The effect of a manual therapy knee protocol on osteoarthritic knee pain: a randomised controlled trial.

Macquarie Injury Management Group, Department of Health and Chiropractic, Macquarie University, NSW 2109, Australia.
JCCA. Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association. Journal de l'Association chiropratique canadienne 01/2009; 52(4):229-42.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Knee osteoarthritis is a highly prevalent condition with a significant socioeconomic burden to society. It is known to effect sufferers through pain, loss of function and changes in health related quality of life. Management typically involves pharmacologic and/or exercise based therapy approaches to reduce pain. Previous studies have shown multimodal treatment approaches incorporating manual therapy to be efficacious. The aim of this study is to determine if a manual therapy technique knee protocol can alter the self reported pain experienced by a group of chronic knee osteoarthritis sufferers in a randomised controlled trial.
43 participants with a chronic, non-progressive history of osteoarthritic knee pain, aged between 47 and 70 years were randomly allocated following a screening procedure to an intervention group (n=26; 18 men and 8 women, mean age 56.5 years) or a control group (n=17; 11 men and 6 women, mean age 54.6 years). Participants were matched for present knee pain intensity measured on a visual analogue scale. The intervention consisted of the Macquarie Injury Management Group Knee Protocol whilst the control involved a non-forceful manual contact to the knee followed by interferential therapy set at zero. Participants received three treatments per week for two consecutive weeks with a follow up immediately after the final treatment. Post-treatment Participants completed 11 questions including present knee pain intensity and feedback regarding their response to treatment utilizing a visual analogue scale. Results were analysed using descriptive statistics.
Prior to the intervention, there was no significant differences in age or present knee pain intensity. Following treatment, the intervention group reported a significant decrease in the present pain severity (mean 1.9) when compared to the control group (mean 3.1). Response to treatment questions indicated that compared to the control group, the intervention group felt the intervention had helped them (intervention mean 7.0; control mean 3.4), felt it decreased their knee symptoms such as crepitus (intervention mean 6.0; control mean 3.4) and improved their knee mobility (intervention mean 6.4; control mean 3.4) and their ability to perform general activities (intervention mean 6.5; control mean 3.8). Importantly the MIMG Knee Protocol intervention group reported no adverse reactions during treatment.
A short-term manual therapy knee protocol significantly reduced pain suffered by participants with osteoarthritic knee pain and resulted in improvements in self-reported knee function immediately after the end of the 2 week treatment period.

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