Hydrotherapy Versus Conventional Land-Based Exercise for the Management of Patients With Osteoarthritis of the Knee: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

Silva LE, Valim V, Pessanha AP, Oliveira LM, Myamoto S, Jones A, Natour J

This study was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of hydrotherapy in subjects with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee compared with subjects with OA of the knee who performed land-based exercises. Sixty-four subjects with OA of the knee were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups that performed exercises for 18 weeks: a water-based exercise group and a land-based exercise group. The 2 groups were homogenous regarding all parameters at baseline. Reductions in pain and improvements in WOMAC and Lequesne index scores were similar between groups. Pain before and after the 50FWT decreased significantly over time in both groups. However, the water-based exercise group experienced a significantly greater decrease in pain than the land-based exercise group before and after the 50FWT at the week-18 follow-up. The authors conclude that both water-based and land-based exercises reduced knee pain and increased knee function in participants with OA of the knee. Hydrotherapy was superior to land-based exercise in relieving pain before and after walking during the last follow-up.

Physical Therapy, Nov 2007, online article ahead of press

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