The Gilbert Clinic

Acupuncture for Knee Problems

Added to existing treatment for knee pain or other knee symptoms, or if no other treatment is being offered, acupuncture at The Gilbert Clinic might be the medicine that gets you walking more and more freely.

Osteoarthritis of the Knee

Osteoarthritis (OA) in the knee joint responds very well to acupuncture as studies have been confirming. In 2004, the results of a randomized, controlled study on the effectiveness of acupuncture involving 570 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine concluding acupuncture provided an increase in function and a decrease in pain. Patients were able to walk farther during a set time limit after 23 acupuncture treatments in 26 weeks. Your treatment plan at The Gilbert Clinic would be tailored to your needs and could require more or substantially fewer sessions.

The symptoms of OA of the knee include pain, stiffness, and decreased movement. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and it is sometimes referred to as wear-and-tear arthritis.

Chondromalacia Patellae – Runner’s Knee

Acupuncture is well suited to help runner’s knee. Runner’s knee isn’t really a condition itself. It’s a loose term for several specific disorders with different causes. Runner’s knee is also called patellofemoral pain syndrome. The pain is often felt after prolonged sitting such as for a long car trip or for a movie. Sometimes this pain is called the “movie sign.”

Chondromalacia patellae (CMP) is an eighty year old term that originally meant “soft cartilage under the knee cap.” Pain at the front inner side of the knee is common in athletes including soccer players, ballet dancers, tennis players, rowers, gymnasts, snowboarders, skateboarders, volleyball players, basketball players and runners.

What Patients Say

Acupuncture may feel like a foreign treatment for runner’s knee, knee osteoarthritis or other knee pain. To dispel the mystery and help you become more familiarized, we decided to let real people voice their experiences of our work. These are real patients with real lives, from all walks of life, for whom The Gilbert Clinic was an answer. We invite you to read their stories.

Gerard M. Waites | Occupation: Attorney, Lobbyist, Legislative Counsel and Public Policy Consultant | Age: 52

“I am a 52 year-old highly active male who is otherwise in relatively good health and loves to exercise. The problem is that for nearly thirty years I have had a serious, often debilitating, knee problem that has caused intense, prolonged pain and suffering, as well as deep frustration, bouts of depression and thus continuous havoc throughout most of my adult life. As far as traditional medical treatment goes, there has never really been no way to effectively treat this condition, technically referred to as Chondromalacia, but commonly referred to as ‘Runner’s Knee.’

But then I found Dr. Gilbert — who amazingly treated, corrected and cured this condition and did so in a few short, painless visits. I’ve never tried acupuncture before, did not know much about it and was not putting a great deal of faith in it when I decided to try it (I was referred by mother-in-law, who Dr. Gilbert had also successfully treated for another serious, supposedly incurable medical condition.) But after so many years and so much pain, I was desperate after searching for help for decades and never finding any solutions. A lawyer by trade, I’m skeptical by nature and trained to base conclusions on fact, not opinion, theory or wishful thinking. So, my view of Dr. Gilbert’s treatment here is not given lightly. It is based on empirical evidence of major changes in my physical condition as a result of his acupuncture therapy.

Briefly, here are the facts. Chondromalacia is a condition in which acute inflammation is triggered in the knee cap by increases in barometric pressure, other changes in the weather, and by the slightest contact of the knee with almost any surface (which is infuriating because it is impossible not to do this from time to time, for example by bumping your knee on a table, a desk, chair, etc). Anyone who knows anything about inflammation in a joint knows it’s painful and usually not susceptible to any kind of cure or treatment. In my case, the inflammation could attack multiple times in a given week or month for any of these reasons. When it did, I had to immediately stop all exercise (running, swimming, even walking could be painful). In addition, I’d suffer intense, chronic pain for days at a time. This was not only hard to take in and of itself, but it was also highly distracting in terms of mental concentration, emotionally depressing, and physically exhausting due to all of the above.

I literally would not believe this unless it happened to me, but after Dr. Gilbert’s first treatment, my life-long condition was immediately neutralized. I continued acupuncture therapy for only several more visits over a few months and the Chondromalacia is virtually gone. I may have some very minor stiffness occasionally, but otherwise all the symptoms, pain and problems are — gone! Three days after the first treatment I knew something was different. I was on a train returning home and accidentally slammed my knee on a door (not grazed, which alone would previously ignite inflammation, but slammed). I braced myself for the attack, pain, etc., but it never came. Shortly after, I was off the train, swimming laps hard at the YMCA without any problems or post-workout pain.

Over the next few months, things just got better, not withstanding weather changes, additional bumps to the knee, and other things that would normally trigger the loathsome, nasty and previously unpreventable inflammation. Incidentally, Dr. Gilbert is the first and only medical professional that I ever hear use the word ‘de-inflame,’ which is one of the things that acupuncture does. Maybe I’m taking some liberty by referring to Jonathan as ‘Dr. Gilbert’ since doctors in this country and medical practice in the U.S. do not recognize acupuncture as ‘doctors.’ But I’ll tell you what — I have been treated by countless doctors, including Rheumatologists, Orthopedics and others for this condition for nearly thirty years and tried numerous drugs and other traditional treatments – and never had any success. So what else do you call someone who can so effectively treat and cure such a difficult medical condition?

Since the treatment, I can’t begin to describe or measure the marked improvement in the overall quality of my life. Not having to suffer bout after endless bout of chronic pain is itself enough to make a person kiss the ground he walks on, but to be free to run and swim again at will and do other physical activities is like a dream come true. I only wish I found acupuncture sooner, but so glad I eventually did. As for Dr. Gilbert, God bless this man. Not only is he extremely well trained and highly experienced in this unique profession, he is genuinely a very good person and an extremely capable healer.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe?

Yes! Acupuncture is a safe modality with few, if any, side effects when practiced by a qualified acupuncturist.

Will acupuncture help?

Brochure cover: Acupuncture and Herbology at The Gilbert Clinic

We have seen excellent improvement at The Gilbert Clinic in our clients with joint problems including runner’s knee, osteoarthritis of the knee, frozen shoulders, and tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis or lateral epicondylalgia). Acupuncture seems to improve the function of areas of the body where there is pain and inflammation. Patients being treated for joint pain and stiffness report results ranging from long-term, gradual improvement in symptoms to dramatic results in just a few visits.

Will it hurt?

Usually not, and when so, not for more than a couple seconds. Acupuncture is not at all like getting an injection, having blood drawn, or pricking yourself with a sewing needle. Acupuncture needles are hair-thin. There is a small sensation when they are inserted, but little or no discomfort. Jonathan Gilbert utilizes a “painless needling technique” he learned during his post-graduate studies in Vietnam. The experience of acupuncture varies from person to person and from treatment to treatment, but “painful” is not a term we hear often from patients describing the experience.

How many visits will I need?

Acupuncture is a highly individualized treatment. Mr. Gilbert will set your treatment schedule after your initial consultation. Length of treatment may depend on the severity of your condition and how long you have been experiencing the symptoms.

Read our Acupuncture and Herbology: Effective, Affordable Healthcare brochure.

7315 Wisconsin Ave, Ste 760E, Bethesda, MD 20814 | (301) 215-4177