self-massage for knee pain.
Step #1: Sit in a comfortable position
Find an area where you can perform the self-massage treatment. You want to position yourself as comfortably as possible.
Step #2: Warm-up
Prepare your muscles for the massage by applying a heat compress or gently pressing over the general area.
Step #3: Target problem areas
Once you have warmed up, pinpoint the sore or more painful parts of your knee and massage these areas using small circular motions. Continue doing this for as long as you desire. Stop if you feel pain.
Repeat the above steps as often as needed. It is recommended to perform a massage for knee pain at least twice weekly. Massaging can be done in conjunction with treating acupressure points for knee pain at home for maximum results!
How To Massage Knee To Reduce Swelling
If you notice swelling in your knees, it may be a result of injury or disease. Your body responds to these issues by collecting fluid in the area. Symptoms include noticeable puffiness, redness, pain, and stiffness in the knees. One of the best home remedies for reducing knee swelling is massaging, which promotes drainage of fluid from the joint. You can follow the above steps on how to perform a knee massage or a more detailed self-treatment guide by the American Massage Therapy Association. To further facilitate healing, you could treat swelling with ice, heat compresses, elevation, pain medication, and exercises.
Acupressure Points For Knee Pain
Part of the beauty of acupressure is that anyone can do it. Below we will highlight five acupressure points for knee pain that you should incorporate into your pain management regimen. But before we get into the nitty-gritty of acupressure points for knee pain, review the below steps and precautions for maximizing the effectiveness of acupressure for knee pain.
- Apply gentle but firm pressure with your hands and fingers to each acupoint. Then continue to massage for about 30 to 60 seconds.
- If you feel sore or tender, decrease the pressure on the point.
- Avoid working on any injuries, scars, rashes, or blisters as these can be more sensitive areas or even worsen if massaged.
Acupoint: Bl-40 (Other Names: Urinary Bladder-40/Wei Zhong/Middle of the Crook)
Bl-40, also known as “weizhong” or “middle of the crease”, is located in the center of the knee crease. This point is one of the most effective in treating knee and low back pain. It is believed to clear blood, free connecting vessels, and discharge heat. This point is commonly treated to improve one’s overall health. Research also suggests that there is a connection between Bl-40 and the brain. The study showed that stimulation of Bl-40 could help regulate activation and inhibition of certain brain activity. It is also one of the excellent acupuncture points for hip pain.
Acupoint: GB-34 (Other Names: Gallbladder-34/Yang Ling Quan/Yang Mound Spring)
Gb-34, also known as “yanglingquan” or “yang mound spring”. To locate the acupoint, find the head of the fibula first. The acupoint is in the depression just below the head of the fibula. Not only is this acupoint beneficial for knee pain, but it also helps with muscular tension, aches, and muscle strains. Like Bl-40, Gb-34 has a known connection to the nervous system. In a 2012 study, it was found that acupuncture treatment of Gb-34 increased activity in areas of the brain linked to Parkinson’s Disease. This suggests that Gb-34 may help treat severe nervous system disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease. This is also a good pressure point for upper back pain relief.
Acupoint: SP-9 (Other Names: Spleen-9/Yin Ling Quan/Yin Mound Spring)
SP-9, also known as “yinlingquan” or “yin mound spring”, is located on the inside of the leg just below the knee and under the head of the fibula. This acupoint can help with knee pain relief, especially if there is swelling and edema. In addition to draining fluid from the knees, it regulates the digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems. SP-9 can also resolve other fluid-related issues throughout the body, such as bloating or dry mouth. It is one of the 10 acupressure points for snoring that you can use at home easily.
Acupoint: ST-35 (Other Names: Stomach-35/Du Bi/Calf’s Nose)
St-35, also known as “dubi” or “calf’s nose”, is located in the depression just below the kneecap’s lateral side. Make sure to treat this point if you are experiencing knee pain, swelling, and/or motor impairment. After receiving laser acupuncture treatment in 12 sessions, participants in a 2008 study observed their knee pain reduce by almost 50%. While the research was not conclusive, it shows how promising ST-35 and other similar acupoints are for treating knee pain.
Acupoint: ST-36 (Other Names: Stomach-36/Zu San Li/Leg Three Miles)
St-36, also known as “zusanli” or “leg three miles”, is located about four fingers below the kneecap and just outside the shinbone or 3 cun below ST-35. You can more easily locate this point if you flex your foot and feel a muscle pop up. St-36 can help with knee pain relief but is more well-known for treating issues such as nausea, vomiting, stress, and fatigue. It is one of the top 10 acupressure points to relieve body pains and aches.