Effectiveness of a home-based exercise therapy and walking program on osteoarthritis of the knee

Rheumatol Int. 2002 Jul;22(3):103-6. doi: 10.1007/s00296-002-0198-7. Epub 2002 May 7.


Osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee is a very common rheumatological disease, and there are various treatment modalities for it. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of home-based exercise and walking programs in the treatment of OA. A total of 90 patients with knee osteoarthritis were included. Their ages ranged between 48 and 71 years. The patients were separated into three groups. None of them had practiced a daily simple exercise program during the previous year. Group 1 ( n=30) was given a home-based exercise program. Group 2 ( n=30) had regular a walking program three times per week, starting with 10-min duration. Group 3 ( n=30) was accepted as the control group. Patients were assessed according to pain, functional capacity, and quality of life parameters. Pain was evaluated by the Western Ontario McMaster osteoarthritis index (WOMAC) of pain score and visual analogue scale (VAS). Functional capacity was measured by WOMAC physical function index. Quality of life was assessed by the Nottingham Health Profile questionnaire (NHP). All groups continued the program for 3 months. At the end of the therapy, the patients were called and 81 were accepted to come to the hospital. Although WOMAC pain and physical functional scores and VAS scores were statistically lower in both groups than in the control group ( P<0.001), the difference between groups 1 and 2 was not statistically significant ( P>0.05). But the result of the NHP showed a statistically significant improvement in the walking group when compared to the home-based exercise and control groups ( P<0.001). As a result, we conclude that a simple home-based exercise therapy and a regular walking program are effective in treating the symptoms of OA.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Female
  • Home Care Services*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / physiopathology
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / therapy*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Quality of Life
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Walking*