The Effectiveness of Olive Oil in Controlling Morning Inflammatory Pain of Phalanges and Knees Among Women With Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Rehabil Nurs. 2020 Mar/Apr;45(2):106-113. doi: 10.1097/rnj.0000000000000162.


Purpose: This study aimed to determine the effectiveness of olive oil in controlling morning inflammatory pain of phalanges and knees among women with rheumatoid arthritis.

Design: This is a randomized clinical trial, which was done in Arak, Iran.

Method: After selecting 60 women based on a convenience sampling method, they were randomly allocated into five groups. A demographic questionnaire, the Visual Analogue Scale, and the Disease Activity Score 28 were completed. After 12 weeks of interventions, the last two scales were again completed. All data were analyzed using t test, Kruskal-Wallis test, and Friedman test.

Results: The mean age of the women was 40 ± 10.5 years. The result of the Friedman test showed a significant difference (p ≤ .001) among the total mean of groups before and after interventions. The post hoc test (least significant difference [LSD]) showed a significant difference (p ≤ .001) between the mean of Disease Activity Score 28 in the group using olive oil for massaging. Results also showed that there are significant differences (p ≤ .001) among the mean of Visual Analogue Scale rates, among the mean of the number of painful joints, and among the mean of the number of swollen joints after intervention in the five groups.

Conclusion: Applying topical extra virgin olive oil, Piroxicam gel, and paraffin oil; dry massaging; and taking routine drugs alone were all effective in controlling rheumatic arthritis manifestations, respectively. Therefore, applying topical extra virgin olive oil for controlling of inflammatory pain of joints in rheumatic arthritis is recommended.

Clinical relevance: In comparison with other medical ointments for RA, olive oil has lower expenditure and is findable in many homes.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Fingers / abnormalities*
  • Humans
  • Iran
  • Knee / abnormalities*
  • Middle Aged
  • Olive Oil / pharmacology
  • Olive Oil / therapeutic use*
  • Pain Management / methods
  • Pain Management / standards
  • Pain Management / statistics & numerical data
  • Statistics, Nonparametric


  • Olive Oil