Laser acupuncture versus reflexology therapy in elderly with rheumatoid arthritis
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The purposes of this study are to determine and compare efficacy of laser acupuncture versus reflexology in elderly with rheumatoid arthritis. Thirty elderly patients with rheumatoid arthritis aged between 60 and 70 years were classified into two groups, 15 patients each. Group A received laser acupuncture therapy (904 nm, beam area of 1cm2, power 100 mW, power density 100 mW/cm2, energy dosage 4 J, energy density 4 J/cm2, irradiation time 40 s, and frequency 100,000 Hz). The acupuncture points that were exposed to laser radiation are LR3, ST25, ST36, SI3, SI4, LI4, LI11, SP6, SP9, GB25, GB34, and HT7. While group B received reflexology therapy, both offered 12 sessions over 4 weeks. The changes in RAQoL, HAQ, IL-6, MDA, ATP, and ROM at wrist and ankle joints were measured at the beginning and end of treatment. There was significant decrease in RAQoL, HAQ, IL-6, and MDA pre/posttreatment for both groups (p < 0.05); significant increase in ATP pre/posttreatment for both groups (p < 0.05); significant increase in ankle dorsi-flexion, plantar-flexion, wrist flexion, extension, and ulnar deviation ROM pre/posttreatment in group A (p < 0.05); and significant increase in ankle dorsi-flexion and ankle plantar-flexion ROM pre/posttreatment in group B (p < 0.05). Comparison between both groups showed a statistical significant decrease in MDA and a statistical significant increase in ATP in group A than group B. Percent of changes in MDA was 41.82%↓ in group A versus 21.68%↓ in group B; changes in ATP was 226.97%↑ in group A versus 67.02%↑ in group B. Moreover, there was a statistical significant increase in ankle dorsi-flexion, ankle plantar-flexion, wrist flexion, wrist extension, and radial deviation in group A than group B. Laser therapy is associated with significant improvement in MDA and ATP greater than reflexology. In addition, it is associated with significant improvement in ankle dorsi-flexion, ankle plantar-flexion, wrist flexion, wrist extension, and radial deviation greater than reflexology in elderly patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
KeywordsLaser acupuncture Reflexology Rheumatoid arthritis Elderly
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
No funding was received.
All procedures performed were in accordance with the ethical standards of Faculty of Physical Therapy research ethics committee, Cairo University and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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