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Is acupuncture phisiotherapy?

(21 Posts)
Figleaf Mon 21-Aug-17 19:25:41

Hurt my left knee at the beginning of July (too much walking on Sand dunes with dogs I suspect). When we got home my knee was stiff and painful if I walked any distance. Did all the home treatment stuff – raised it, ice packs for short periods, rubbed in Volterol and strapped it up when I had to walk anywhere. It was getting better but not really better 3 weeks later so I went to see the doctor who wiggled my knee joint a little and said he didn’t think I’d torn anything but noted I couldn’t full straighten it. He said I probably needed to see a physiotherapist for exercises as the strapping would eventually weaken the muscles around my knee. He said the NHS would take 3 months to get round to me so I said I would find a private one locally. I went to see one today, she saw me for 25 mins, took an injury/medical history and did some bending/manipulation of my knee asking me if various things hurt. After this she said she thought I don’t have damage to any cartilage or tendons but do have a knee effusion. She said acupuncture would make it heal. The first treatment (£30 today) involved her putting her fingers and thumbs at various places around my knee while pushing down and asking me to bend it up and down 10 times while I was sitting up on her medical bed. She then put in a series of acupuncture needles - mainly around my knee but one was down near my ankle. We chatted for 10 mins or so with her occasionally wobbling the needles and/or rotating them. After this she took them out and put tape on my knee. She said the knee bends would start a pump action to encourage my body to reabsorb the water she said was inside my joint. She said the needles would encourage the healing which was already happening to go faster and she said the strapping would do that too. I’ve come away with no exercises to do which I think is what the doctor lead me to believe I needed.

My question is – is acupuncture real? I feel like I’ve just visited a quack but , given the woman is a qualified physio I wondered if I was being closed minded ( not trying to offend anyone or start a row by the way)?

My next appointment is Monday at 12.30 – shall I go (not really inclined to)?

Figleaf Mon 21-Aug-17 19:26:59

Oops - I meant physiotherapy not phisiotherapy (typo) blush

BertrandRussell Mon 21-Aug-17 19:28:06

"My question is – is acupuncture real? I feel like I’ve just visited a quack but , given the woman is a qualified physio I wondered if I was being closed minded ( not trying to offend anyone or start a row by the way)?"

No, acupuncture is not real.

Find another physio. Your gp's surgery will have a list.

ReinettePompadour Mon 21-Aug-17 19:31:39

I received acupuncture from a physiotherapist after being sent by my nhs gp. They swore it would help. I dont think it did particularly but apparently some people swear by it. My NHS gp still refers for accupuncture via the physiotherapy department.

PurpleDaisies Mon 21-Aug-17 19:32:15

Acupuncture is basically woo. It does help some people but no more than another placebo.

It isn't recommended by NICE for knee pain.

VivienneWestwoodsKnickers Mon 21-Aug-17 19:32:51

The NHS offer acupuncture through physiotherapists all over the country. I've had it twice as part of a programme of treatment.

Its efficacy is debatable. For me the first time I had it it worked like a switch turning off the chronic pain when the 3rd or 4th needle went in. It was incredible.

However, it was never so effective again and started to make me feel nauseous with the needles in my hands so we stopped it.

RMC123 Mon 21-Aug-17 19:34:06

I had acupuncture on the NHS for a long term shoulder injury. Nothing else worked but this gave me three months of relief. It's sore again now and I am seriously thinking of going back.

Slightlyperturbedowlagain Mon 21-Aug-17 19:35:46

Acupuncture is not physiotherapy. I'm not saying that the physiotherapist can't also be an acupuncturist (imo acupuncture is pointless, but some other people don't think so) but do check the physiotherapist is registered as a physiotherapist on the health and care professions council register. In the UK It is illegal to claim to be a physiotherapist if not.

Bluebannana Mon 21-Aug-17 19:57:18

I am a physiotherapist (NHS) accupuncture is one tool that physiotherapists use and the evidence base for pain relief is good. It is highly likely that if you see a senior physiotherapist in the NHS you would be offered accupuncture as part of your treatment too. Less experienced staff often will not have completed training in accupuncture, but will have other types of treatment approach. What you describe sounds pretty standard treatment, accupuncture to reduce pain, taping to support correct movement and exercises to strengthen and promote increased blood flow. The pressing on your knee whilst moving it could either have been her feeling what the problem was or mobilising the joint depending on how she was doing it. I would see if it helps your knee before writing it off.

imjessie Mon 21-Aug-17 20:44:55

I've had it as part of physio treatment on my back and neck. So I guess so yes .

Goingtobeawesome Mon 21-Aug-17 20:47:34

I doubt quacks thought acupuncture up years ago hmm.

SoPassRemarkable Mon 21-Aug-17 20:55:51

My chiropractor does some acupuncture between various manipulations.

Not sure if it's a muscle the needles go into but something which normally feels painfully tight I can actually feel it relax as the needles are in, whole area heats up.

But many would say chiropractors are quacks so not sure if that's reassuring.

CurrentlyNothing Mon 21-Aug-17 20:59:21

Interestingly there is almost no evidence for the efficacy of physio therapy. So those saying acupuncture has little clinical trial evidence base are right, but the same is true of physio.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Mon 21-Aug-17 20:59:56

Acupuncture/acupressure has been part of my treatment post injury from senior NHS physios over the last decade. Very effective.

In California ( according to friends) of you have IVF you also sign up for a course of acupuncture as standard because the results are better.

guiltybystander Mon 21-Aug-17 21:03:35

Acupuncture involves needles of various girth, physiotherapy has no needles.

Autumnchill Mon 21-Aug-17 21:06:51

I had acupuncture with a physiotherapist on private medical insurance for piriformus syndrome and after spending 2 days laid on my front on the sofa, I could actually walk.

The way they explained it was twisting it so that when they withdrew the needle the muscle loosed and relaxed and stopped strangling my nerve.

I had 3 lots and it made a massive difference.

Atenco Mon 21-Aug-17 21:32:55

Acupuncture is brilliant but not physiotherapy.

Figleaf Mon 21-Aug-17 21:43:11

Thanks all - some great information and helpful advice. I have checked the lady out (and she is on registers she claims). Don't think acupuncture is for me though. I will wait a few days before making a decision on my next appointment but if I do go I will ask about other treatment options. Thanks again.

Ollivander84 Mon 21-Aug-17 22:01:19

They shouldn't mind if you ask about alternatives. My physio does some acupuncture with me and she is fantastic. I spent years with sciatica flares, and never got to the bottom of it. She treated me for 6 weeks and at week 6 said "I'm not treating you until you've had MRI scan, something is not right"
She referred me. On the 11th may I had 5 hours of emergency spinal surgery as I had a condition threatening my legs and bladder/bowel - if she hadn't referred me for the MRI I'm not sure how long I would have waited

Atenco Tue 22-Aug-17 02:24:36

I'm a bit shocked at people disqualifying an age-old medical practice saying it is woo and not real and dismissing any benefits as placebo. Though placebo effects are not to be sneered at, if they cure, that is a win, surely.

Out2pasture Tue 22-Aug-17 02:45:08

I asked a gp for a physio referral due to planters fasciitis. The physiotherapist suggested acupuncture it did not help at all. I have have excellent results from pt in the past for ankle issues using ultrasound. I requested u/s tx and he said no, let's try the acupuncture. Very disappointed.

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