Pilot study testing whether a combined treatment of acupuncture and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is more effective than acupuncture or TENS alone for treating knee osteoarthritis (OA).
The present study tests whether a combined treatment of acupuncture and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is more effective than acupuncture or TENS alone for treating knee osteoarthritis (OA).
Thirty-two patients with knee OA were randomly allocated to four groups. The acupuncture group (ACP) received only acupuncture treatment at selected acupoints for knee pain; the TENS group (TENS) received only TENS treatment at pain areas; the acupuncture and TENS group (A&T) received both acupuncture and TENS treatments; the control group (CT) received topical poultice (only when necessary). Each group received specific weekly treatment five times during the study. Outcome measures were pain intensity in a visual analogue scale (VAS) and knee function in terms of the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC).
The ACP, TENS and A&T groups reported lower VAS and WOMAC scores than the control group. Significant reduction in pain intensity (P = 0.039) and significant improvement in knee function (P = 0.008) were shown in the A&T group.
Combined acupuncture and TENS treatment was effective in pain relief and knee function improvement for the sampled patients suffering from knee OA.
Received April 4, 2007; Accepted February 29, 2008.
Chin Med. 2008; 3: 2. Published online 2008 February 29. doi: 10.1186/1749-8546-3-2. PMCID: PMC2268695
Copyright © 2008 Itoh et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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