[Knee osteoarthritis treated with moxibustion: a randomized controlled trial].Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2011 Dec; 31(12):1057-61.ZZ
To observe the efficacy of moxibustion on the improvement in pain, stiffness and motor disturbance for the patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA) and evaluate the effectiveness and safety of moxibustion therapy.
Fifty-nine cases of knee OA were randomly divided into a moxibustion group (31 cases) and a placebo moxibustion group (28 cases), in which moxa cone and placebo moxa sticker were applied to Neixiyan (EX-LE 4), Dubi (ST 35) and Ashi points separately, 3 cones on each point in each treatment. The treatment was given once every two days, 3 times per week, continuously for 6 weeks. The follow-up visit was performed in 6 weeks after the end of treatment. The Western Ontario and Mcmaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) and the time of 46-meter walking at the fastest speed were adopted to evaluate the recovery of joint function. UT-325 digital thermal detector was used to record the temperature change at the most apparent pain points of knee joint before and after moxibustion treatment.
In moxibustion group, the scores in WOMAC were reduced apparently in 3 and 6 weeks treatment and during follow-up visit, separately (P < 0.05, P < 0.01, P < 0.001). In placebo moxibustion group, during follow-up visit, the score of stiffness was lower as compared with that before treatment (P < 0.05). In 6 weeks of treatment and during follow-up visit, the scores of pain, stiffness and motor disturbance in moxibustion group were reduced much more remarkably as compared with placebo moxibustion group (P < 0.01, P < 0.05). In moxibustion group, after treatment for 6 weeks,the time of 46-meter walking at the fastest speed was shorter apparently as compared with that before treatment (P < 0.01), but there was no apparent improvement after treatment in placebo moxibustion group (P > 0.05). The difference was not significant statistically in group comparison (P > 0.05). After moxibustion, the temperature at treatment point was (49.81 +/- 3.10) degrees C in moxibustion group and was (40.98 +/- 1.67) degrees C in placebo moxibustion group. The local skin temperature increased apparently as compared with that before treatment in either group (P < 0.001, P < 0.01), but the temperature increasing in moxibustion group was much more remarkable (P < 0.001).
Moxibustion can obviously improve in the clinical symptoms for the patients with knee osteoarthritis, such as pain, stiffness and motor disturbance. It is a safe and effective therapy.