Background: The goal of this study was to determine if increasing strength in primary knee extensors and flexors would directly affect net knee joint moments during a common functional task in persons with knee osteoarthritis.
Methods: An exploratory single sample clinical trial with pre-post treatment measures was used to study volunteers with clinical diagnosis of mild knee osteoarthritis (OA) in one knee. Subjects participated in an individually supervised training program 3 times a week for eight weeks consisting of progressive resistive exercises for knee extensors and knee flexors. Pre and post training outcome assessments included: 1. Net internal knee joint moments, 2. Electromyography of primary knee extensors and flexors, and 3. Self-report measures of knee pain and function. The distribution of lower extremity joint moments as a percent of the total support moment was also investigated.
Findings: Pain, symptoms, activities of daily life, quality of life, stiffness, and function scores showed significant improvement following strength training. Knee internal valgus and hip internal rotation moments showed increasing but non-statistically significant changes post-training. There were no significant differences in muscle co-contraction activation of the Quadriceps and Hamstrings.
Interpretation: While exercise continues to be an important element of OA management, the results of this study suggest improvements in function, pain, and other symptoms, as a result of strength training may not be causally related to specific biomechanical changes in net joint moments.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.