Published online Dec 6, 2021. doi: 10.12998/wjcc.v9.i34.10604
Peer-review started: March 21, 2021
First decision: April 29, 2021
Revised: August 20, 2021
Accepted: September 16, 2021
Article in press: September 16, 2021
Published online: December 6, 2021
Knee joint pain and stiffness are the two main symptoms of knee osteoarthritis (OA) and thus restrict a patient’s activities, such as walking and walking up and downstairs.
The lower body positive pressure (LBPP) treadmill as one of the emerging body weight support system devices brings new hope for exercise-related rehabilitation for knee OA patients.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the biomechanical effects and the subjective clinical assessment of LBPP tread mill walking exercise when compared with conventional therapy in mild to moderate knee OA patients.
The eligible 18 knee OA patients were randomly assigned to two groups: LBPP and control groups. All patients underwent clinical assessments and three-dimensional gait analysis at pre- and 2-wk post-treatment.
The Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index and visual analog scale scores in both the LBPP group and control group were found to decrease significantly at the post-treatment point than the pre-treatment point. Moreover, compared with the control group, the LBPP group showed more improvements in walking speed, stride length, and knee range of motion during walking, which represented more improvement in walking ability.
The results showed that the LBPP group has a greater effect on improving gait parameters than the conventional group, although there was no significant advantage in clinical assessment.
This finding indicates that LBPP treadmill walking training might be an effective approach for alleviating pain symptoms and improving lower extremity locomotion in mild to moderate knee OA patients.