Arthritis Pain Treatment Therapy ( Joint Pain ) Study

New Research on HexTapes

arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, stiff joints, joint pain, bursitis, aches, stiffness, stiff joints">

Susan Pollock, Ph.D., RN, FAAN   Principal Investigator

Deborah Osbourn, BSN, RN, LMT, FNPC   Investigator

November 1998

arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, stiff joints, joint pain, bursitis, aches, stiffness, stiff joints"

Texas Tech and University of Texas, Graduate School for Nursing

arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, stiff joints, joint pain, bursitis, aches, stiffness, stiff joints"


A double-blind, placebo quasi-experimental design was used to study the effects of topically applied Goode Wraps HexTapes adhesive tapes on arthritis pain of 47 adult subjects. Self-administration of the Short Form McGill Pain Questionnaire was used to measure pain prior to treatment, two hours after treatment, and two days after initiation of treatment. Orem’s Theory of Self-Care was the theoretical basis for this study.

T-test analyses of data demonstrated a moderate decrease in pain after two hours for both the HexTapes and placebo groups and a significant decrease in pain in only the HexTape group after two days of treatment, supporting the hypothesis of a significant decrease in reported pain of subjects receiving treatment of topically applied Goode Wraps HexTapes as compared to subjects receiving placebo therapy.

Implications for nursing practice, education , and research were included. Informed integration of alternative therapies, as well as mainstream therapies, is appropriate within the holistic-focused care and educative role of the NP and in the self-care role of the client in management of chronic disorders. Inclusion of alternative therapies in nursing education at the undergraduate and graduate/NP levels is recommended. This is consistent with recommendations by the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties and the Office of Alternative Medicine at the NIH. Further arthritis research is recommended with different populations, other sites of application, and to determine HexTapes’s mechanism of action.

arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, stiff joints, joint pain, bursitis, aches, stiffness, stiff joints"__________________


Purpose of the Study

            The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of topically applied inorganic semiconductors on joint pain experienced by arthritic patients.


Background and Significance of the Study

            Dambro (1996) defines osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, as a chronic, progressive, degenerative joint disease. OA pathophysiology is progressive degeneration of articular cartilage, reactive overgrowth of bone with lipping and spur formation at the margins, and changes in synovial membrane.

            Genetically governed susceptibility to joint breakdown; inflammatory response within caused by release of prostaglandins and inflammatory lysozymes; stretched nerve endings in the periosteum; muscle spasm and joint instability leading to stretching of the joint capsule; or microfractures in the subchondral bone or medullary hypertension caused by distortion of blood flow are considered possible causes of the painful symptoms of OA (Isselbacher et al., 1994; Rakel, 1995). Chronic pain of osteoarthritis is costly in dollars, personal suffering, decreased productivity, and quality of life (AF, 1996).

            Management of OA focuses on symptom abatement, which often includes treatment and regulation by healthcare professionals. Symptom management is often unsatisfactory for arthritis patients due to the subjectivity of the pain experience (Debock, Marwijk, Kaptein, & Mulder, 1994).  Currently accepted interventions include prescribed and over-the-counter medications, surgery, warm and cold applications, joint protection, exercise, and rest (Isselbacher et al., 1993).   

            Dissatisfaction with these interventions has led many arthritis patients to seek other therapies that have not been proven effective in repeated scientific studies. Eisenberg et al. (1993) reported that one in three respondents used alternative therapies to treat problems such as arthritis pain, making more visits to alternative practitioners than to U.S. primary care physicians.

            The Arthritis Foundation divides alternative treatments, into three categories entitled harmless, harmful, and unknown safeness. Alternative treatments that are considered harmless are copper bracelets, mineral springs, vibrators, and vinegar and honey. Remedies reported to be harmful are Dimethyl Sulfoxide (DMSO), large doses of vitamins, snake venom, and drugs with hidden ingredients such as steroids.  


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