Treatment of chronic pain with millimetre wave therapy (MWT) in patients with diffuse connective tissue diseases: a pilot case series study
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BACKGROUND: Pain relief is reported to be the most common clinical application of electromagnetic millimetre waves. AIM: To evaluate safety and pain relief effect of millimetre wave therapy (MWT) for treatment of chronic joint pain in a group of patients with diffuse connective tissue diseases. METHODS: Twelve patients with diffuse connective tissue diseases received MWT in addition to their analgesic medication with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. MWT procedure included the exposure of tender points around the painful joints to electromagnetic waves with frequency 54-78GHz and power density of 2.5mW/cm(2). The time of exposure was 35 +/-5 min and the total number of sessions ranged from 5 to 10 (median 6). Intensity of pain, medication requirement, joint stiffness and subjective assessment of therapy success were measured before, during and immediately after the treatment, and after a 6-months follow-up. RESULTS: No adverse effects of MWT were noted. Pain intensity and required medication decreased significantly after the treatment (p<0.05) and remained at the same level throughout the follow-up period. The joint stiffness decreased and the subjective assessment of the treatment success after 6 month did not change except in only one patient. CONCLUSION: MWT applied to tender points around the affected joints was safe under the conditions of our study and after an appropriate full-scale double-blind clinical study, may be recommended as an effective adjunct therapy for chronic pain treatment in patients with diffuse connective tissue diseases.
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