Radial nerve mobilization decreases pain sensitivity and improves motor performance in patients with thumb carpometacarpal osteoarthritis: A randomized controlled trial

Jorge H. Villafañe, Guillermo B. Silva, Mark D. Bishop, Josue Fernandez-Carnero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To examine the effects of radial nerve mobilization on pain sensitivity and motor performance in subjects with secondary thumb carpometacarpal osteoarthritis. Design: Randomized controlled trial. Treatment and placebo were given for 4 weeks. Measurements were taken before intervention, after 1 month (first follow-up), and after 2 months (second follow-up). Setting: Patients from the Department of Physical Therapy, Azienda Sanitaria Locale 3, Collegno (Italy). Participants: Participants (N=60; age range, 70-90y) with right-dominant hand secondary thumb carpometacarpal osteoarthritis without other motor-related pathology. All patients completed the study. No patients were withdrawn from the study. Interventions: Sliding mobilization of the proximal-distal radial nerve or intermittent ultrasound therapy, used as placebo. Main Outcome Measures: We hypothesized that radial nerve mobilization induces hypoalgesia and increases strength in secondary thumb carpometacarpal osteoarthritis. We measured pressure pain threshold (PPT) at the trapeziometacarpal joint, the tubercle of the scaphoid bone, and the unciform apophysis of the hamate bone by algometry. Tip pinch strength and tripod pinch strength were measured by a mechanical pinch gauge. Results: Treatment increased PPT by 3.33±.24kg/cm2 (P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)396-403
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Volume93
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012

Keywords

  • Hand strength
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Radial nerve
  • Rehabilitation
  • Thumb

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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