Exercise for Knee Pain

Functional Strength Training Improves Knee Stability Following Meniscectomy

·       In 2009 Ericsson et al studied the effects of functional exercises on performance and muscle strength after meniscectomy, they reported that 4 years after meniscectomy many people still had muscular and functional deficits.

·       They outlined a series of functional exercises that were completed 3 times per week, they emphasised neuromuscular control and functional strength

·       It has previously been reported that muscular co-activation minimises shear forces at the joint and therefore reduces pressure on the meniscus

·       Positive effects were reported after 4 months of functional exercise

·       Individually tailored exercises prescribed by a physiotherapist had beneficial effects on neuromuscular control and therefore functional knee stability

·       They hypothesised that “If functional strength and knee stability could be restored, the possibility for the patients to be physically active would increase and in addition, the risk of developing knee osteoarthritis may decrease.

Exercise and knee osteoarthritis: benefit or hazard?

·       A review article by Bosomworth in 2009 found "there is outstanding evidence for the benefit of exercise therapy in knee OA and some indication that it is underused as a treatment modality"

·       The research reviewed showed that those with knee OA who exercise to a moderate level can expect a reduction in knee pain and disability

·       Research has also found that those who exercise regularly do not increase their risk of knee OA especially in the absence of trauma

·       One of the studies reviewed found that land based exercises can have a similar effect to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

·       There was found to be an increased risk of OA in those who were involved in competitive sports or who had obesity, trauma, occupational stress and alignment problems of the lower limbs

·       Sedentary people received benefit from exercise when it was completed in a progressive and structured way

Overall, exercise can lower the incidence of disability, pain and improve functional capacity in those with signs of knee OA.

References

Ericsson YB, Dahlberg LE, Roos EM. Effects of functional exercise training on performance and muscle strength after meniscectomy: a randomized trial. Scand J Med Sci Sports 2009; 19: 156 – 165 

Bosomworth NJ. Exercise and knee osteoarthritis: benefit or hazard? Can Fam Physician 2009; 55: 871 - 878