Exercise can improve dynamic balance in knee OA patients
Dynamic balance describes the ability to maintain a stable base support while performing another movement. Studies revealed that patients with osteoarthritis (OA) lack this dynamic balance ability. Furthermore, a dynamic balance inability increases the risk of falling. Thus, although dynamic balance seems to play an important role in knee OA rehabilitation, it remains understudied, and studies investigating whether an exercise intervention alters dynamic balance in knee OA are lacking.
14 patients with knee OA completed this study. Dynamic balance, pain, and muscle strength were assessed before and after the 6-week exercise programme and home exercises. Dynamic balance was assessed by using the star excursion balance test (SEBT) anteriorly and laterally.
The exercise programme consisted of 10 exercises including: bilateral, split, and unilateral squats, step ups, side lowers, side lying hip abduction, clam, bridging, knee extension exercises, and cycling. The difficulty of some exercises increased by performing them firstly supported, then unsupported, against resistance, on a wobble board, and finally on a wobble board with resistance.
After the exercise programme, the affected side showed significant improvements
in dynamic balance in the anterior and medial direction. In addition, the pain was signficantly reduced after the 6-week exercise programme.
Thus, a 6-week exercise programme along with an education session, significantly improved dynamic balance in patients diagnosed with knee OA. Furthermore, this intervention might have the potential for decreasing the rate of falling by improving their dynamic balance, which should be further investigated in larger studies.
> From: Al-Khlaifat et al., Knee (2016) (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to Elsevier Ltd. Click here for the Pubmed summary.