Data suitable for analysis came from 114 trials, covering 22 treatments and 9,709 patients. Eight interventions, including acupuncture, sham acupuncture and muscle strengthening exercise were found to have resulted in statistically significant reductions in pain, compared with standard care. Most trials studied only short term effects of treatment and many were classed as being of low quality. Most studies considered to be of satisfactory or good quality studied either acupuncture (11 trials) or muscle strengthening exercises (9 trials). Both of these interventions were significantly better than standard care with acupuncture performing better than muscle strengthening exercise.
Acupuncture and other Physical Treatments for the Relief of Pain due to Osteoarthritis of the Knee: Network Meta-Analysis. Osteoarthritis Cartilage, 2013 Sep:21(9):1290-8