Physiotherapy - Research Publications

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    Telephone Coaching to Enhance a Home-Based Physical Activity Program for Knee Osteoarthritis: A Randomized Clinical Trial
    Bennell, KL ; Campbell, PK ; Egerton, T ; Metcalf, B ; Kasza, J ; Forbes, A ; Bills, C ; Gale, J ; Harris, A ; Kolt, GS ; Bunker, SJ ; Hunter, DJ ; Brand, CA ; Hinman, RS (WILEY, 2017-01-01)
    OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether simultaneous telephone coaching improves the clinical effectiveness of a physiotherapist-prescribed home-based physical activity program for knee osteoarthritis (OA). METHODS: A total of 168 inactive adults ages ≥50 years with knee pain on a numeric rating scale ≥4 (NRS; range 0-10) and knee OA were recruited from the community and randomly assigned to a physiotherapy (PT) and coaching group (n = 84) or PT-only (n = 84) group. All participants received five 30-minute consultations with a physiotherapist over 6 months for education, home exercise, and physical activity advice. PT+coaching participants also received 6-12 telephone coaching sessions by clinicians trained in behavioral-change support for exercise and physical activity. Primary outcomes were pain (NRS) and physical function (Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index [WOMAC; score range 0-68]) at 6 months. Secondary outcomes were these same measures at 12 and 18 months, as well as physical activity, exercise adherence, other pain and function measures, and quality of life. Analyses were intent-to-treat with multiple imputation for missing data. RESULTS: A total of 142 (85%), 136 (81%), and 128 (76%) participants completed 6-, 12-, and 18-month measurements, respectively. The change in NRS pain (mean difference 0.4 unit [95% confidence interval (95% CI) -0.4, 1.3]) and in WOMAC function (1.8 [95% CI -1.9, 5.5]) did not differ between groups at 6 months, with both groups showing clinically relevant improvements. Some secondary outcomes related to physical activity and exercise behavior favored PT+coaching at 6 months but generally not at 12 or 18 months. There were no between-group differences in most other outcomes. CONCLUSION: The addition of simultaneous telephone coaching did not augment the pain and function benefits of a physiotherapist-prescribed home-based physical activity program.
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    Comparison of neuromuscular and quadriceps strengthening exercise in the treatment of varus malaligned knees with medial knee osteoarthritis: a randomised controlled trial protocol
    Bennell, KL ; Egerton, T ; Wrigley, TV ; Hodges, PW ; Hunt, M ; Roos, EM ; Kyriakides, M ; Metcalf, B ; Forbes, A ; Ageberg, E ; Hinman, RS (BMC, 2011-12-05)
    BACKGROUND: Osteoarthritis of the knee involving predominantly the medial tibiofemoral compartment is common in older people, giving rise to pain and loss of function. Many people experience progressive worsening of the disease over time, particularly those with varus malalignment and increased medial knee joint load. Therefore, interventions that can reduce excessive medial knee loading may be beneficial in reducing the risk of structural progression. Traditional quadriceps strengthening can improve pain and function in people with knee osteoarthritis but does not appear to reduce medial knee load. A neuromuscular exercise program, emphasising optimal alignment of the trunk and lower limb joints relative to one another, as well as quality of movement performance, while dynamically and functionally strengthening the lower limb muscles, may be able to reduce medial knee load. Such a program may also be superior to traditional quadriceps strengthening with respect to improved pain and physical function because of the functional and dynamic nature. This randomised controlled trial will investigate the effect of a neuromuscular exercise program on medial knee joint loading, pain and function in individuals with medial knee joint osteoarthritis. We hypothesise that the neuromuscular program will reduce medial knee load as well as pain and functional limitations to a greater extent than a traditional quadriceps strengthening program. METHODS/DESIGN: 100 people with medial knee pain, radiographic medial compartment osteoarthritis and varus malalignment will be recruited and randomly allocated to one of two 12-week exercise programs: quadriceps strengthening or neuromuscular exercise. Each program will involve 14 supervised exercise sessions with a physiotherapist plus four unsupervised sessions per week at home. The primary outcomes are medial knee load during walking (the peak external knee adduction moment from 3D gait analysis), pain, and self-reported physical function measured at baseline and immediately following the program. Secondary outcomes include the external knee adduction moment angular impulse, electromyographic muscle activation patterns, knee and hip muscle strength, balance, functional ability, and quality-of-life. DISCUSSION: The findings will help determine whether neuromuscular exercise is superior to traditional quadriceps strengthening regarding effects on knee load, pain and physical function in people with medial knee osteoarthritis and varus malalignment. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry reference: ACTRN12610000660088.
