PhD Study Unveils Therapeutic Combination to Reduced Knee Pain
Dr Zubair Usman’s study on the Effect of Electrotherapy on Pain, Functional Activities, and Health-related Quality of Life of Nigerian Individuals with Knee Osteoarthritis found that a therapeutic combination of electrotherapy significantly reduced knee pain and improved the functional activities and quality of life of patients. This will reduce overdependence on the analgesic drugs used to manage this condition which is associated with serious side effects.
The study adds to the literature on the use of Interferential current therapy (IFC), therapeutic ultrasound (US) and the combination therapy (CT) in the rehabilitation of patients with impaired physical functions and quality of life.
The multi-centre study randomly assigned patients to four groups: US (n = 34), IFC (n=34), CT (n=33), and control (n=32). Each group had three treatment sessions per week for 12 weeks.
Participants in the control group received heat therapy using infrared radiation. The visual analogue scale, Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index, Short Form-36 Health Survey questionnaire, as well as goniometer were used to assess pain severity, functional activity, Health-related Quality of Life and knee range of motion respectively.
All measurements were taken and recorded at baseline and post-treatment. Usman said the primary outcome measures were pain, functional activity, and health-related quality of life; with active and passive knee range of motion being secondary outcomes.
The use of electrotherapy modalities - CT (US & IFC), US and IFC - proved beneficial and resulted in less severe pain and improved functional activity and HRQoL in individuals with knee osteoarthritis. However, none of the modalities was more effective than the others.
Usman is currently conducting clinical studies to enhance evidence-based practice and translate research into practice for quality healthcare delivery.
He enjoys reading and travelling and believes that the harder you work, the luckier you get.
Words: Nombuso Dlamini