Transcranial direct current stimulation for knee osteoarthritis: a single-blind randomized sham-controlled trial.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation on pain and other symptoms of knee osteoarthritis.
METHODS: We performed a single-blind randomized sham-controlled trial with two parallel arms in an outpatient clinic of physical medicine and rehabilitation at a teaching hospital. We randomized 54 patients, 30-70 years of age, with knee osteoarthritis into two groups. They had morning stiffness ≤ 30 min, knee pain ≥ 3 months, joint crepitus, and Kellgren-Lawrence grade 1 or 2 on radiographs. For the active stimulation we administered 2 mA current, 20 min for each session and for the sham group 30 s stimulation and 20 min no current. Using the 10/20 International EEG system, the anode was fixed over the contralateral primary motor cortex (C3 or C4), and the cathode was placed on the ipsilateral supraorbital region (Fp1 or Fp2), with respect to the included knee. The program was repeated once daily over 5 consecutive days. Both groups received acetaminophen. We assessed the patients before and after the interventions, and three months post-intervention. The primary outcome was knee pain on the visual analog scale, and the secondary outcome was the Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score.
RESULTS: There was a statistically significant reduction in the intensity of pain within sham and active groups (both p < 0.001), but no significant difference between the groups (p = 0.226). Analyses of the Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Scores showed no clinically important changes.
CONCLUSIONS: Transcranial direct current stimulation does not reduce knee pain, does not abate other symptoms, and does not restore knee function in patients with knee osteoarthritis. The pain reduction in our study could be attributed to either placebo or the acetaminophen effect.
PMID: 33323306 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]
Neurophysiol Clin. 2020 Dec 12;:
Authors: Azizi S, Rezasoltani Z, Najafi S, Mohebi B, Tabatabaee SM, Dadarkhah A