Comparing hot pack, short-wave diathermy, ultrasound, and TENS on isokinetic strength, pain, and functional status of women with osteoarthritic knees: a single-blind, randomized, controlled trial.

Cetin N, Aytar A, Atalay A, Akman MN

The objective of this study was to investigate the therapeutic effects of physical agents administered before isokinetic exercise in women with knee osteoarthritis.  One hundred patients with bilateral knee osteoarthritis were randomized into five groups of either short-wave diathermy, transcutaneous electrical, ultrasound + hot packs and isokinetic exercise, just hot packs and isokinetic exercise, or a control of isokinetic exercise only. Pain and disability index scores were significantly reduced in each group and outcome measures in the study groups had significantly greater reductions than the control group. They also showed greater increases than did controls in muscular strength at all angular velocities. In most parameters, improvements were greatest in groups 1 and 2 compared with groups 3 and 4.

Using physical agents before isokinetic exercises in women with knee osteoarthritis leads to augmented exercise performance, reduced pain, and improved function. Hot pack with a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator or short-wave diathermy has the best outcome.

Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2008, 87(6), 443-51

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