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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 26-33

Comparison of the effects of acaupuncture and acupuncture like TENS on osteoarthritis of the knee among adult Nigerians

1 Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Bayero University Kano, Kano, Nigeria
2 Department of Physiotherapy, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ganiyu Sokunbi
Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Bayero University Kano, Kano
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/njecp.njecp_29_15

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Osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee is a major cause of disability among adults with conservative therapies being among the preferred first line of treatment. Acupuncture and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) are considered as potentially useful treatment for OA; however, there is dearth of information on the acceptability and efficacy of acupuncture in Nigeria. The study was designed to compare the effects of acupuncture and acupuncture-like TENS (ACUTENS) among adult Nigerian with OA of the knee joints. Thirty patients with knee OA were randomized into two intervention groups (i.e., acupuncture and ACUTENS) and a control (soft-tissue manipulation [STM]) group. Patients in the acupuncture and ACUTENS group were also treated with STM as the control group. Pain intensity, functional mobility, and knee active range of movement (AROM) were measured at preintervention, postintervention, and 3 months postintervention. Patients who received acupuncture showed statistically better improvement in the form higher mean changes ± standard error of means in pain intensity score of 4.20 ± 0.01 than the ACUTENS group who recorded changes in pain intensity scores of 30 ± 0.30. The mean changes in the functional mobility scores of 10.60 ± 3.35 and 4.30 ± 1.12 were recorded for the patients in the acupuncture and ACUTENS group, respectively. In addition, the mean changes in the knee AROM for the patients in the acupuncture group was 15.5 ± 5.18 while patients who received ACUTENS recorded mean changes of 5.50 ± 1.38. Acupuncture and ACUTENS treatment produced significant reduction in pain intensity level postintervention and at follow-up assessments (P < 0.05). Patients who received acupuncture treatment showed a significant improvement in functional mobility and knee active range of motion which was not present in the ACUTENS and control groups (P < 0.05). Acupuncture and ACUTENS treatment had significantly better pain-relieving effects when compared to STM in patients with OA of the knee. Acupuncture treatment produces better outcome than ACUTENS regarding pain reduction, knee range of movements, and functional mobility in patients with OA of the knee.

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