Manual physical therapy and perturbation exercises in knee osteoarthritis.
OBJECTIVES: Knee osteoarthritis (OA) causes disability among the elderly and is often associated with impaired balance and proprioception. Perturbation exercises may help improve these impairments. Although manual physical therapy is generally a well-tolerated treatment for knee OA, perturbation exercises have not been evaluated when used with a manual physical therapy approach. The purpose of this study was to observe tolerance to perturbation exercises and the effect of a manual physical therapy approach with perturbation exercises on patients with knee OA. METHODS: This was a prospective observational cohort study of 15 patients with knee OA. The Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index (WOMAC), global rating of change (GROC), and 72-hour post-treatment tolerance were primary outcome measures. Patients received perturbation balance exercises along with a manual physical therapy approach, twice weekly for 4 weeks. Follow-up evaluation was done at 1, 3, and 6 months after beginning the program. RESULTS: Mean total WOMAC score significantly improved (P = 0.001) after the 4-week program (total WOMAC: initial, 105; 4 weeks, 56; 3 months, 54; 6 months, 57). Mean improvements were similar to previously published trials of manual physical therapy without perturbation exercises. The GROC score showed a minimal clinically important difference (MCID)≥+3 in 13 patients (87%) at 4 weeks, 12 patients (80%) at 3 months, and 9 patients (60%) at 6 months. No patients reported exacerbation of symptoms within 72 hours following each treatment session. DISCUSSION: A manual physical therapy approach that also included perturbation exercises was well tolerated and resulted in improved outcome scores in patients with knee OA.
Rhon, D; Deyle, G; Gill, N; Rendeiro, D
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)