Call: 0210347752 Email:
For additional information

Understanding Acupuncture for Knee Pain and Injury

Acupuncture for knee pain

Hello, I’m Dean Wickenden, a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner and yoga teacher based in Auckland, New Zealand. I’m delighted to share my knowledge and insights with you through this blog, focusing on how Traditional Chinese Medicine and yoga can help with knee injuries and pain relief. In this blog, we will explore practical tips and valuable information about the application of Traditional Chinese Medicine and yoga for knee health. With my background in acupuncture, herbal medicine, moxibustion, cupping, and tuina massage, along with my experience as a yoga teacher, I offer a unique perspective on holistic healing for the knees. Together, we will delve into topics such as the benefits of acupuncture in managing knee pain, gentle yoga practices specifically designed to support knee health, and the integration of complementary modalities. We will also explore the mind-body connection and its role in healing knee injuries. My goal is to provide you with a deeper understanding of how these practices can alleviate pain, enhance mobility, and promote overall well-being for your knees. Whether you are seeking natural approaches to support the healing process of a knee injury, looking to prevent future knee issues, or simply curious about the intersection of Traditional Chinese Medicine and yoga in relation to knee health, this blog aims to be a helpful resource for you.

Understanding Knee Pain

The knee is a complex joint that bears the weight of our bodies and facilitates movement. Unfortunately, knee injuries and conditions are quite common, affecting people of all ages and lifestyles. Whether it’s due to sports-related accidents, overuse, arthritis, or other factors, knee pain can significantly impact our daily lives, limiting mobility and causing discomfort.

Acupuncture for Different Types of Knee Pain and Injuries

Acupuncture is a versatile therapy that can effectively address various types of knee pain and injuries. By targeting specific acupuncture points and meridians, acupuncture helps promote healing, relieve pain, and restore balance in the body. In this section, we will explore how acupuncture can be beneficial for different types of knee pain and injuries.

  1. Knee Arthritis: Osteoarthritis is a common condition that affects the knee joint, causing pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility. Acupuncture can provide relief for osteoarthritis by reducing inflammation, improving joint function, and alleviating pain. It can help promote the production of natural lubricants in the joint, enhance blood circulation, and stimulate the body’s self-healing mechanisms.
  2. Tendonitis: Tendonitis refers to the inflammation of tendons, often caused by repetitive stress or overuse. Acupuncture can help reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and promote healing by targeting specific acupuncture points along the affected tendons. It can also address any underlying imbalances that may contribute to tendonitis, such as muscle tightness or joint misalignment.
  3. Ligament Sprains and Strains: Ligament sprains and strains are common injuries that can cause pain, swelling, and instability in the knee. Acupuncture can aid in the healing process by reducing swelling, promoting tissue repair, and enhancing blood circulation. By targeting acupuncture points associated with the affected ligaments, acupuncture can support the body’s natural healing mechanisms and restore stability to the knee joint.
  4. Meniscus Tears: Meniscus tears are injuries that occur in the cartilage discs within the knee joint, often resulting from sudden twisting or impact. Acupuncture can help alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, and promote the healing of meniscus tears. It can also assist in addressing any accompanying muscle imbalances or compensatory patterns that may arise due to the injury.
  5. Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome: Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS) is characterized by pain around the kneecap and is commonly caused by factors like overuse, muscle imbalances, or poor alignment. Acupuncture can provide relief for PFPS by reducing pain, relaxing tight muscles, and improving joint alignment. It can also help address any contributing factors such as muscle weakness or imbalances in the surrounding hip and thigh muscles.
  6. Post-Surgical Rehabilitation: After knee surgery, acupuncture can play a valuable role in the rehabilitation process. It can help reduce pain and swelling, improve range of motion, and support tissue healing. Acupuncture can be used in conjunction with other rehabilitation modalities to enhance recovery and optimize outcomes.
  7. Knee Bursitis: Knee bursitis is the inflammation of the bursae, small fluid-filled sacs that cushion the knee joint. Acupuncture can be beneficial for knee bursitis by reducing inflammation, alleviating pain, and promoting fluid drainage from the affected area. By targeting specific acupuncture points and meridians associated with the knee and bursae, acupuncture can aid in the healing process and provide relief from knee bursitis discomfort.


Acupuncture for Knee Pain: A Holistic Approach to Healing

Knee pain can significantly impact daily life, hindering mobility and reducing overall quality of life. Acupuncture, an ancient Chinese practice, offers a holistic approach to managing knee pain, addressing both the symptoms and underlying causes. Let’s explore how acupuncture works to relieve pain, enhance blood circulation, restore joint function, and balance the body’s energy and mind to promote healing and overall well-being.

