Objectives. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of fire-needle moxibustion as an intervention in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis (KOA).
Methods. An updated meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on fire-needle moxibustion in treating KOA was conducted by searching PubMed, Embase, the Cochrane Library, Web of Science, Wanfang database, and the Chinese Medical Database (CNKI) since their inception through March 2016. The meta-analysis was performed using RevMan 5.3.
Results. Thirteen RCTs were identified in the systematic study which consisted of 1179 participants. Fire-needle moxibustion treatment group had a statistical significance on recovery rate as well as recovery and marked-improvement rate compared with control group. Subgroup analysis indicated that there was significant difference between fire-needle moxibustion group and control group. However, GRADE analysis indicated that the quality of evidence for all outcomes was relatively low. Only two of 13 studies reported adverse reactions (difficulty in movement and intolerance of cold).
Conclusion. This meta-analysis suggests that fire-needle moxibustion is more effective than control group in symptom management of KOA. Further high quality trials should be conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of fire-needle moxibustion on KOA.
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