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Arthritis Research

  1. Study Shows Yoga & Meditation Reduce Fibromyalgia Symptoms

    Researchers from Bright Path Yoga in Plano, Texas looked at the efficacy of an 8-week strategy of using yoga and meditation to help manage fibromyalgia symptoms, which typically consist of widespread pain, sleep disturbance, stiffness, fatigue, headache, and mood disorders.

    The small pilot study looked at the impact of this program on 11 participants.
    Results revealed significant improvement in the overall health status of the participants and in symptoms of stiffness, anxiety, and depression. Significant improvements were also seen in the reported number of days "felt good" and number of days "missed work" because of fibromyalgia.

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  2. UK Review: Guided Imagery Shows Promise for Musculoskeletal Pain

    Researchers at the Peninsula Medical School in Exeter, Devon, UK, performed a systematic review of the literature to determine the efficacy of guided imagery as a treatment for musculoskeletal pain (MSP).

    Six databases were searched from inception up through May 2010. All controlled clinical trials were considered, if they investigated GI in patients with any MSP in any anatomic location, and if they assessed pain as an outcome measure. Trials of motor imagery were excluded. The selection of studies, data extraction, and validation were performed independently by 2 reviewers.

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  3. Guided Imagery: A Winning Strategy for Osteoarthritis

    Researchers from Indiana University School of Nursing in Indianapolis looked at whether guided imagery and relaxation was a useful self-management strategy for osteoarthritis, and whether it could help control symptoms and decrease the use of medication. Specifically, they tested whether it could reduce pain, improve mobility and reduce medication use.
    Thirty older adults were randomly assigned to participate in the 4-month trial by using either GIR or a sham intervention, planned relaxation.

    Repeated-measures analysis of variance revealed that, compared with those who used the sham intervention, participants who used GIR had a significant reduction in pain from baseline to month 4 and significant improvement in mobility from baseline to month 2. 

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  4. Electrical Acupuncture Stimulators & Relaxation Help With Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Researchers from the Department of Anesthesiology of the Pain Clinic, in Hannover, Germany, compared the efficacy of auricular electrio-acupuncture (EA) to autogenic training (AT) for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Forty-four patients with RA were randomized to either EA or AT groups which met once a week for 6 weeks. 

    Primary outcome measures were the mean weekly pain intensity and the disease activity score (DAS 28). Secondary outcome measures were the use of pain medication, the pain disability index (PDI), the clinical global impression (CGI) and pro-inflammatory cytokine levels, which were assessed during the study period and 3 months after the end of treatment.

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  5. Cognitive-behavioural intervention for patients with recent onset arthritis.

    A randomized, controlled British study examined the efficacy of a cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT) for patients with recent onset (less than 2 years), seropositive rheumatoid arthritis. Fifty-three participants with a diagnosis of classical or definite rheumatoid arthritis received routine medical management during the study, but half were randomly allocated to the CBT intervention. All pre- and post-treatment assessments were conducted blind to the allocation. Significant differences were found between the groups at both post-treatment and 6-month follow-up in depressive symptoms. While the CBT group showed a reduction in depressive symptoms, the same symptoms increased in the Standard group. Immediately after treatment (but not at follow-up), the CBT group also showed reduction in C-reactive protein levels. However, the CBT group did show significant improvement in joint involvement at 6-month follow-up, as compared with the Standard group, showing physical improvements above those achieved with standard care. These results indicate that cognitive-behavioral intervention offered as an adjunct to standard clinical management early in the course of RA is efficacious in producing reductions in both psychological and physical morbidity.

    Citation: Sharpe L, Sensky T, Timberlake N, Ryan B, Brewin CR, Allard S. A blind, randomized, controlled trial of cognitive-behavioural intervention for patients with recent onset rheumatoid arthritis: preventing psychological and physical morbidity. Pain 2001 Jan;89(2-3):275-83.

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  6. The effects of therapeutic touch on patients with osteoarthritis of the knee

    Gordon, Merenstein, D’Amico and Hudgens studied the effects of therapeutic touch on 25 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee in this single-blinded randomized control trial. Patients got either therapeutic touch, mock therapeutic touch or standard care. The TT treatment group had significantly decreased pain and improved function when compared with the placebo and control groups. (Journal of Family Practice, 1998; 47:pp.271-277.)

    Citation: Gordon A, Merenstein JH, D'Amico F, Hudgens D. The effects of therapeutic touch on patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. Journal of Family Practice 1998 Oct; 47(4):271-7.
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  7. Differential effectiveness of psychological interventions for reducing osteoarthritis pain.

    Differential effectiveness of psychological interventions for reducing osteoarthritis pain: a comparison of Erikson hypnosis and Jacobson relaxation.

    A new randomized, controlled clinical trial from France investigated the effectiveness of 8-session Eriksonian hypnosis and 8-session Jacobsonian progressive relaxation for the reduction of osteoarthritis pain, using subjects with knee or hip pain. Patients were randomly assigned to one of the intervention groups or a control group. Overall, results demonstrated that the two experimental groups had a lower level of subjective pain than the control group, and that the level of subjective pain decreased with time. In addition, pain reduction occurred more rapidly for the hypnosis group. Results also showed that both hypnosis and relaxation are effective in reducing the amount of analgesic medication taken by participants.

    Citation: Gay MC, Philippot P, Luminet O. Differential effectiveness of psychological interventions for reducing osteoarthritis pain: a comparison of Erikson hypnosis and Jacobson relaxation. European Journal of Pain 2002;6(1):1-16.

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  8. The effectiveness of therapeutic touch for decreasing pain in elders with degenerative arthritis.

    Therapeutic Touch is found to decrease pain in elders with degenerative arthritis, compared with progressive muscle relaxation or routine treatment

    Researchers from the University of Wisconsin School of Nursing in Eau Claire investigated whether Therapeutic Touch (TT) decreased pain in elders with degenerative arthritis, as compared with routine treatment and progressive muscle relaxation (PMR).

    Eighty-two noninstitutionalized subjects, age 55 or older, were randomly assigned to TT or PMR treatments. Subjects served as their own controls for 4 weeks and then received six treatments at 1-week intervals. Visual analogue scales (VAS) for pain intensity and distress were used.

    Significant differences from baseline to post-sixth treatment were found within groups. TT decreased pain (t(46) = 7.60, p = < .001) and distress (t(44) = 7.08, p = < .001). PMR decreased pain (t(36) = 6.58, p = .005) and distress (t(36) = 6.90, p = < .001). Scores were lower for PMR, showing that pain and distress were more improved by Therapeutic Touch.

    Citation: Eckes Peck SD. The effectiveness of therapeutic touch for decreasing pain in elders with degenerative arthritis. Journal of Holistic Nursing. 1997 Jun;15 (2): pages 176-98.

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