Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of Tuina in relieving the pain, negative emotions, and disability of patients with knee osteoarthritis.
Design: Single-centre, parallel, randomized controlled trial.
Setting: Shanghai Guanghua Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine Hospital, Shanghai, China.
Subjects: Adult patients with KOA who were able to speak Chinese and self-report symptoms were eligible.
Methods: A total of 104 patients were randomly allocated to receive the 6-week treatment of Tuina (Tuina group) or celecoxib (celecoxib group). Data on pain, negative emotions, and disability were collected at baseline, at week 2, 4 and 6, and follow-up (one month after the last treatment). The primary outcomes were the pressure pain thresholds. The secondary outcomes were: (1) numerical rating scale at rest and with movement; (2) Hamilton Anxiety Scale; (3) Hamilton Depression Scale; (4) Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index; and (5) clinical effective rate. The adverse events of the trial were evaluated.
Results: In total, 99 patients completed the follow-up. Generalized linear mixed models were constructed to analyse the between-group differences. Statistically significant differences were found in the interaction effects (p < 0.05). In evaluating the group effect, statistical differences were found at week 6 and follow-up (p < 0.05). Further, all variables showed a time effect (p < 0.05). A statistical difference in the clinical effective rate was found between the Tuina and celecoxib groups (p < 0.05).
Conclusions: Tuina produced superior effects for pain, negative emotions, and disability over time, as compared to celecoxib in patients with knee osteoarthritis.