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Immediate effects of electroacupuncture and manual acupuncture on pain, mobility and muscle strength in patients with knee osteoarthritis: a randomised controlled trial
  1. Ralph Plaster1,
  2. Wellington Bueno Vieira1,
  3. Flávia Alves Duarte Alencar1,
  4. Eduardo Yoshio Nakano2,
  5. Richard Eloin Liebano1
  1. 1Master's and Doctoral Programs in Physical Therapy, Universidade Cidade de São Paulo (UNICID), São Paulo, SP, Brazil
  2. 2Departamento de Estatística, Universidade de Brasília (UnB), Brasília, DF, Brazil
  1. Correspondence to Professor Richard E Liebano, Master's and Doctoral Programs in Physical Therapy, Universidade Cidade de São Paulo (UNICID), Rua Cesário Galeno, 448/ 475, Tatuapé, São Paulo, SP CEP 03071-000, Brazil; liebano{at}gmail.com

Abstract

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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