Effect of Physical Therapy and Electrostimulation, Applying them Together and Separately, on Hand Function in Women with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Knar Mirzoyan, Inesa Rimdeikienė

Abstract


Research background. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an insidious disease that manifests in different age and gender. This disease affects not only the joints, but also other structures of the body. The symptoms are pain, decreased range of motion, muscle strength and others. Physical therapy and muscle electro stimulation procedures in the rheumatoid arthritis treatment are a very important part of the non-pharmacological treatment. Regular exercise helps a person to maintain and improve their functional ability, quality of life. The aim of the research was to establish the effect of physical therapy and electrostimulation, applying them together and separately, on hand function in women with rheumatoid arthritis.

Methods. The study involved 15 women with rheumatoid arthritis, disease duration was until ten years. Participants randomly were divided in two groups – the frst group (n = 7) and the second group (n = 8). The frst group patients received physical therapy and muscle electro stimulation separately, and the second group – physical therapy with muscle electro stimulation at the same time. We assessed pain intensity, flexion of both wrists and extension range of motion, hand grip
strength and hand function status. Results. Evaluated indicators in both groups signifcantly improved. Comparing two groups with each other, statistically signifcant difference was found in
left wrist bending range of motion assessment. Conclusion. Physiotherapy and electrostimulation, applying them together and separately, are equally effective improving hand function in women with rheumatoid arthritis.

Keywords: Rheumatoid arthritis, range of motion, muscle strength, hand functional status, physical therapy.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.33607/rmske.v2i15.705