Pain and mobility improvement and MDA plasma levels in degenerative osteoarthritis, low back pain, and rheumatoid arthritis after infrared A-irradiation
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Infrared (IR)-A irradiation can be useful in back and musculoskeletal pain therapy. In this study joint and vertebral column pain and mobility were measured during two weeks of IR-A irradiation treatment of patients suffering from degenerative osteoarthritis of hip and knee, low back pain, or rheumatoid arthritis. Additionally, before and after IR-A treatment MDA serum levels were measured to check if MDA variations accompany changes in pain intensity and mobility. Two-hundred and seven patients were divided into verum groups getting IR-irradiation, placebo groups getting visible, but not IR irradiation, and groups getting no irradiation. In osteoarthritis significant pain reduction according to Visual Analogue Scale and mobility improvements occurred in the verum group. Even though beneficial mean value changes occurred in the placebo group, the improvements in the placebo and No Irradiation groups were without statistical significance. In low back pain, pain and mobility improvements (by 35-40%) in the verum group were found, too. A delayed (2nd week) mobility improvement in rheumatoid arthritis was seen. However, pain relief was seen immediately. In patients suffering from low back pain or rheumatoid arthritis, the pain and mobility improvements were accompanied by significant changes of MDA serum levels. However, MDA appears not a sensitive biofactor for changes of the pain intensity in degenerative osteoarthritis. Nevertheless, unaffected or lowered MDA levels during intensive IR-A therapy argue against previous reports on free radical formation upon infrared. In conclusion, rapid beneficial effects of IR-A towards musculoskeletal pain and joint mobility loss were demonstrated.
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