Knee Pain Alleviated With Internet-Delivered Exercise, Pain-Coping Skills

HealthDay News — An internet-delivered physical therapist-prescribed home exercise and pain-coping skills training (PCST) intervention is beneficial for individuals with chronic knee pain, according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.1

Kim L. Bennell, PhD, from the University of Melbourne in Australia, and colleagues conducted a randomized trial to examine the effectiveness of internet-delivered physical therapist-prescribed home exercise and PCST in 148 individuals aged 50 years or older with chronic knee pain. Patients were randomized to receive the intervention, which included educational material, videoconferencing sessions with a physical therapist for home exercise, and PCST over 3 months, delivered via the internet, or control, which comprised internet-based educational material.

The researchers found that, compared with controls, the intervention group reported significantly more improvement in pain (mean difference, 1.6 units) and physical function (mean difference, 9.3 units) at 3 months; the improvements were sustained at 9 months (mean differences, 1.1 and 7.0 units, respectively). Significantly more improvement was seen in most secondary outcomes for intervention vs control participants. Significantly more intervention participants reported global improvements at both time points.

“For persons with chronic knee pain, internet-delivered, physical therapist-prescribed exercise and PCST provide clinically meaningful improvements in pain and function that are sustained for at least 6 months,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the patient engagement and sports industries.

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  1. Bennell KL, Nelligan R, Dobson F, et al. Effectiveness of an Internet-Delivered Exercise and Pain-Coping Skills Training Intervention for Persons With Chronic Knee Pain: A Randomized Trial. Ann Intern Med. 2017. doi: 10.7326/M16-1714 [Epub ahead of print]