MBST is extensively used in mainland Europe and is frequently prescribed by Orthopaedic surgeons and doctors in Germany and Spain. However, we have been a little behind the curve in the UK but NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) are due to review the treatment in 2025. Hence there is already a lot of research that has been carried out.
Back in 2000, Froboese used specialist MRI scanning technology to measure the thickness of cartilage before and after MBST, noting that the entire surface of the knee had grown following treatment. As Physios this is pretty exciting stuff, as for many years we believed that arthritis was only ever degenerative in nature and the story only ever went in one direction.
More recently the university of Vienna explored this a little further and looked at the genetic expression of the cells that make up cartilage. They found that MBST not only modulates the RNA but also stunts a number of the biological processes associated with inflammation. This, therefore, could explain why patients with arthritis benefit from the treatment and describe a reduction of stiffness in their joints after the 9 sessions.
It is important that we don’t just use laboratory based experiments to quantify the efficacy of medical interventions which is why some research carried out by Kullich in 2013 was so exciting. They surveyed 4500 patients and used qualitative information to measure the success of MBST, finding significant improvements in patients’ pain both at rest and when loading.
At Six Physio we recognise the importance of NICE approval for medical interventions to find themselves in the healthcare setting. However, with such high quality research available, we want to be ahead of the curve and in a position where we’re able to offer the treatment to our patients should they wish to have it.