Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/34737
Title: The effects of electro-acupuncture and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation on patients with painful osteoarthritic knees : a randomized controlled trial with follow-up evaluation
Authors: Ng, MML
Leung, MC 
Poon, DMY
Issue Date: 2003
Publisher: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Source: Journal of alternative & complementary medicine, 2003, v. 9, no. 5, p. 641-649 How to cite?
Journal: Journal of alternative & complementary medicine
Abstract: OBJECTIVES: To examine the relative effectiveness of electro-acupuncture (EA) and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) in alleviating osteoarthritic (OA)-induced knee pain.
DESIGN: Single-blinded, randomized controlled study.
SUBJECTS: Twenty-four (24) subjects (23 women and 1 man), mean age 85, were recruited from eight subsidized Care & Attention Homes for the elderly.
INTERVENTIONS: Subjects were randomly assigned to the EA, TENS, or control groups. Subjects in the EA group (n = 8) received low-frequency EA (2 Hz) on two acupuncture points (ST-35, Dubi and EX-LE-4, Neixiyan) of the painful knee for 20 minutes. Subjects in the TENS group (n = 8) received low-frequency TENS of 2 Hz and pulse width of 200 micros on the same acupuncture points for 20 minutes. In both treatment groups, electrical treatment was carried out for a total of eight sessions in 2 weeks. Eight subjects received osteoarthritic knee care and education only in a control group. All subjects were evaluated before the first treatment, after the last treatment, and at 2-week follow-up periods.
RESULTS: After eight sessions of treatment, there was significant reduction of knee pain in both EA group and TENS group, as measured by the Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) of pain (p < 0.01). Prolonged analgesic effect was maintained in the EA and the TENS groups at a 2-week follow-up evaluation. The Timed Up-and-Go Test (TUGT) score of the EA group was significantly lower than that of the control group (p < 0.05), but such change was not observed in the TENS group.
CONCLUSIONS: Both EA and TENS treatments were effective in reducing OA-induced knee pain. EA had the additional advantage of enhancing the TUGT results as opposed to TENS treatment or no treatment, which did not produce such corollary effect.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/34737
ISSN: 1075-5535
DOI: 10.1089/107555303322524490
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