Efficacy of ice and shortwave diathermy in the management of osteoarthritis on the knee - A preliminary

  • BOA Adegoke
  • MO Gbeminiyi


This study was designed to compare the effects of shortwave diathermy (SWD) and ice on pain, range of motion and function in osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. Subjects were fourteen patients (4 males and 10 females) aged 40-70years diagnosed as having OA of the knee.
Subjects were assigned into either the SWD or ice treatment groups, as they became available. All subjects received routine adjunct therapeutic exercises, were excluded from analgesic drugs and were treated thrice weekly during the four-week duration of the study.
Subjects were assessed at the beginning and end of the study for pain, range of motion (ROM) and function using visual analog scale, universal goniometer and functional index questionnaire respectively. Data were subjected to descriptive statistics of means and standard deviation and inferential statistics of independent and paired t-tests. Results showed
that while the subjects in the SWD group had significantly greater ROM and function than the ice group at the beginning of the study, both groups were not statistically significantly different on all dependent variables at the end of the study. Paired t-test also indicated that the ice group improved significantly on all three dependent variables while the SWD group improved significantly in pain and ROM only. The improvements in pain, ROM and function effected by SWD and ice were however not significantly different. It was concluded that SWD and ice are equally effective on OA of the knee and that ice can be substituted for SWD in the treatment of OA of the knee.

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eISSN: 1119-5096
print ISSN: 1119-5096