The effect of short-term neuromuscular electrical stimulation on pain, physical performance, kinesiophobia, and quality of life in patients with knee osteoarthritis
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Department of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Health Sciences, Kırıkkale University, Kırıkkale, Turkey
Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Department, Faculty of Health Sciences, Sanko University, Gaziantep, Turkey
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine, Kırıkkale University, Kırıkkale, Turkey
Submission date: 2019-12-03
Acceptance date: 2019-12-27
Publication date: 2020-05-07
Physiother Quart. 2020;28(2):31-37
To examine the effects of short-term neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) on pain, physical performance, and kinesiophobia in individuals with knee osteoarthritis.

The study involved 38 individuals (21 in treatment group, 17 in control group) diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis. The participants were randomly assigned to the treatment and control groups. Physical performance tests, pain assessment, Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC), Tampa Scale of Kinesiophobia, and Nottingham Health Profile were applied. Both groups received a combined physiotherapy program for 2 weeks, 5 sessions a week. NMES and combined physiotherapy were implemented in the treatment group.

Statistically significant differences were detected between the pre- and post-treatment scores of the individuals with regard to the obtained parameter values (Visual Analogue Scale, physical performance tests, WOMAC, kinesiophobia, and health quality) in both groups (p < 0.05). However, no statistically significant differences were observed in the between-group pre- and post-treatment changes of the mentioned parameters (p > 0.05).

The study results show that 10-session NMES application in patients with knee osteoarthritis did not provide additional benefits on pain, physical performance, kinesiophobia, or quality of life. Therefore, the results should be considered when planning the treatment program. Also, we believe that clinical studies comparing long- and short-term NMES applications in addition to physiotherapy programs are needed to achieve accurate results as the present outcomes refer to short-term NMES application.

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