Effects of neuromuscular electrical stimulation and low-level laser therapy on neuromuscular parameters and health status in elderly women with knee osteoarthritis: A randomized trial
Mônica de Oliveira Melo, Klauber Dalcero Pompeo, Bruno Manfredini Baroni, Marco Aurélio Vaz
Ave Willy Eugênio Fleck 1500, n. 1500, casa 187 , 90150-180 Porto Alegre, Brazil. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Objective: To determine the effects of neuromuscular electrical stimulation and low-level laser therapy on neuromuscular parameters and health status in elderly subjects with knee osteoarthritis.
Design: A randomized evaluator-blinded clinical trial.
Subjects: Forty-five elderly women with knee osteoarthritis.
Methods: Subjects were randomized into 1 of the following 3 intervention groups: electrical stimulation group (18–32 min pulsed current, stimulation frequency 80 Hz, pulse duration 400 μs, stimulation intensity 40% of maximal isometric voluntary contraction), laser group (dose 4–6 J per point, 6 points at the knee joint) or combined group (electrical stimu-lation plus laser therapy). The outcomes included muscle
thickness and anatomical cross-sectional area (ultrasonography), knee extensors’ electrical activity (electromyography), torque (dynamometry) and health status (Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index). All groups underwent a 4-week control period (without intervention) followed by an 8-week intervention period.
Results: Muscle thickness and anatomical cross-sectional area increased in the electrical stimulation and combined groups. All groups presented similar improvements in torque, electrical activity and health status.
Conclusion: Electrical stimulation alone or in combination with laser therapy generated positive effects on all evaluated parameters. Laser therapy increased health status and electrical activity, but had no effect on muscle mass.
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