Knee pain is one of the most frustrating problems because knee pain doesn't always go away with just rest and ice packs.
Acupuncture has been shown to help with knee pain, but not everyone likes needles. That's where acupressure comes in. Acupressure is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that uses the same pressure points as acupuncture to relieve pain.
This article will cover how to find the correct acupressure points for knee pain and how to apply the acupressure treatment yourself.
How Acupressure Works for Knee Pain
Acupressure works by stimulating certain energy pathways called meridians. These meridian lines are like rivers that flow through your body and helps blood flow circulation for pain relief.
Meridian lines are all over your body and can start at specific acupuncture points on your head or foot and end at other points along the spine, arms, legs, etc.
Acupressure is a great way to deal with knee pain because it can be used as an alternative therapy that you can self-administer at home.
There are specific pressure points that will help acute and chronic knee pain.
8 Pressure Points for Knee Pain
The following nine pressure points have been found to be effective for knee pain relief:
1. Stomach 35 (ST 35) - Calf's Nose
The Calf's Nose pressure point is located just below the kneecap on the outside indentation.
The benefits of this point including relief for knee pain and stiffness, and rheumatism of the feet.
2. Stomach 36 (ST 36) - Three Mile Point
The Three Mile Point is located below your kneecap and to the outside of the shinbone. Measure the width of four fingers from the bottom of the kneecap and one finger to the outside of the shinbone.
In addition to knee pain relief, the ST 36 point helps strengthen all over the body, tone muscles and energize legs.
3. Spleen 9 (SP 9) - Shady Side of the Mountain
The Shady Side of the Mountain pressure point is found on the inside portion of the knee and at the top of the shinbone.
Applying firm pressure at this point relieves knee pain, leg tension and swelling, varicose veins, water retention, cramps, and edemas.
4. Gallbladder 34 (GB 34) - Sunny Side of the Mountain
The Sunny Side of the Mountain pressure point is found on the outside portion of the knee and at the top of the shinbone.
Steady pressure at this point will relieve knee pain, muscle strains, aches, and muscular tension.
5. Bladder 53 (B 53) - Commanding Activity
The Commanding Activity pressure point is located in the back of the knee on the outside where the crease starts when the knee is bent.
Get relief for knee pain and stiffness from this point.
6. Bladder 54 (B 54) - Commanding Middle
The Commanding Middle acupressure point is located at the back of the knee in the center of the crease.
This pressure point will help offer relief from knee pain and stiffness, arthritis, back pain, and sciatica.
7. Liver 8 (LV 8) - Crooked Spring
The Crooked Spring acupressure point is located at the inner side at the back of the knee where the crease ends when the knee is bent.
The LV 8 point helps with fibroids and swelling in the knee, and knee pain.
8. Kidney 10 (KD 10) - Nourishing Valley
The Nourishing Valley pressure point is located at the inside edge of the knee crease between two tendons.
Applying pressure on the K 10 point will help with knee pain, abdominal pain, and genital disorders.
How to Apply Acupressure for Knee Pain
One of the benefits of acupressure for knee pain is you can apply it yourself. You don't need to find someone else because the pressure points are all easily accessible.
To apply pressure, use your thumb or finger tips to press firmly on the pressure points for 5-10 seconds at a time. Repeat the pressure 4-5 more times at each point for both legs.
You can also try to self-massage the pressure points with slow, circular motions for 20-30 seconds. That can help increase circulation.
If you feel severe pain on any pressure point, stop the pressure. Any intense pain from the pressure can potentially lead to more serious injuries if you continue.
Acupressure Tools for the Knee Pain
There are some acupressure tools out there that can help apply pressure and massage acupressure points, but they're mostly made for other areas of the body like the Kanjo Acupress Mat Set for the back and neck.
For pressure points around the knee and leg, you can use the Kanjo Acupressure Ball to help press down on the pressure points and for self massage by rolling the ball around.
Acupressure Points for Knee Pain Final Thoughts
The key acupressure points for knee pain are easy to access and effective. They work well together as a set to provide relief from knee pain and keep the knees healthy.
Acupressure Points for Knee Pain FAQs
What is the best sleep position for knee pain?
The best sleep position for knee pain is on your side with a pillow between your knees. The pillow helps to prevent your knees from rubbing against each other and causing more pain. Sleeping on the opposite side of the one with knee pain is recommended. For example, sleeping on your left side will reduce right knee pressure.
Can acupuncture help with knee problems?
Acupuncture can help with knee problems, particularly osteoarthritis pain. Acupuncture helps reduce inflammation in the knee and releases endorphins, the body's natural pain relievers. At least one acupuncture session a week will be helpful, with three sessions per week preferable if you're in more pain.
Does acupressure help arthritis?
Acupressure can help arthritis by reducing swelling and improving blood flow. It can also relieve stress and tension which may cause joint stiffness. Acupressure helps improve overall health and vitality through enabling qi energy to circulate throughout the body to promote healing.
Is stair climbing good for arthritis knees?
Stair climbing can be a good exercise to strengthen arthritis knees and decrease pain. Stair climbing helps to strengthen the muscles around your knees, which will reduce stress directly on your knees. Another benefit is the burning of calories that will help to manage your weight, which will help reduce stress on your knees.
What exercises not to do with bad knees?
If you have bad knees, you want to stay away from high-impact exercises that will put too much strain on your joints. Exercises to avoid include running, squats, deep lunges, and repetitive jumping. Instead, focus on low impact activities such as walking or swimming. These types of exercises are gentler on your knees and won't aggravate them.
- Kaiser Permanente: https://mydoctor.kaiserpermanente.org/ncal/article/acupressure-for-knee-pain-1682355
- Mount Sinai: https://www.mountsinai.org/files/MSHealth/Assets/HS/Patient-Care/Geriatrics/KneeAcupointExercises.pdf
- Aculief: https://aculief.com/blogs/natural-healing/the-top-6-acupressure-points-for-knee-pain