Comparison of the Effects of Acupuncture and Physical Modality on Symptoms of Knee Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of joint disease and a leading cause of disability in the elderly. The symptoms of osteoarthritis are pain, morning stiffness, and limited motion of the joint. Different treatments have been proposed for management of osteoarthritis but the results are not clear. We compared the effects of acupuncture and physical modalities on symptoms of knee osteoarthritis.
In this study, 40 patients with knee osteoarthritis according to American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria were recruited using strict inclusion and exclusion criteria. The patients were randomly divided into two groups (A and B). The acupuncture group (A) only received acupuncture at selected acupoints for knee pain. On the other hand, the physical modality group (B) received transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), ultrasound (US), and hot pack at pain areas for 4 weeks. Treatment was performed 3 times weekly for 4 weeks (12 sessions) in both groups. Pain intensity was measured based on a visual analogue scale (VAS) while function was evaluated using knee injury and osteoarthritis outcome score with (KOOS). T-test was used to analyze the data in SPSS11.
After treatment, acupuncture and physical modality groups reported significant improvements in symptoms. Compared to group A, group B reported a significantly higher level of improvement in subscale of everyday activity (P < 0.05). Based on VAS, pain intensity scores decreased in both groups but significantly more in group A (P < 0.05).
According to the results of the present study, both acupuncture and physical modalities could efficiently reduce pain intensity and enhance daily activities and quality of life in patients with knee osteoarthritis. While acupuncture was more effective on pain reduction, physical modalities could better improve daily activity.
Journal Of Isfahan Medical School, Volume:30 Issue:194, 2012
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