The Effects of Action Potential Stimulation on Pain, Swelling and Function of Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis


Razieh Sepehri 1 , Mohammad Akbari 1 , *

1 Department of Physical Therapy, School of Rehabilitation, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

How to Cite: Sepehri R, Akbari M. The Effects of Action Potential Stimulation on Pain, Swelling and Function of Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis, Zahedan J Res Med Sci. 2012 ; 14(6):e93399.


Zahedan Journal of Research in Medical Sciences: 14 (6); e93399
Published Online: October 07, 2011
Article Type: Research Article
Received: March 07, 2011
Accepted: June 01, 2011


Background: Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most prevalent joint diseases. Electrical muscle stimulation is effective to improve its symptoms. Today, action potential stimulation (APS) with various currents and periods is used to treat OA. This study aims at analyzing the effect of action potential stimulation in improving knee OA symptoms.
Materials and Methods: In this clinical trial, patients with mild to moderate knee OA divided randomly in two groups each had 15 people. Along with the conventional exercises of physiotherapy, one group received 16 minutes action potential stimulation with the lowest intensity (sensible) but the other group besides receiving the conventional exercises of physiotherapy was connected into a plugged off machine for 16 minutes. Certain variables were measured and recorded four times.
Results: Comparing the variables before and after intervention did not show any meaningful difference between the two groups. But within group, pain with p=0.0001 showed a meaningful decrease. Decreasing of swelling (inflammation) in group 1 and 2 was meaningful with p<0.001 and p<0.001, respectively. For group 1, knee flexion range was improved meaningfully between first and fourth times as p<0.031, but it was not meaningful for group 2. Duration of 50 meters walking and step up and down from three steps significantly decreased in both groups.
Conclusion: Although there was no significant difference in variables between two groups, but within both groups’ pain and swelling decreased and functional ability increased, thus, it can be concluded that type of APS does not play a key role in treating knee OA.


 The full text of this article is available on the PDF file.


  • 1.

    The References of this article are available on the PDF file.

  • © 2012, Zahedan Journal of Research in Medical Sciences. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License ( which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.