Effect of acupuncture therapies combined with usual medical care on knee osteoarthritis.
J Tradit Chin Med. 2019 Feb ;39(1):103-110. PMID: 32186030
OBJECTIVE: To observe the effect of acupuncture or electroacupuncture (EA) combined with usual medical care for treating knee osteoarthritis (KOA) .
METHODS: A total of 90 patients with KOA were randomly allocated to 3 groups: usual care group (UC group, n = 30) was treated by pharmacological treatment of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and drugs for activating blood circulation (Ds-ABC), acupuncture (AP) combined with usual care group (UC group) (AP + UC group, n = 30) and EA combined with UC group (EA + UC group, n = 30). The primary outcome measurements included pain visual analogue scale/score (VAS), Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC Index) and its subscales. Secondary outcome measurement was Assessment of Quality of Life instrument version of the 36-item Short Form Health Survey (AQoL-SF36).
RESULTS: By the end of the 1st week, AP + UC group and EA + UC group exhibited statistically significant improvements in primary outcome measures, except for WOMAC stiffness, compared with the UC group (P<0.05). Moreover, the energy/fatigue domain of AQoL-SF36 in the AP + UC group showed better results than UC group (P<0.05). By the end of the 2nd week, all the primary outcome measures revealed that either the AP + UC or EA + UC group demonstrating remarkable advantages compared with the UC group (P<0.05). The social functioning and general health domains of AQoL-SF36 in the two acupuncture-intervention groups were improved significantly than UC group (P<0.05). We also found the energy/fatigue and emotional wellbeing domains of AQoL-SF36 in the EA + UC group demonstrated better results than UC group (P<0.05).
CONCLUSION: AP or EA combined with usual care is more effective than usual care alone for the treatment of KOA, the intervention of electric current in the process of acupuncture may improve more domains of AQoL-SF36 in KOA patients.