“I was just about to give up, and then I thought – hey, maybe acupuncture would help.” That’s the short story of how a patient I’ll call Mary came to my clinic. The longer version starts with her spending nearly an hour exercising on an incumbent bike and discovering afterward that her knee was sore.
“The day after that long ride, I noticed that my knee was feeling ‘off’,” she explained. “Then it just slowly got worse. I was never in terrible pain, but it was definitely uncomfortable to the point where I backed off exercising so I wouldn’t do more damage.”
There were trips to several doctors, starting with a general practitioner near Mary’s home. He referred her to a specialist in sports medicine, where she had X-rays, followed by an MRI. The imaging tests showed her knee was fine.
“So, the sports medicine specialist (who has a wall of photos in his office of him with all the athletes he treats) showed me the results of the MRI. He told me he couldn’t find anything wrong – no arthritis, no torn meniscus, and no cartilage problems,” Mary explained. “And then he shrugged, wished me luck, and walked out of the room. I remember standing there with my mouth open, thinking – ‘That’s it? You don’t see anything, so you’re done with me? What about my knee – which still hurts, by the way?’ Apparently, since I’m not a pro athlete, he wasn’t going to waste any more time on me.”
Eventually, Mary decided to try acupuncture. Although she expected it would take repeat visits to fix the problem knee, she found that just a few treatments were all it took.
“The knee incident is the third time a conventional doctor has given up on fixing something that was bothering me,” she reports. “So now, when something goes wrong, I just start with the acupuncturist and eliminate the middle man, so to speak. Acupuncture is safe, quick, and easy – and the results last for a very long time, as far as I can tell. If there’s something better out there, I haven’t found it yet.”