Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and the analgesic effects of low-frequency electromagnetic field (PEMF) on hand joints

Editor: | 10. December 2018

S. Milutinovic, S. Brankovic, Univerzitet u Beogradu, Medicinski fakultet, Institut za reumatologiju

This open prospective study was performed on 60 patients randomly assigned to two equal groups. Group I was treated with PEMF (5 mT, 15 Hz, 30 min) and kinesitherapy on both hands, while Group II was treated with kinesitherapy only. During the trial, pharmacotherapy was not modified; both groups received the same types and doses of drugs; no other physiotherapeutic procedures were used. Pain in the Radio Carpal (RC), MetaCarpoPhalangeal (MCP) and Proximal InterPhalangeal (PIP) joints was evaluated by VAS score from the baseline and day 10 of the therapy. The groups were homogenous according to demographic characteristics and the anatomic and functional classes of Steinbrocker. Results were analysed using the Wilcoxon test. A highly statistically significant reduction in pain (p <0.001) in RC (from 62.3 mm to 37.0 mm – 40.6 %), in MCP (from 64.4 to 34.4 mm – 46.6%) and in PIP joints (from 67.1 mm to 40.5 mm – 39.6 %) was found in Group I. There was no significant reduction in pain in RC (from 67.6 mm to 59.5 mm – 11.9%) or in MCP joints (from 66.5 mm to 60.4 mm 9.2%) in Group II. Contrary to this, a significant reduction in pain was seen in PIP joints (from 63.9 mm to 56.0 mm – 12.4%, p <0.05).

Conclusion: These findings suggest that PEMF alleviates pain in the hand joints in rheumatoid arthritis patients Rheumatoid arthritis and magnetic therapy.

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Related diagnosis: Rheumatism (progressive polyarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis)

Find out more about PEMF: Principle of Pulse Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF)