Myofascial therapy (MFT) has been shown to be an effective intervention for improving joint status and decreasing pain perception among individuals with hemophilic arthropathy. Recurrent hemarthrosis is a major complication in patients with hemophilia which can impact joint function and cause chronic pain.

Researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials designed to summarize the effects of MFT on hemarthrosis, joint status, and joint pain in individuals with hemophilia. Results of the study were published in the journal Heliyon.

The systematic search was performed in December 2021. Eligible studies needed to meet the following criteria: (1) conducted in human participants; (2) conducted in patients with hemophilic arthropathy in the elbows, knees, or ankles; (3) reported the effects of MFT on joints; and (4) followed a clinical trial design.

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Ultimately, a total of 4 clinical trials—all conducted in Spain—were included in the meta-analysis and pooled using STATA 13.

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The evaluated studies included 91 patients in the intervention group and 89 individuals in the control group. All participants had hemophilic arthropathy.

The majority of the patients had type A, noninhibitor, severe hemophilia. The mean patient age was 40.55±10.34 years; the mean age of the controls was 38.97±11.71 years. All of the patients received 3 myofascial release interventions in
3 physiotherapeutic sessions over a 3-week period, with each session lasting 45 to 60 minutes. All study participants were assessed for 1 to 5 months.

Results of the analysis showed that joint pain with and without load was decreased significantly after 3 weeks in the intervention group compared with the control group (standardized mean difference [SMD], –0.61; 95% CI, –1.02 to
–0.21 and SMD, 0.58; 95% CI, –0.88 to –0.28, respectively).

Further, joint status significantly improved 3 weeks later in patients receiving MFT vs controls (SMD, –0.49; 95% CI,
–0.79 to –0.19), with this improvement remaining until the end of the follow-up period (SMD, –0.54; 95% CI, –0.84 to

According to the authors, “In conclusion, in addition to pharmacological and prophylactic treatment, this meta-analysis showed that MFT can be an effective intervention [for] improving the joint status and decreasing pain perception in patients with hemophilic arthropathy. Consequently, it can play an important role in achieving higher functionality and quality of life in these patients.”

The study was performed according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) checklist and was registered in the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PRSPERO).


Haghpanah S, Razeghi M, Sayadi M, Ramzi M, Zarei T, Hosseini-Bensenjan M. Effectiveness of myofascial therapy on hemophilic arthropathy: a systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials. Heliyon. 2022;8(12):e12552. doi:10.1016/j.heliyon.2022.e12552