Background Rheumatic diseases are a major social and economic problem, with increasing negative impact on public health. The prevalence of Knee Osteoarthritis (KO) among older people is increasing and it seems to be associated with proprioceptive deficits.
Objectives To investigate the effectiveness of the introduction of proprioceptive training in the current program guidelines-eight week duration (Arthritis Foundation, 2009), on range of motion, pain and stiffness of the knee, as well as in physical function and quality of life of clients with knee osteoarthritis.
Methods A quasi-experimental study of eight weeks was implemented, with two independent samples of subjects with knee osteoarthritis (class II-II Kellgren-Lawrence scale) aged 50 and older. It is a controlled non randomized study, with a convenience sample of 42 subjects. Subjects in the experimental group (n=21) underwent the current exercise program guidelines (Arthritis Foundation, 2009) with the additional proprioceptive training, whilst the control group (n=21) attended the current exercise program guidelines (Arthritis Foundation, 2009). Both programes were defined according to the guidleines proposed by the Arthritis Foundation (2009) for this condition. Assessment was carried out at baseline and at the end of eight weeks, on the following outcomes: range of motion of the knee (goniometer), pain, stiffness and function and quality of life [Knee and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS)].
Results The sample consisted of 42 caucasian subjects, mostly females (83.3%) with an average age of 72.1 years (SD=7.23). At the end of the progamme there was a statistically significant improvement of all outcomes in both groups. The introduction of proprioceptive training in the current program guidelines introduces a significantly higher evolution on the knee's rom (extension - p<0.05) on the sport/leisure function (p<0.0001) and on the quality of life of participants (p>0.050).
Conclusions The results obtained suggest that exercise training introduces a positive effect on the most relevant symptoms, function and quality of life of subjects with knee osteoarthritis. The introduciton of of proprioceptive trainning appears to additionally improve some of the most relevant outcomes for patients with KO, according to the Arthritis Foundation, 2009: knee extension range of motion, sports and leasure and quality of life. For this reason we suggest that its introduction in the exercise plan should be considered.
Foundation, A. (2009). Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program. Instructor's Manual. Atlanta: Arthritis Foundation.
Disclosure of Interest None declared