This study is another in the long line of studies showing exercises for OA of the knee is by far the best type of therapy/treatment you can use. In this study they test Thera-Band® Resistance Bands against chair stands (going from sitting to standing with a straight back and not using your arms), 10 minute walk (self explanatory?) and get up ad go tests (don’t know why they use that as it is a test not an exercise program!)
Click on the link if you want to read the full story about this study into exercises for OA of the knee.
In case you don’t know Thera-Band® Resistance Bands are they are long strips of elastic that you can hook around your leg and they add resistance when you do the movement. They come in different strengths which are color coded so you can increase resistance as you improve. I love the way this article uses the term novel as I remember the physios in my clinic using these bands 10 years ago (at least) to give exercises for OA of the knee!
Was this a Fair Test of Exercises for OA of the Knee
It should be noted that this research was carried out by the company that makes Thera-Band® Resistance Bands and I believe this study is skewed.
1. They also used
“electrical modality treatments to their knees, as well as ice when needed.”
So in words they use a form of massage and a natural anti-inflammatory, as well as the exercises for OA of the knee.
2. They have not compared it to a proper exercise program.
♦ The Get Up and Go Test is exactly that- it is a test to see how mobile someone is, not a targeted exercise program.
♦ Also a 10 minute walk, although good for you is not targeted exercise for your knee.
♦ The chair stand is quite a difficult and advance exercise for someone with knee OA.
Is it necessary to use Thera-Band® Resistance Bands to do strengthening exercises for OA of the Knee?
Not really. They are quite a good, comfortable way to do strengthening exercises for OA of the knee but all you really need is an immovable object and to increase the amount you push against it. Our physios liked them because they could objectively measure how a person was improving by increasing the resistance.
What Does All This Prove?
In short that exercises for OA of the knee are an effective way to relieve pain and stiffness. It is interesting they have used ice and an electrical modality treatments as well as this is what I do in Joint Control. However I believe you should also use stretching exercises for OA of the knee to improve flexibility and then do resistance exercises. I also believe that strengthening exercises for OA of the knee should be done as isometric (without movement) and then isotonic (with movement) later on when the muscle is stronger and better able to support the joint.
Click on the link to find out more about the different types of exercises for OA of the knee (or any other joint for that matter!) and why they work.