Volume 12 Supplement 1

Scientific Abstracts Presented at the International Research Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health 2012

Open Access

OA09.01. Massage therapy for osteoarthritis of the knee: a randomized dose-finding trial

  • A Perlman1,
  • A Ali2,
  • V Njike2,
  • D Hom3,
  • A Davidi2,
  • S Gould-Fogerite4,
  • C Milak4 and
  • D Katz2
BMC Complementary and Alternative MedicineThe official journal of the International Society for Complementary Medicine Research (ISCMR)201212(Suppl 1):O33

https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6882-12-S1-O33

Published: 12 June 2012

Purpose

In a previous trial of massage for osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee, we demonstrated feasibility, safety and possible efficacy, with benefits that persisted at least 8 weeks beyond treatment termination.

Methods

We performed a RCT to identify the optimal dose of massage within an 8-week treatment regimen and to further examine durability of response. Participants were 125 adults with OA of the knee, randomized to one of four 8-week regimens of a standardized Swedish massage regimen (30 or 60 min weekly or biweekly) or to a Usual Care control. Outcomes included the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index (WOMAC), visual analog pain scale, range of motion, and time to walk 50 feet, assessed at baseline, 8-, 16-, and 24-weeks.

Results

WOMAC Global scores improved significantly (24.0 points, 95% CI ranged from 15.3-32.7) in the 60-minute massage groups compared to Usual Care (6.3 points, 95% CI 0.1-12.8) at the primary endpoint of 8-weeks. WOMAC subscales of pain and functionality, as well as the visual analog pain scale also demonstrated significant improvements in the 60-minute doses compared to usual care. No significant differences were seen in range of motion at 8-weeks, and no significant effects were seen in any outcome measure at 24-weeks compared to usual care. A dose-response curve based on WOMAC Global scores shows increasing effect with greater total time of massage, but with a plateau at the 60-minute/week dose.

Conclusion

Given the superior convenience of a once-weekly protocol, cost savings, and consistency with a typical real-world massage protocol, the 60-minute once weekly dose was determined to be optimal, establishing a standard for future trials.

Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
Duke University
(2)
Yale University School of Medicine, Prevention Research Center
(3)
Boston Medical Center
(4)
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey

Copyright

© Perlman et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2012

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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