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    Comparison of weight bearing functional exercise and non-weight bearing quadriceps strengthening exercise on pain and function for people with knee osteoarthritis and obesity: protocol for the TARGET randomised controlled trial
    Bennell, KL ; Nelligan, RK ; Kimp, AJ ; Wrigley, TV ; Metcalf, B ; Kasza, J ; Hodges, PW ; Hinman, RS (BMC, 2019-06-18)
    BACKGROUND: Clinical guidelines recommend exercise as a core treatment for individuals with knee osteoarthritis (OA). However, the best type of exercise for clinical benefits is not clear, particularly in different OA subgroups. Obesity is a common co-morbidity in people with knee OA. There is some evidence suggesting that non-weight bearing exercise may be more effective than weight bearing exercise in patients with medial knee OA and obesity. METHODS: To compare the efficacy of two different exercise programs (weight bearing functional exercise and non-weight bearing quadriceps strengthening) on pain and physical function for people ≥50 years with painful medial knee OA and obesity (body mass index ≥30 kg/m2) 128 people in Melbourne, Australia will be recruited for a two group parallel-design, assessor- and participant-blinded randomised controlled trial. Participants will be randomly allocated to undertake a program of either weight bearing functional exercise or non-weight bearing quadriceps strengthening exercise. Both groups will attend five individual sessions with a physiotherapist who will teach, monitor and progress the exercise program. Participants will be asked to perform the exercises at home four times per week for 12 weeks. Outcomes will be measured at baseline and 12 weeks. Primary outcomes are self-reported knee pain and physical function. Secondary outcomes include other measures of knee pain, physical function, quality-of-life, participant-perceived global change, physical performance, and lower limb muscle strength. DISCUSSION: This study will compare the efficacy of two different 12-week physiotherapist-prescribed, home-based exercise programs for people with medial knee OA and obesity. Findings will provide valuable information to help inform exercise prescription in this common OA patient subgroup. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry reference: ACTRN12617001013358 , 14/7/2017.
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    Effect of knee unloading shoes on regional plantar forces in people with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis - an exploratory study
    van Tunen, JAC ; Paterson, KL ; Wrigley, T ; Metcalf, BR ; Thorlund, JB ; Hinman, RS (BMC, 2018-06-26)
    BACKGROUND: Knee 'unloading' footwear can reduce the external knee adduction moment in people with knee osteoarthritis, yet effects of these shoes on regional plantar forces are unknown. We evaluated the effects of unloading shoes on in-shoe regional plantar forces, and whether measures of foot posture and/or mobility moderate these effects in people with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis. METHODS: In this exploratory study 21 participants underwent testing while wearing knee unloading shoes (ASICS GEL-Melbourne OA) and conventional shoes in random order. Peak total forces were compared across conditions for: lateral heel, medial heel, lateral forefoot, and medial forefoot. Arch index, centre of pressure position and medial-lateral heel peak force ratio were also evaluated. Foot posture, foot mobility magnitude and navicular drop were separately added to the mixed linear model to investigate if these modified the effect of footwear on outcomes. RESULTS: Unloading shoes significantly increased lateral heel and lateral forefoot force (12.9 and 20.2% respectively, all P < 0.001), with concurrent decreases in the medial heel (8.9%, P = 0.001) and medial forefoot (9.9%, P = 0.005). Unloading shoes significantly shifted the centre of pressure anteriorly (4.7%, P < 0.001) and laterally (5.6%, P = 0.034), but did not affect the arch index (8.7%, P = 0.093). Foot posture, foot mobility magnitude and navicular drop did not moderate the effect of footwear on outcomes. CONCLUSION: Compared to conventional shoes, unloading shoes caused a lateral shift in foot pressure and force patterns. Although these effects were not moderated by foot posture, FMM or navicular drop, variability in the individual increases in lateral heel force suggests participant characteristics other than foot posture may play a role. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ACTRN12613000851763. Registered 02 August 2013.
