Pain-relieving effect of 4.4 mhz of pulsed radiofrequency on acute knee arthritis in rats

Sun Wook Moon, Eui Ho Park, Jin Sung Park, Seung Won Lee, Hye Rim Suh, Sang Hyun Park, Seung Zhoo Yoon, Kun Woo Park, Hee Chul Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objective. Drug injections and surgery are popular treatments for knee joint osteoarthritis. However, these treatments are invasive, and new noninvasive treatments with similar or better efficacy are needed. Here, we evaluated the application of 4.4MHz of pulsed radiofrequency (PRF) as a new treatment. Methods. Acute arthritis was induced by injection of carrageenan into the intra-articular space of the knee in male rats. At 4.5 hours after arthritis induction, PRF with the treatment protocol of three seconds on and off was applied to the affected knee joint for 20 minutes. The changes in pain behavior were evaluated by comparing the peak weight load values of both hind paws at pretreatment and four, six, seven, eight, and 24 hours after treatment. And we also used Western blotting and immunohistochemistry to measure the inflammatory changes in the synovial membrane of the inflamed knee. Results. We found that the 20-minute application of PRF with the treatment protocol significantly recovered the weight load reduction at six-, seven-, and eight-hour time points after carrageenan injection. COX-2 and IL-1b levels were significantly reduced in the inflamed rats after PRF application at six and eight hours post-carrageenan injection. Immunohistochemistry showed that PRF significantly reduced inflammatory cell infiltration at six hours post-carrageenan injection. Conclusions. . Our results indicate that noninvasive PRF application inhibited pain-related behavior and decreased inflammatory cytokine expression in the inflamed knee joints of rats. Accordingly, PRF application can serve as a potential therapeutic treatment to relieve pain associated with peripheral joint/tissue damage or inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1572-1580
Number of pages9
JournalPain Medicine (United States)
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding sources: This research was supported by the Technology Innovation Program (or Industrial Strategic Technology Development Program; 10049743, Establishing a Medical Device Development Open Platform as a Hub for Accelerating Close Firm-Hospital Communication), which is funded by the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy, by the Korea University Grant (K1710631), and by the Chung Yang, Cha Young Sun, M.D., and Jang Hi Joo Memorial Fund (20140101).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.


  • 4.4 MHz Pulsed Radiofrequency
  • Acute Arthritis
  • Immune Cytokine
  • Noninvasive
  • Pain-Related Behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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