Objective To compare the immediate effects of electroacupuncture and manual acupuncture on pain, mobility and muscle strength in patients with knee osteoarthritis.
Methods Sixty patients with knee osteoarthritis, with a pain intensity of ≥2 on the pain Numerical Rating Scale, were included. The patients were randomised into two groups: manual acupuncture and electroacupuncture. Pain intensity, degree of dysfunction (Timed Up and Go (TUG) test), maximal voluntary isometric contraction and pressure pain threshold were assessed before and after a single session of manual acupuncture or electroacupuncture treatments.
Results Both groups showed a significant reduction in pain intensity (p<0.001) and time to run the TUG test after the acupuncture treatment (p=0.005 for the manual acupuncture group and p=0.002 for the electroacupuncture group). There were no differences between the groups regarding pain intensity (p=0.25), TUG test (p=0.70), maximum voluntary isometric contraction (p=0.43) or pressure pain threshold (p=0.27).
Conclusions This study found no difference between the immediate effects of a single session of manual acupuncture and electroacupuncture on pain, muscle strength and mobility in patients with knee osteoarthritis.
Trial Registration Number: RBR-9TCN2X.
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