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    Footwear for self-managing knee osteoarthritis symptoms: protocol for the Footstep randomised controlled trial
    Paterson, KL ; Bennell, KL ; Wrigley, TV ; Metcalf, BR ; Campbell, PK ; Kazsa, J ; Hinman, RS (BMC, 2018-07-18)
    BACKGROUND: Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a leading cause of musculoskeletal pain and disability globally, and abnormal knee loading is central to disease pathogenesis. Clinical guidelines recommend clinicians provide advice regarding appropriate footwear for people with knee OA, yet there is little research comparing the effects of different footwear on knee OA symptoms. Research suggests that wearing flat flexible shoes is associated with lower knee joint loads compared to stable supportive shoe styles. This two-arm pragmatic, comparative effectiveness randomised controlled trial will compare the effects of daily use of flat flexible shoes and stable supportive shoes on knee OA clinical outcomes, over 6 months. METHODS: 164 people with symptomatic medial tibiofemoral OA of moderate to severe radiographic severity (Kellgren and Lawrence Grade 3 & 4) will be recruited from the community. Following baseline assessment, participants will be randomly allocated to receive either i) flat flexible shoes or; ii) stable supportive shoes. Participants will choose two different pairs of shoes from a selection that fulfil the criteria in their allocated shoe class. Limited disclosure will blind participants to group allocation. Participants will be instructed to wear their allocated shoes daily for 6 months (minimum of 6 h/day), after which participants will be reassessed. The primary outcomes are knee pain severity on walking (measured by numerical rating scale) and self-reported physical function (measured by the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index), assessed at baseline and 6 months. Secondary outcomes include additional measures of knee pain, function, sport and recreation participation and quality-of-life (measured using subscales of the Knee Osteoarthritis Outcome Score), as well as pain at other sites (measured by numerical rating scale), self-reported global ratings of change in pain and physical function (measured by 7-point rating scale), and physical activity levels (measured by Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly). DISCUSSION: This study will determine whether daily wear of flat flexible shoes improves clinical outcomes in the management of knee OA, compared to stable supportive shoes. Findings will assist clinicians in providing evidence-based advice regarding appropriate footwear for people with knee OA to self-manage symptoms. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry reference: ACTRN12617001098325 . Registered 28/07/2017.
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    Plug-in-Gait calculation of the knee adduction moment in people with knee osteoarthritis during shod walking: comparison of two different foot marker models
    Paterson, KL ; Hinman, RS ; Metcalf, BR ; Bennell, KL ; Wrigley, TV (BMC, 2017-02-04)
    BACKGROUND: Understanding how kinematic multi-segment foot modelling influences the utility of Plug-in-Gait calculations of the knee adduction moment (KAM) during shod walking is relevant to knee osteoarthritis (OA). Multi-segment foot markers placed on the skin through windows cut in to the shoe provide a more accurate representation of foot mechanics than the traditional marker set used by Plug-in-Gait, which uses fewer markers, placed on the shoe itself. We aimed to investigate whether Plug-in-Gait calculation of the KAM differed when using a kinematic multi-segment foot model compared to the traditional Plug-in-Gait marker set. METHODS: Twenty people with medial knee OA underwent gait analysis in two test conditions: i) Plug-in-Gait model with its two standard foot markers placed on the shoes and; ii) Plug-in-Gait with the heel marker virtualised from a modified-Oxford Foot Model where 8 ft markers were placed on the skin through windows cut in shoe uppers. Outcomes were the peak KAM, KAM impulse and other knee kinetic and kinematic variables. RESULTS: There were no differences (P > 0.05) in any gait variables between conditions. Excellent agreement was found for all outcome variables, with high correlations (r > 0.88-0.99, P < 0.001), narrow limits of agreement and no proportional bias (R2 = 0.03-0.14, P > 0.05). The mean difference and 95% confidence intervals for peak KAM were also within the minimal detectable change range demonstrating equivalence. CONCLUSIONS: Plug-in-Gait calculations of the KAM are not altered when using a kinematic multi-segment foot marker model with skin markers placed through windows cut in to the shoe, instead of the traditional marker set placed on top of shoes. Researchers may be confident that applying either foot model does not change the calculation of the KAM using Plug-in-Gait.
