Effect of auriculotherapy on the plasma concentration of biomarkers in individuals with knee osteoarthritis

Knee osteoarthritis (KOA) is one of the most frequent non-communicable diseases with pain associated symptoms and affects the musculoskeletal system. Various forms of treatment can be indicated and non-pharmacological treatment is also an available option for the management of KOA individuals. For instance, auriculotherapy (AT) is one possible procedure associated with the Traditional Chinese Medicine for dealing with KOA. It is believed that the concentration of certain biomarkers could be altered in individuals with KOA after AT. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of AT on plasma concentration of biomarkers in KOA individuals. This intervention is a controlled trial. Twenty-one subjects were grouped in two groups and (i) submitted to AT with the stimulation of the Shen Men points, kidney and knee in the treatment group, or (ii) different points in the control group, once a week for five weeks. Blood was collected before the beginning of protocols and a week after the last session. Kolmogorov-Smirnov and Wilcoxon tests were performed and P value ≤0.05 was considered statistically significant. Hematological parameters did not show any significant variation between the control group and treated group. Concerning the biochemical parameters, a significant reduction of direct bilirubin (from 43.31±22.10 to 21.21±5.30μmol/L, p=0.003), aspartate aminotransferase (from 0.48±0.16 to 0.38±0.09μKat/L, p=0.010) and triglycerides (from 7.04±2.90 to 5.45±2.57mmol/L, p=0.008) in the treated group was obtained. In conclusion, the analysis of results suggests that AT might be a useful intervention for the management of KOA individuals.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29783048

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