A study by investigators from the UK suggests that both group and individual acupuncture may be effective for treating the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis. In a pilot randomised trial, 120 patients received either a standardised advice/exercise booklet, the booklet plus group acupuncture, or the booklet plus individual acupuncture. Both acupuncture groups received up to ten treatments over 12 weeks using four local standard points (Yinglingquan SP-9, Xuehai SP-10, Yinshi ST-33, Zusanli ST-36) plus up to four ahshi points, with manual stimulation applied unless no pain relief was reported, in which case electro-acupuncture was used. Mean reductions in osteoarthritis symptom scores from baseline to 14 week follow-up were greatest for group acupuncture (-3.2), followed by individual acupuncture (-2.4), both of which were significantly better than the booklet group (who experienced a mean increase in symptom scores of 0.4).
Western medical acupuncture in a group setting for knee osteoarthritis: results of a pilot randomised controlled trial. Pilot Feasibility Stud. 2016 Feb 16;2:10.