Matthew Silvis, Jillian Sylvester, Brittney Hacken, John Wawrzyniak, Robert Kelly, Scott Lynch, Timothy Mosher, Vernon Chinchilli and Kevin Black
Objective: The ACSM recommends healthy adults aged 18-65 participate in 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise 5 times per week. The benefits of exercise in patients with osteoarthritis (OA) is known, but the best exercise modality to accomplish this is not. This study compared the effect of three exercise modalities on patient reported symptoms of knee OA. Methods: 61 participants with radiographically evident, symptomatic bilateral OA were randomized into exercise modalities: upright cycle, land treadmill, or water treadmill. Participants completed an 8-week exercise program, progressing to achieve 30 minutes moderate exercise per session. WOMAC, KOOS, and SF-12 health surveys were completed at baseline and then weekly throughout the study. Results: All groups improved in regard to WOMAC scores. No statistically significant difference was noted between groups. Using greater than 25% improvement in WOMAC as a threshold for significant change, 80% of the water treadmill group improved vs 60% upright cycle and 62% land treadmill. Study completion rates were highest for the water treadmill group (80%) compared to the land treadmill (62%) and upright cycle (65%), although not statistically significant (p=0.33). Conclusion: An 8 week exercise program improved symptoms in participants with knee OA with no difference based on training device. Moderate aerobic exercise is beneficial for participants with knee OA.