  1. Relieving Pain: Acupuncture is renowned for its analgesic properties, effectively targeting knee pain. By stimulating specific acupuncture points along the meridians connected to the knee, fine needles promote the release of endorphins—natural pain-relievers produced by the body. As a result, patients experience a reduction in inflammation and pain, providing much-needed relief and support for the healing process.
  2. Enhancing Blood Circulation: Improved blood flow to the knee is essential for optimal healing. Acupuncture helps enhance blood circulation, delivering vital nutrients and oxygen to the injured area. This boost in blood flow also contributes to reduced swelling, which accelerates the healing process. Additionally, tissue regeneration is supported, enabling faster recovery and tissue repair.
  3. Restoring Joint Function: Knee pain often leads to muscle tension and stiffness, affecting joint function and mobility. Acupuncture targets these imbalances, relaxing the muscles and reducing stiffness. As a result, enhanced mobility and joint stability are achieved, allowing for improved flexibility and overall knee function.
  4. Addressing Underlying Causes: Beyond treating the immediate symptoms, acupuncture adopts a comprehensive and holistic approach. Each patient undergoes a thorough assessment that considers their medical history, lifestyle, and emotional well-being. By identifying the root causes of knee pain, such as muscle imbalances or postural issues, acupuncture aims for long-term relief and prevention of recurring knee problems.
  5. Balancing Body Energy and Mind: In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the concept of Qi (pronounced “chee”) is central to acupuncture’s philosophy. Qi is the vital life force that flows through the body along meridians, nurturing and supporting overall health. When Qi is disrupted or blocked, it can manifest as pain and discomfort. Acupuncture restores the harmonious flow of Qi, promoting a balanced and healthy state within the body.

Beyond addressing physical discomfort, acupuncture recognizes the interconnection of the body and mind. Emotional stress, anxiety, and other psychological factors can impact physical health, including knee pain. By addressing both the body’s energy and the mind, acupuncture offers a holistic approach to healing. During acupuncture sessions, patients often experience a profound sense of relaxation, reduced stress, and restored inner harmony, contributing to the effectiveness of the treatment.

Deans Typical Acupuncture Treatment Plan For Knee Pain

In my practice, I offer a personalized treatment plan that combines the benefits of acupuncture and yoga to effectively address knee pain and support your overall well-being. Here’s a typical treatment plan that I often recommend:

  1. Personalized Assessment: Every individual’s experience of knee pain is unique, so our journey begins with a thorough personalized assessment. During this consultation, we will discuss your specific knee condition, medical history, lifestyle, and any contributing factors that may be affecting your knee health. This comprehensive understanding allows me to tailor the treatment plan to meet your specific needs and concerns.
  2. Targeted Acupuncture Points: Acupuncture plays a central role in relieving knee pain and promoting healing. During the treatment session, I will strategically target acupuncture points along specific meridians that correspond to the knee and its surrounding areas. Additionally, I may use Ashi (Trigger) points to address localized areas of discomfort. This targeted approach helps stimulate the body’s natural healing response and encourages pain relief.
  3. Massage for knee pain and injury: After the acupuncture session, I incorporate complementary bodywork techniques like Tuina massage (Chinese massage) or myofascial release. These gentle and therapeutic modalities help further release tension, improve blood circulation, and restore balance in the knee joint. Complementing acupuncture with bodywork enhances the overall effectiveness of the treatment.
  4. Beginners Yoga and Self-Massage for Recovery and Prevention: To extend the benefits of the treatment beyond the clinic, I will guide you in establishing a home routine of gentle beginners’ yoga and self-massage. These practices are designed to support your knee health and provide you with tools for self-care, helping you with recovery and prevention of knee pain. Gentle yoga poses can help strengthen and stretch the muscles around the knee joint, while self-massage techniques assist in reducing muscle tension and promoting relaxation.
  5. Optional Complementary Techniques: In some cases, additional complementary techniques such as cupping or moxibustion may be beneficial for knee pain. While not always necessary, these modalities can offer further pain relief and support healing. If appropriate, we can discuss the potential benefits and incorporate them into your treatment plan.
  6. Herbal Medicine for Enhanced Healing: In addition to acupuncture and bodywork, I may recommend herbal medicine as part of your treatment plan. Herbal remedies have been used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine to support the healing process, reduce inflammation, and promote overall well-being. Herbal formulas tailored to your specific knee condition can be a valuable addition to accelerate recovery and alleviate knee discomfort.

Beginners Yoga and Yoga Therapy for Knee Pain, Injury, and Prevention


  1. Yoga and Acupuncture: A Powerful Combination The integration of acupuncture and yoga offers a powerful approach to addressing knee pain. Acupuncture targets the underlying causes of knee discomfort, reduces pain, and promotes healing. By stimulating specific acupuncture points, it restores balance to the body’s energy, or Qi, enhancing the effectiveness of yoga in supporting knee health.

  2. Personalized Yoga Plans: The Key to Success To ensure optimal results, personalized yoga plans are essential. Each individual’s knee condition is unique, and it’s important to tailor the yoga practice accordingly. With a detailed understanding of your knee condition, medical history, and any previous injuries, we can modify and adapt yoga poses to suit your specific needs. This personalized approach minimizes the risk of aggravating pain and maximizes the benefits of your yoga practice.

  3. Mindful and Safe Practices Mindfulness is crucial in yoga therapy for knee pain. We emphasize body awareness, listening to your body’s signals, and respecting its limitations. Mindful movement allows you to identify activities or poses that may exacerbate knee discomfort, enabling you to make informed decisions during your practice. A qualified yoga instructor will guide you in proper alignment, ensuring that each pose supports knee health and avoids unnecessary strain. Gentle modifications and the use of props can provide additional support and stability, allowing you to practice safely and effectively.

  4. Strengthening and Supporting the Knees Yoga poses that strengthen and support the muscles around the knees are integral to managing knee pain and preventing further injury. We’ll focus on targeted exercises that engage the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, hips, and core muscles. Strengthening these muscle groups improves knee stability, reduces strain, and enhances overall knee function. Additionally, gentle stretching and range-of-motion exercises improve flexibility and joint mobility, reducing stiffness and promoting optimal knee health.

  5. Breath and Mind-Body Connection Yoga emphasizes the breath and the mind-body connection. Conscious breathing techniques help induce a state of relaxation, reduce stress, and calm the mind. By cultivating a deeper mind-body connection, you develop heightened awareness of your body’s responses and sensations, enabling you to modify your practice accordingly. This increased awareness allows you to make conscious choices that support your knee health and overall well-being. Mindful breathing and the mind-body connection contribute to a sense of harmony and balance within the body, complementing the physical benefits of yoga.

By combining acupuncture and yoga therapy, we create a holistic approach to managing knee pain, supporting recovery from injury, and preventing future discomfort. This personalized and mindful approach empowers you to strengthen, support, and care for your knees effectively. Through collaborative efforts, we can promote knee health, enhance overall well-being, and cultivate a sustainable and beneficial yoga practice tailored to your individual needs.

Scientific Research on Acupuncture and Yoga for Knee Pain:

Recent scientific research has evaluated the efficacy of acupuncture for knee osteoarthritis (KOA) patients. A meta-analysis of eleven randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with 2484 patients revealed that acupuncture had a beneficial effect on reducing knee pain and improving patients’ function activities. Acupuncture was also found to be superior to sham acupuncture in reducing pain and improving function. The study suggests that acupuncture can be recommended as a beneficial alternative therapy for chronic KOA patients, but further RCTs are required to verify its effectiveness fully. To learn more, refer to this article: [Link to the article: “Scientific Research on Acupuncture for Knee Pain”] (


Discover the transformative power of yoga for knee pain relief! This scientific meta-analysis showcases yoga’s effectiveness in reducing pain and improving function for patients with knee osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Dive into the study: Integrative effect of yoga practice in patients with knee arthritis – PMC (



In summary, combining acupuncture and yoga offers a practical and effective approach to managing knee pain and promoting overall well-being. If you’re in Auckland, New Zealand, and looking for natural ways to address knee pain or improve your health, I’m here to help.

Acupuncture targets specific points to reduce pain, inflammation, and restore balance in your body. Meanwhile, yoga provides gentle exercises that strengthen and support your knee muscles, enhancing joint stability and mobility. Together, these practices not only focus on the physical aspects but also emphasize the mind-body connection, promoting mindfulness and conscious breathing.

If you’re ready to take control of your knee health, reach out to schedule a personalized assessment. We’ll discuss your knee condition, medical history, and lifestyle, and create a customized treatment plan tailored to your needs. Through targeted acupuncture and a personalized yoga practice, we’ll work together to relieve knee discomfort, improve joint function, and support long-term knee health.

Don’t let knee pain hold you back from enjoying life. Embrace this practical approach to healing and experience the benefits of acupuncture and yoga. Take charge of your knee health today, and let’s work together on this transformative journey.

To schedule a consultation or learn more about how acupuncture and yoga can benefit you, feel free to contact me.

Wishing you good health and happiness,

Dean Wickenden Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner & Yoga Teacher

Share This Post

Picture of Dean Wickenden

Dean Wickenden

Dean, holding a Bachelor of Health Science, is registered in Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine, and Tuina Massage with the Chinese Medicine Council of New Zealand. With over 20 years of experience in yoga, he has earned a 1200-hour diploma in yoga and is a certified instructor of Yantra Yoga and the Tibetan Yoga of Movement.

Committed to natural health and healing, Dean takes a holistic approach in his practice, incorporating a wide range of therapeutic methods. His offerings include acupuncture, massage, dietary advice, myofascial release, herbal medicine, moxibustion, cupping, qigong, yoga, and meditation. He practices from his clinic in Auckland, New Zealand, dedicated to providing comprehensive care tailored to the individual needs of his clients