The effectiveness of whirlpool for patients with neuropathic pain due to knee osteoarthritis


  • Aslıhan Uzunkulaoğlu Ufuk University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Ankara
  • Duygu Kerim Ufuk University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Ankara
  • Saime Ay Ufuk University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Ankara
  • Sibel Kibar Fizyocare Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Center, Ankara


Neuropathic pain, Osteoarthritis, Sleep, Quality of life, Whirlpool


Aim: Both neuropathic and nociceptive mechanisms may contribute to the OA pain experience. The aim of this study is to determine the efficacy of warm whirlpool on pain, disability, quality of life (QoL) and sleep for patients with neuropathic pain. 

Methods: This is a randomized, placebo controlled prospective study. Sixty patients with neuropathic pain due to knee OA were included and randomized into two groups. Group 1 (n=30) were treated with warm whirlpool and Group 2 (n=30) were treated with placebo for 20 minutes during 15 sessions. Patients were evaluated according to pain, knee range of motions (ROM), quality of life (QoL) and sleep quality. The primer outcome measure was pain severity and was assessed using a visual analogue scale (VAS) and the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC). WOMAC disability and functional scores for functional ability, Short Form-36 Health Survey (SF-36) for QoL, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) for sleep, DN4 for neuropathic pain were used for assessments. Patients were evaluated at baseline and the end of the 15 day intervention. 

Results: At the end of the therapy, there were statistically significant improvements in SF-36, PSQI, DN4 and knee ROM (active and passive) scores (p<0.05) for both groups. Also there were a statistically significant improvement for SF-36 scores except for general health score, PSQI and DN4 scores between groups (p<0.05);but this improvement was not statistically significant for VAS, WOMAC, SF-36 general health score and knee ROM between groups (p>0.05). 

Conclusion: Whirlpool provided significant improvements in QoL, sleep, neuropathic pain and disability for patients with neuropathic pain due to knee OA.


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Uzunkulaoğlu A, Kerim D, Ay S, Kibar S. The effectiveness of whirlpool for patients with neuropathic pain due to knee osteoarthritis. J Surg Med [Internet]. 2018 May 1 [cited 2022 Dec. 7];2(2):78-83. Available from: