Effects of strength training on the incidence and progression of knee osteoarthritis

lan E. Mikesky, Steven A. Mazzuca, Kenneth D. Brandt, Susan M. Perkins, Teresa Damush, Kathleen A. Lane

Quadriceps weakness is a risk factor for incident knee osteoarthritis (OA). We describe a randomized controlled trial of effects of lower-extremity strength training on incidence and progression of knee OA.  221 older adults (mean age 69 years) were randomized to strength training (ST) or range-of-motion (ROM) exercises.  Subjects in both groups lost lower-extremity strength over 30 months; however, the rate of loss was slower with ST than with ROM. Compared with ROM, ST decreased the mean rate of joint space narrowing (JSN) in osteoarthritic knees by 26%. However, the difference between ST and ROM groups with respect to frequency of knee OA progression in JSN consensus ratings was marginally significant. The authors conclude that the ST group retained more strength and exhibited less frequent progressive JSN over 30 months than the ROM group. The increase in incident JSN >0.50 mm in ST is unexplained and requires confirmation.

Arthritis Care & Research, Volume 55, Issue 5, Pages 690 – 699

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