The Effects of Physical Exercise on Pain Management in Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis: A Systematic Review with Metanalysis

Rev Bras Ortop (Sao Paulo). 2020 Oct;55(5):509-517. doi: 10.1055/s-0039-1696681. Epub 2019 Sep 23.


Objective The present study verified, through a systematic review with meta-analysis, the effects of a rehabilitation, physical training program for the treatment of pain and muscle strength in knee osteoarthritis (OA). Methods We analyzed studies published between 2008 and 2018 referenced at the Medline (National Library of Medicine) database, selecting 7 randomized controlled clinical trials about exercise programs to improve pain and muscle strength in patients with knee OA with Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PeDro) score higher than 8. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) systematization was used to prepare this review, and a meta-analysis was carried out to obtain mathematical evidence the outcomes of physical exercise on pain. Results The studies included in the analysis contained a total of 934 participants aged 40 to 73 years-old, with 34.90% males. Most of the exercise sets offered in OA treatment had a significantly positive outcome result in both criteria, but mainly for pain relief (statistically significant difference, p < 0.003). Conclusion We infer that there was an improvement of pain in all articles that performed muscle strengthening, but there is still an obstacle to the protocols used.

Keywords: exercise and movement techniques; muscle strength; osteoarthritis of knee; pain.