, Volume 29, Issue 5, pp 588-597

Comparison of the effects of elcatonin and risedronate on back and knee pain by electroalgometry using fall of skin impedance and quality of life assessment using SF-36

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Abstract

Back and knee pain is a widespread health problem and a serious threat to the quality of life (QOL) in middle-aged and older adults, as it frequently accompanies osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. In order to compare the effects of elcatonin and risedronate on such pain, 20 units of elcatonin was intramuscularly injected to 18 patients, and 5 mg of risedronate was orally administered daily to 20 others with similar backgrounds. Exercise-induced pain was analyzed by measuring the fall of skin impedance by electroalgometry (EAM), and subjective pain was recorded by a visual rating system (VRS) on a scale of 0 (no pain) to 100 (unbearable pain). In patients treated with elcatonin, the mean EAM-estimated pain was significantly reduced after 4, 5 and 6 months of treatment, and the VRS score after 3, 5 and 6 months, indicating a significant analgesic effect. In the risedronate group, however, improvement was less remarkable. Two-way analysis of variance using pain as a dependent variable and treatment group and time as independent variables revealed a significantly greater effect of elcatonin over risedronate on both the EAM and VRS scores, and the influence of treatment time on pain was indistinguishable between the two treatment groups. Effect of exercise load on pain was less on knee load than knee and spine load and spine load, but indistinguishable between the two groups. Changes in QOL were evaluated by the SF-36 system. Norm-based scoring showed significant improvements in 3 of 4 categories for elcatonin and in 2 of 4 for risedronate, suggesting comparable effects on the physical aspects of QOL, whereas responses to emotionally and socially directed questions indicated significant improvements in all 4 categories for risedronate, but none for elcatonin, suggesting a more physical than emotional component in elcatonin effects compared to risedronate.