The purpose of this overview is to summarize the evidence from systematic reviews of the effectiveness of nonpharmacological and nonsurgical interventions for patients with hand osteoarthritis. Four systematic reviews were included. Based on single randomized controlled trials, there is some evidence of the effect of pain relief from topical capsaicin compared with placebo and for favorable functional outcomes for exercise and education compared with osteoarthritis information alone. In overviews, results are dependent on available systematic reviews. They are important tools to guide choice of interventions and locate areas where more research is needed, but they might not be useful for deciding specifically how interventions should be carried out.
There currently is insufficient high-quality evidence regarding nonpharmacological and nonsurgical interventions for hand osteoarthritis. Considering the limited research evidence and the prevalence and impact of the disease, there is an urgent need for more trials of nonpharmacological and nonsurgical interventions for hand osteoarthritis.
Moe RH, Kjeken I, Uhlig T, et al. There is inadequate evidence to determine the effectiveness of nonpharmacological and nonsurgical interventions for hand osteoarthritis: an overview of high-quality systematic reviews. Phys Ther. 2009 Dec;89(12):1363-70.