A recently published study report (by Taiwanese researchers) has shown that the therapy that includes exercise, ultrasound and hyaluronan injections is very effective in relieving pain and disability caused by knee osteoarthritis.
The researchers believed that all the components of this integrated approach helped in reducing the pain and inflammation of knee. Hyaluronan injections provided lubrication to the affected joints and relives pain. Whereas, exercises helped a lot in improving muscle strength and tone. The pulse ultrasound is used for the management of periarticular soft tissue pain
In the study, 140 patients of moderate knee osteoarthritis are enrolled. All the participants were randomly assigned to receive their routine care (the control group) or to receive muscular strengthening exercises alone or in combination with pulse ultrasound; or to receive both of these interventions as well as hyaluronan injections into the knee joints. The treatment sessions were conducted thrice weekly, and the duration of the study was 8 weeks. The treatment efficacy is evaluated through changes in Lequesne’s index, knee range of motion, peak muscle torques of knee flexion and extension, and ambulation speed after 8 weeks of treatment and at follow-up visit at 1 year. In addition, changes in visual analog scale pain and rates of attrition in each group were also recorded.
The results revealed that all the patients who received the treatment showed Increased muscle peak torque and significant reduction in pain and disability after the treatment of 8 weeks. The patients who have received the treatment with two or three interventions showed significant muscle strength improvement along with the improvements in range of motion and ambulation. Whereas the patients who received all the three treatment interventions, (exercise, ultrasound and hyaluronan injections) had the greatest gains in muscle strength and increase in walking speed and decrease in disability. The researchers finally concluded that an integrated therapy, which deals with the extra- and intraarticular progressive pathologic changes, should be used for the management of knee Osteoarthritis