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    Is the relationship between increased knee muscle strength and improved physical function following exercise dependent on baseline physical function status?
    Hall, M ; Hinman, RS ; van der Esch, M ; van der Leeden, M ; Kasza, J ; Wrigley, TV ; Metcalf, BR ; Dobson, F ; Bennell, KL (BIOMED CENTRAL LTD, 2017-12-08)
    BACKGROUND: Clinical guidelines recommend knee muscle strengthening exercises to improve physical function. However, the amount of knee muscle strength increase needed for clinically relevant improvements in physical function is unclear. Understanding how much increase in knee muscle strength is associated with improved physical function could assist clinicians in providing appropriate strength gain targets for their patients in order to optimise outcomes from exercise. The aim of this study was to investigate whether an increase in knee muscle strength is associated with improved self-reported physical function following exercise; and whether the relationship differs according to physical function status at baseline. METHODS: Data from 100 participants with medial knee osteoarthritis enrolled in a 12-week randomised controlled trial comparing neuromuscular exercise to quadriceps strengthening exercise were pooled. Participants were categorised as having mild, moderate or severe physical dysfunction at baseline using the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC). Associations between 12-week changes in physical function (dependent variable) and peak isometric knee extensor and flexor strength (independent variables) were evaluated with and without accounting for baseline physical function status and covariates using linear regression models. RESULTS: In covariate-adjusted models without accounting for baseline physical function, every 1-unit (Nm/kg) increase in knee extensor strength was associated with physical function improvement of 17 WOMAC units (95% confidence interval (CI) -29 to -5). When accounting for baseline severity of physical function, every 1-unit increase in knee extensor strength was associated with physical function improvement of 24 WOMAC units (95% CI -42 to -7) in participants with severe physical dysfunction. There were no associations between change in strength and change in physical function in participants with mild or moderate physical dysfunction at baseline. The association between change in knee flexor strength and change in physical function was not significant, irrespective of baseline function status. CONCLUSIONS: In patients with severe physical dysfunction, an increase in knee extensor strength and improved physical function were associated. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ANZCTR 12610000660088 . Registered 12 August 2010.
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    Neuromuscular Versus Quadriceps Strengthening Exercise in Patients With Medial Knee Osteoarthritis and Varus Malalignment
    Bennell, KL ; Kyriakides, M ; Metcalf, B ; Egerton, T ; Wrigley, TV ; Hodges, PW ; Hunt, MA ; Roos, EM ; Forbes, A ; Ageberg, E ; Hinman, RS (WILEY, 2014-04-01)
    OBJECTIVE: To compare the effects of neuromuscular exercise (NEXA) and quadriceps strengthening (QS) on the knee adduction moment (an indicator of mediolateral distribution of knee load), pain, and physical function in patients with medial knee joint osteoarthritis (OA) and varus malalignment. METHODS: One hundred patients with medial knee pain, mostly moderate-to-severe radiographic medial knee OA, and varus malalignment were randomly allocated to one of two 12-week exercise programs. Each program involved 14 individually supervised exercise sessions with a physiotherapist plus a home exercise component. Primary outcomes were peak external knee adduction moment (3-dimensional gait analysis), pain (visual analog scale), and self-reported physical function (Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index). RESULTS: Eighty-two patients (38 [76%] of 50 in the NEXA group and 44 [88%] of 50 in the QS group) completed the trial. There was no significant between-group difference in the change in the peak knee adduction moment (mean difference 0.13 Nm/[body weight × height]% [95% confidence interval (95% CI) -0.08, 0.33]), pain (mean difference 2.4 mm [95% CI -6.0, 10.8]), or physical function (mean difference -0.8 units [95% CI -4.0, 2.4]). Neither group showed a change in knee moments following exercise, whereas both groups showed similar significant reductions in pain and improvement in physical function. CONCLUSION: Although comparable improvements in clinical outcomes were observed with both neuromuscular and quadriceps strengthening exercise in patients with moderate varus malalignment and mostly moderate-to-severe medial knee OA, these forms of exercise did not affect the knee adduction moment, a key predictor of structural disease progression.
