In a systemic review, a weak-level evidence for the association between paraffin therapy and pain relief, increased range of motion of the hand joints, and improved hand function in patients with HOA was reported.
In the present study, we aimed to investigate the effects of a home-based exercise program in combination with paraffin therapy on pain, functional status, grip strength, and quality of life and to compare the outcomes of these two treatment modalities.
The first group (group 1) (n=31) received paraffin therapy + home-based exercise program and the second group (group 2) (n=30) received home-based exercise program alone (Figure 1).
Group 1 patients underwent paraffin therapy over two weeks, five sessions a week, 10 sessions in total.
In this study, paraffin therapy in combination with home-based exercise program provided significant improvements in pain scores and functional activity, while significant improvements were observed in the HGS and functional scores in the patients who received exercise alone.
In a review on the efficacy of paraffin therapy in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), significant improvements were observed in the hand functions of patients with RA who were treated with paraffin therapy in combination with exercise.
In a study evaluating the efficacy of paraffin therapy in the management of HOA, significant improvements were observed in daily living activities, VAS scores at rest and AUSCAN Osteoarthritis Hand Index scores compared to the control group.
Increased prevalence rates of HOA in elderly and a higher incidence of concurrent chronic systemic diseases in this population take local treatments such as paraffin therapy to forefront, particularly when considering drawbacks of medical treatments.
On the other hand, this study was unable to be designed as a double-bind, controlled study, due to the impossibility of blinding the patients to paraffin therapy that they received.