This study aimed to investigate the effects of a 6-wk proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation stretching on pain, proprioception, joint range of motion, and joint moments during stair ascending among older adults with knee osteoarthritis.
This study is a randomized, controlled, and assessor-blinded trial. Thirty-six older adults with knee osteoarthritis were randomly assigned to the proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation and the control groups. They received proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation stretching and health lecture series, respectively, for 6 wks. Final data analysis included 14 participants of the proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation group and 13 of the control group. Pain score, joint proprioception, range of motion, and joint moments during stair ascending were measured before and after the stretching. Two-way (group by time) analysis of variance with repeated measures was used to evaluate stretching effects.
Significant interactions were detected in pain score, joint proprioception, external knee adduction moment, and external knee extension moment. Compared with week 0, the pain score, joint proprioception threshold, and external knee adduction moment decreased, whereas the external knee extension moment increased among older adults in the proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation group at week 7.
Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation could be recommended as one of the clinical treatments for knee osteoarthritis to relieve pain, improve proprioception, and balance load distribution between medial and lateral compartments at the knee.