he Ottawa panel clinical practice guidelines for the management of knee osteoarthritis. Part two

The objective of this study was to identify effective strengthening exercise programs and provide rehabilitation teams and patients with updated, high-quality recommendations concerning traditional land-based exercises for knee osteoarthritis. A systematic search and adapted selection criteria included comparative controlled trials with strengthening exercise programs for patients with knee osteoarthritis. A panel of experts reached consensus on the recommendations using a Delphi survey. A hierarchical alphabetical grading system (A, B, C+, C, D, D+ or D-) was based on statistical significance ( p < 0.5) and clinical importance (⩾15% improvement).

The 26 high-quality studies identified demonstrated that various strengthening exercise programs with/without other types of therapeutic exercises are generally effective for improving knee osteoarthritis management within a six-month period. Strengthening exercise programs demonstrated a significant improvement for pain relief (four Grade A, ten Grade B, two Grade C+), physical function (four Grade A, eight Grade B) and quality of life (three Grade B). Strengthening in combination with other types of exercises (coordination, balance, functional) showed a significant improvement in pain relief (three Grade A, 11 Grade B, eight Grade C+), physical function (two Grade A, four Grade B, three Grade C+) and quality of life (one Grade A, one Grade C+).

There are a variety of choices for strengthening exercise programs with positive recommendations for healthcare professionals and knee osteoarthritis patients. There is a need to develop combined behavioral and muscle-strengthening strategies to improve long-term maintenance of regular strengthening exercise programs.