(HealthDay)—Radial extracorporeal shock wave therapy (rESWT) is beneficial for patients with rheumatoid arthritis with arthralgia, according to research published online June 30 in Pain Practice.
Yiming Liu, M.D., from the Peking University People's Hospital in Beijing, and colleagues present a series of 15 patients who suffered from arthralgia after being on disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs for more than three months. Patients received adjuvant rESWT for three months.
The researchers observed significant reductions in visual analogue scale scores (resting state) from 2.90 ± 0.74 to 0.80 ± 0.79 (P = 0.004), visual analogue scale scores (active state) from 5.70 ± 1.33 to 2.20 ± 0.63 (P < 0.001), morning stiffness duration from 2.25 ± 0.79 hours to 1.05 ± 0.69 hours (P = 0.004), disease activity score with 28-joint counts based on erythrocyte sedimentation rate from 6.34 ± 0.72 to 4.19 ± 0.59 (P = 0.001), and health assessment questionnaire scores from 10.20 ± 2.35 to 5.00 ± 2.62 (P = 0.005) in the three-month post-therapy follow-up compared with the pre-therapy baseline. For erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein, the pre-post changes were not statistically significant. Eleven participants stopped analgesics completely by the end of treatment; the other four were on a lower dosage. There were no severe adverse effects related to rESWT.
"To our knowledge, this is the first report using this therapy to treat arthralgia in rheumatoid arthritis," the authors write.
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