Simple Tips for Keeping Your Family Healthy

By P. Sze | Last updated: December 11, 2022

Acupressure For Knee Inflammation

Have you ever had a painful feeling on your knee accompanied by swelling and difficulty moving your knee joint? If your answer is yes, then you know how inconvenient knee inflammation can be. Fortunately, it’s a health condition that can be treated at home. In this article, I’ll teach you how to use acupressure for knee inflammation, also known as knee bursitis, and the exact points that you should stimulate.

Does Acupuncture Help Knee Inflammation?

The practice of acupuncture for knee inflammation and pain has been endorsed by several scientific clinical studies. One of the most thorough studies, a systematic review published by Arch Intern Med. has been conducted on nearly  18,000 patients, showing that acupuncture is an effective treatment for different types of chronic pain, including chronic knee pain.

Before diving into the protocol, first, you need to make sure about your health condition. The symptoms of knee inflammation are:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Warmness
  • Tenderness

If you have a fever in addition to these symptoms, please consult with your health care provider. Otherwise, you probably have an acute case of knee inflammation due to strenuous exercise, an improper posture kept for extended lengths of time that hurts your knee joint, or even excessive amounts of time standing up.

How To Avoid Knee Inflammation

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Prevention is always better than remedy. In the classical text of Chinese medicine, the Swen, there’s mention of the “five harmful exhaustions”, which are five ways in which our bodies can be harmed while engaging in daily activities, which goes as follows:

The five harmful exhaustions: (overuse of) long-term sight damages Blood, always lying down damages the Qi, always sitting damages the muscles, always standing hurts the bones, always moving hurts the bones tendons and ligaments; this is what we know as the Five Exhaustions that cause harm.

If we take the ancient wisdom of the forefathers of traditional Chinese medicine into account and elaborate upon it, we can get to the conclusion that in order to save our knee and avoid joint pain we need to adopt specific conduct regarding the amount of time we spend sitting down, standing up as well as factors such as body weight, and the length and intensity of our movements and really only recur to treatments like knee inflammation acupuncture as a second resource.
Interestingly, we can find similar indications from Western medicine, as pointed out in this article at

Acupressure Points For Knee Inflammation

When it gets cold, and blood flow becomes poor, the muscles become stiff and easily cause severe pain. Acupoint stimulation is effective in promoting blood flow in cold knees, and you can also use it for chronic pain. You can expect the effect just by pressing the acupoint with your finger, but it will be effective if you warm it with moxibustion or a body warmer. If you want to warm it in a warmer, try warming it around the acupressure points.
These are the points you’ll be using in your acupressure for knee inflammation divided by symptoms:

If your knee hurts when going downstairs

Acupoint: SP-10 (Other Names: Spleen-10/Xue Hai/Sea of Blood)

SP-10 is an acupoint located a little above the knee, slightly towards the inner side of the tight, in the middle of the muscle. An easy way to find it is by placing the palm of the hand over the knee in a way that the kneecap fits in the middle of the palm, and the thumb touches the inner side of the leg. Xuehai can be found where the tip of the thumb is touching.
The name Xuehai can be translated as “sea of blood”, as it suggests, it is a great acupoint to promote blood circulation, and it’s often used in clinical acupuncture for knee inflammation as it enhances knee function. To stimulate SP-10, sit on a chair and rub both sides at the same time about 30 times.

Acupoint: ST-34 (Other Names: Stomach-34/Liang Qiu/Ridge Mound)

ST-34 Liangqiu is found by placing your three middle fingers on top of your kneecap, slightly on the exterior side, on the depression where the two muscles meet.

Liangqiu helps the knee by clearing the heart and promoting pain relief. To stimulate this acupoint, sit on a chair, then apply firm pressure for 3 seconds, relax for 3 seconds, and repeat for about 3 minutes.

This point is also featured at acupressure points for lower abdominal pain and at acupressure points for gallbladder inflammation.

If your knee hurts when standing up

Acupoint: ST-36 (Other Names: Stomach-36/Zu San Li/Leg Three Miles)

Acupoint: ST-36 (Other Names: Stomach-36/Zu San Li/Leg Three Miles)

To find ST-36 Zusanli, place all the fingers of your hand, except the thumb immediately below your kneecap, ST-36 is in the middle of the exterior half of your legs.

ST-36 is a very famous acupoint for stomach problems. Due to its location, it also serves to benefit the knees and promotes the circulation of Qi and blood in the Stomach meridian, which crosses the knees and governs Qi function in the knee. To stimulate ST-36, sit on a chair and rub both sides at the same time about 30 times.

ST-36 Zusanli has many uses. Please check it out at acupressure points for peripheral neuropathy.

Acupoint: SP-9 (Other Names: Spleen-9/Yin Ling Quan/Yin Mound Spring)

SP-9 Yinlingquan is located with the bent knee on the inner side of the leg, on the depression where the tibia ends.

This is an excellent acupoint to resolve dampness and edema. To stimulate Yinlingquan, sit on a chair, then apply firm pressure for 3 seconds, relax for 3 seconds, and repeat for about 3 minutes.

You can also find this point on the list of acupressure for shaky hands.

If your knee hurts when not moving

Acupoint: SP-6 (Other Names: Spleen-6/San Yin Jiao/Three Yin Intersection)

Acupoint: SP-6 (Other Names: Spleen-6/San Yin Jiao/Three Yin Intersection)
Acupoint: SP-6 (Other Names: Spleen-6/San Yin Jiao/Three Yin Intersection)

Find SP-6 Sanyinjiao by placing your hand fingers except for thumbs on the inner side of the legs, right above the malleolus.

SP-6 improves the balance between the left and right foot necks, reduces the strain on the joint range of the knees, and has analgesic effects. To stimulate this point, rub both sides at the same time about 30 times.

See these two other uses for SP-6 at acupressure points for foot pain.

How To Go On With Your Acupressure

Photo by Tatiana Syrikova from Pexels

These are some of the most effective points that you can apply your acupressure for knee inflammation. If you want to get the most benefit from it, it is recommended that you make it your daily practice for as long as it is needed for the symptoms to subside. What will determine the efficacy of this knee inflammation acupuncture modality is how consistent you can be in it. You can even do it many times per day if you wish.

Suppose you are a person with a predominant background in Western Medicine and after reading this article, you still have some doubts about what acupressure intervention is and how it can be fitted into your daily living. In that case, I suggest you read this article by Dr. Sabrina Felson on on the benefits of acupressure and how you can combine it with conventional treatments.

Written by

P. Sze

P. Sze

P. Sze is the founder of TCM Tips and Dragon Acupuncture®. She graduated from the National University of Singapore with a first-class honor in Civil Engineering. She also holds a master’s degree in Engineering and is the brain behind the innovative TCM products of Dragon Acupuncture®. She is the author of The Beginner's Guide to Auricular Therapy: Application of Ear Seeds (ISBN 978-1520451398) and Facial Gua Sha - Fight the Signs of Aging Naturally and Inexpensively (ISBN 978-1980678922). She has dedicated her life to ensuring that the complex theories behind oriental medicine and the seemingly dangerous techniques that involve needles and fire do not scare you from trying oriental medicine. This is why she writes endlessly about acupressure and its countless health and wellness benefits.

See more