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Osteoarthritis and Peat Mud Pack Therapy

Principal Investigator: Heather Zwickey, PhD

This pilot study uses a repeated measures design. Ten female patients from the Portland metro area with a previous diagnosis of OA of the knee will be recruited. Men were excluded from the study to reduce gender confounding. Due to the small sample size (n=10) and higher prevalence of the disease in females, the study was designed to create a more homogenous study population.  The RA disease process is beyond the scope of this pilot study and RA patients will be excluded from participating. Participants will be scheduled for PMPT sessions twice a week on non-consecutive days for 6 weeks. 

Each study visit will consist of participants having warmed peat mud packs applied to their knees for 20 minutes.   The primary outcome measures of the study will be levels of the inflammatory cytokines TNF-α, IL-6, and hsCRP. The secondary outcome measure is the Arthritis Symptom Index. These markers will be assessed at five time points: 1) during the screening visit, 2) before the first treatment visit, 3) after the first treatment visit, 4) after six treatment visits,  and 5) upon completion of the 12th study visit.