Mend Physical Therapy Blog and Injury Information

Strong, High Quality Evidence Supports Hip Strengthening In Patients With Knee Arthritis

July 16, 2020


Knee arthritis remains one of the most common diagnoses leading to disability in middle to older aged adults. Patients commonly experience joint stiffness, pain, and weakness leading to decreased participation in the activities they enjoy. Strength training and aerobic exercise remain the most powerful interventions for these patients. Stronger muscles help dissipate the forces placed on the symptomatic cartilage and bone during weight bearing activities as aerobic exercise helps lubricate and improve the metabolic activity around the joint surfaces. A recent review of the medical literature indicates the addition of Physical Therapy hip strengthening to knee exercises for patients with knee arthritis.

The Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy published a review of the evidence on hip strengthening for patients with knee arthritis (Neelapala et al. 2020). Authors included 5 randomized, controlled trials of over 300 patients. The reported a clear beneficial effect of hip strengthening in isolation or in combination with knee exercises on pain, function, and strength in this patient population. The concluded there was strong evidence for the inclusion of hip strengthening in Physical Therapy programs for patients with knee osteoarthritis.

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