Magnetotherapy in hand osteoarthritis: a pilot trial

Complement Ther Med. 2013 Dec;21(6):603-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2013.08.004. Epub 2013 Sep 8.


Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of magnetotherapy in the treatment of hand osteoarthritis (HO).

Methods: In this randomized controlled single-blind follow-up study, patients with HO were randomly assigned into 2 groups (G1 and G2). The subjects in G1 (n=25) received 25Hz, 450 pulse/s, 5-80G, magnetotherapy of totally 10 days and 20 min/day combined with active range of motion/strengthening exercises for the hand. G2 (n=25) received sham-magnetotherapy for 20 min/day for the same duration combined with the same hand exercises. Outcome measures were pain and joint stiffness evaluation, handgrip and pinchgrip strength (HPS), Duruöz and Auscan Hand Osteoarthritis Indexes (DAOI) and Short Form-36 Health Questionnaire (SF-36) administered at baseline, immediately after treatment and at the follow up.

Results: When the groups were compared with each other, improvement observed in SF-36 Pain (p<0.001), SF-36 Social Function (p=0.030), SF-36 Vitality (p=0.002), SF-36 General Health (p=0.001), Pain at rest (p<0.001), Pain at motion (p<0.001), Joint stiffness (p<0.001), DAOI (p<0.001) were in favor of G1.

Conclusions: Changes in pain, function and quality of life scores showed significant advantage in favor of the applied electromagnetic intervention in patients with HO.

Keywords: Handgrip; Magnetotherapy; Osteoarthritis; Pinchgrip; SF-36.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arthralgia / therapy
  • Hand / physiopathology*
  • Hand Strength / physiology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Field Therapy / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis / therapy*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Quality of Life
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome