Thermophysiological responses to capacitive resistive monopolar radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee joint: a randomised controlled experimental study
This study investigated the effect of 448 kHz capacitive resistive monopolar radiofrequency (CRMRF) on the superficial and deep physiological responses of patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee(s). Forty-five patients diagnosed with OA in their knee(s) were enrolled into a three-group randomised controlled study, from the waiting list of a local hospital. They received localised treatment with either CRMRF, CRMRF placebo or a control (no treatment) to the knee for 15 minutes. Pre, post and 20-minute follow-up measurements of skin temperature (SKT) and skin blood flow (SBF) were obtained from the knee using the FlexComp Infiniti (SA7550) physiological measurement system. Pre and post treatment deep blood flow were recorded using Doppler ultrasound. Core temperature, blood pressure (BP) and pulse rate (PR) were concurrently monitored. Group data were compared using the ANOVA model. Statistical significance was set at p≤0.05, 0.8 power, and 95% CI. Significant increases and sustenance of SKT and SBF, and significant increases in volume and intensity of deep blood flow were demonstrated with CRMRF over the placebo and control interventions in all comparisons (p<0.001). No meaningful changes in blood flow velocity, core temperature, BP or PR were noted for any condition. The findings were markedly more pronounced than those previously reported in asymptomatic adults. However, the patients had received a higher average dose of CRMRF (mean (SD): 46.87 (4.08) W) compared to the asymptomatic sample (mean (SD): 42.37 (4.64) W), therefore further research is needed to better understand the differences in physiological responses between patients and asymptomatic people.