Osteoarthritis: Strength Training of Knee Extension Muscles Improves Pain and Preserves or Improves Functional Status

Osteoarthritis, aka degenerative joint disease, is quite common in folks over 45 and eventually may require knee replacement surgery. Recovery from that surgery is slow and painful; best to avoid it if you can.

Having good strength in the muscle that extends the knee helps to preserve the knee joint. That muscle is the quadriceps.

Click below for the evidence:

“Although limited, the reviewed studies suggest that participation in a resistance training program can potentially counteract the functional limitations seen in knee osteoarthritis; positive associations were found between increased muscle strength and walking self-efficacy, reduced pain, improved function, and total WOMAC score. Notably, improvements were greater in maximal versus submaximal effort testing, possibly due to a ceiling effect.”

Source: Strength training for treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee: A systematic review – Lange – 2008 – Arthritis Care & Research – Wiley Online Library

To get started on strengthening the quadriceps muscle, consider the following four-minute video that is two minutes too long:
Note her mention of ankle weights.

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: If you’re overweight or obese, you lower limb joints will last longer if you lose the fat by following one of my books.

Comments are closed.