This study recruited 132 subjects with bilateral knee osteoarthritis (Altman Grade II) to compare the effects of different stretching techniques on the outcomes of isokinetic muscle strengthening exercises. Patients were randomly divided into four groups (I-IV). The patients in Group I received isokinetic muscular strengthening exercises, Group II received bilateral knee static stretching and isokinetic exercises, Group III received proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching and isokinetic exercises, and Group IV acted as controls. Outcomes were measured by changes in Lequesne’s index, range of knee motion, visual analog pain scale, and peak muscle torques during knee flexion and extension. Patients in all the treated groups experienced significant reductions in knee pain and disability, and increased peak muscle torques after treatment and at follow-up. However, only patients in Groups II and III had significant improvements in range of motion and muscle strength gain during 60 degrees/second angular velocity peak torques. Group III demonstrated the greatest increase in muscle strength gain during 180 degrees/second angular velocity peak torques.
In conclusion, stretching therapy could increase the effectiveness of isokinetic exercise in terms of functional improvement in patients with knee osteoarthritis. PNF techniques were more effective than static stretching.
Weng MC, Lee CL, Chen CH, Hsu JJ, Lee WD, Huang MH, Chen TW. Effects of different stretching techniques on the outcomes of isokinetic exercise in patients with knee osteoarthritis. Kaohsiung J Med Sci. 2009 Jun;25(6):306-15