Quadriceps Exercise to Relieve Knee Osteoarthritis-Related Pain

HealthDay News — A quadriceps isometric contraction exercise method is effective for relieving pain in knee osteoarthritis (OA), according to a study published in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.1

Lanfeng Huang, from the Second Hospital of Jilin University in Changchun, China, and colleagues enrolled 250 patients with a confirmed diagnosis of knee OA and randomized them to an exercise treatment test group (128 patients) and a traditional treatment control group (122 patients). The test group used quadriceps isometric contraction exercise, while the control group used local physical therapy and oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

The researchers found that the test group had significant relief in pain 1 month after treatment in visual analogue scale scoring and in the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index questionnaire (P <.05); the control group had minimal relief. There was minimal joint function improvement in the test group at 1 month (P >.05), while significant improvement was noted in the control group (P <.05). In the test vs the control group, pain relief and knee joint function were more improved at 3 months after treatment (P <.05).

“Through our short-term observation, joint pain was effectively relieved and knee joint function was improved with systematic quadriceps isometric contraction exercise,” the authors write.

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  1. Huang L, Guo B, Xu F, Zhao J. Effects of quadriceps functional exercise with isometric contraction in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis. Int J Rheum Dis. 2017. doi: 10.1111/1756-185X.13082