Magnetic Resonance Therapy in the treatment of osteoarthritis: A scoping review

Jonas Kirkegaard Schmidt, Jeanne Elisabeth Debess, Louise Møller

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objectives: To primarily assess the existing literature about Magnetic Resonance Therapy (MRT) or Molecular Biophysical Stimulation Therapy (MBST) in the treatment of patients with osteoarthritis (OA). The scoping review question was: What has been reported about MRT or MBST concerning treatment of patients with OA? Key findings: The applied treatment program consisted of one hour daily treatment for patients in all the included studies. In terms of duration of treatment, four studies suggested treatment for nine consecutive days, two for five days and one study reported treatment on weekdays for two weeks. Six of the studies investigated the effect of MRT on the knee and one study for finger, ankle, and hip, respectively. Consensus across studies was that MRT had a positive, almost always significant, effect. Six out of the seven studies had subjective outcome measurements such as pain, quality of life and joint function, which were measured through self-reported questionnaires. One study combined ultrasonography with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to evaluate structural joint changes. This evaluation was performed by a radiologist. One study used objective measurement of cartilage thickness through a minimal distance algorithm. All tests used MBST-systems. Conclusion: This scoping review showed that there seems to be a beneficial effect of MRT in the treatment of patients with OA in relation to improvement in pain, joint function, and quality of life. However, more robust research and further evaluation of MRT are needed. Implications for practice: Treating patients diagnosed with OA with MRT for one hour for five to ten days seemed to improve pain, joint function, quality of life as well as regeneration of cartilage. However, limitations of the included studies in this scoping review, such as a general lack of control groups, low sample sizes, lack of control for confounding factors such as medication, calls for more robust research with stronger study designs.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)968-975
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


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