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    A longitudinal study of impact and early stance loads during gait following arthroscopic partial meniscectomy
    Hall, M ; Wrigley, TV ; Metcalf, BR ; Hinman, RS ; Dempsey, AR ; Mills, PM ; Cicuttini, FM ; Lloyd, DG ; Bennell, KL (ELSEVIER SCI LTD, 2014-09-22)
    People following arthroscopic partial medial meniscectomy (APM) are at increased risk of developing knee osteoarthritis. High impact loading and peak loading early in the stance phase of gait may play a role in the pathogenesis of knee osteoarthritis. This was a secondary analysis of longitudinal data to investigate loading-related indices at baseline in an APM group (3 months post-surgery) and a healthy control group, and again 2 years later (follow-up). At baseline, 82 participants with medial APM and 38 healthy controls were assessed, with 66 and 23 re-assessed at follow-up, respectively. Outcome measures included: (i) heel strike transient (HST) presence and magnitude, (ii) maximum loading rate, (iii) peak vertical force (Fz) during early stance. At baseline, maximum loading rate was lower in the operated leg (APM) and non-operated leg (non-APM leg) compared to controls (p ≤ 0.03) and peak Fz was lower in the APM leg compared to non-APM leg (p ≤ 0.01). Over 2 years, peak Fz increased in the APM leg compared to the non-APM leg and controls (p ≤ 0.01). Following recent APM, people may adapt their gait to protect the operated knee from excessive loads, as evidenced by a lower maximum loading rate in the APM leg compared to controls, and a reduced peak Fz in the APM leg compared to the non-APM leg. No differences at follow-up may suggest an eventual return to more typical gait. However, the increase in peak Fz in the APM leg may be of concern for long-term joint health given the compromised function of the meniscus.
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    Unloading shoes for osteoarthritis of the knee: protocol for the SHARK randomised controlled trial
    Hinman, RS ; Wrigley, TV ; Metcalf, BR ; Hunter, DJ ; Campbell, P ; Paterson, K ; Staples, MP ; Bennell, KL (BIOMED CENTRAL LTD, 2014-02-21)
    BACKGROUND: Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a common and disabling condition. Abnormalities in knee loading play an important role in disease pathogenesis, yet there are few non-surgical treatments for knee OA capable of reducing knee load. This two-arm randomised controlled trial is investigating the efficacy of specially-designed unloading shoes for the treatment of symptoms in people with knee OA. METHODS/DESIGN: 164 people with symptomatic medial tibiofemoral joint OA will be recruited from the community and randomly allocated to receive either unloading shoes or control shoes. Unloading shoes have a specially-designed triple-density midsole where the medial side is softer than normal and the lateral side harder as well as a lateral wedge between the sole and sock-liner. Control shoes are standard athletic shoes and do not contain these features. Participants will be blinded to shoe allocation and will be instructed to wear the shoes as much as possible every day for 6 months, for a minimum of 4 hours per day. The primary outcomes are knee pain (numerical rating scale) and self-reported physical function (Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index) measured at baseline and 6 months. Secondary outcomes include additional measures of knee pain, knee stiffness, participant global ratings of change in symptoms, quality-of-life and physical activity. CONCLUSIONS: The findings from this study will help determine whether specially-designed unloading shoes are efficacious in the management of knee OA. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry reference: ACTRN12613000851763.