Development and evaluation of acu-magnetic therapeutic knee brace for symptomatic knee osteoarthritis relief in the elderly

Zidan Gong, Rong Liu (Corresponding Author), Winnie Yu, Thomas Kwok Shing Wong, Yuanqi Guo

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

Degenerative knee osteoarthritis (KOA) is the most common form of arthritis with a high prevalence in general population, especially among the elderly. This study aims to design and develop a new acu-magnetic therapeutic knee brace (KB) applying acupuncture point stimulation by magnetic approach to relieve symptomatic KOA, and to evaluate its effectiveness on knee function via a randomized controlled trial (RCT). The embedded magnetic padding in the KB were positioned at the six determined acupuncture points along the four main meridians of the lower limb. A total of 52 subjects with KOA aged 60–80years old participated in RCT study. They were randomly allocated to an experimental KB group (18 subjects), a sham KB group (17 subjects) and a control group (17 subjects). The results indicated that the intervention of the experimental acu-magnetic KB significantly relieved the subjects’ knee stiffness and pain feeling, and improved the physical function, balance ability and knee range of motion after a six-week continuous treatment. No significant changes on the tested parameters were found in the control group, but it is worth noting that the sham group also presented positive results in the first two weeks of wear trial. In general, the designed KB could be used as one of optional nonpharmacological approaches to relieve KOA in the elderly users in daily care. The built-in magnetic padding of KB would not only exert stimulation at acupoints but also could potentially activate their surrounding nerve endings to improve knee joint function. In addition, the designed acu-magnetic KB also demonstrated superior characteristics in magnetic flux permeability, tactile comfort, and washability in use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of the Textile Institute
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Knee brace
  • acu-magnetic therapy
  • functional textile
  • knee osteoarthritis
  • the elderly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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