Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of neuromuscular training (NMT) and quadriceps training (QT) on the altered gait patterns and Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis (WOMAC) index in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA) and varus malalignment.
Methods: Sixty-six patients with knee pain ≥2 on 100-mm visual analog scale, radiographic knee OA changes ≥2 on Kellgren-Lawrence grading scale, and genu varum were allocated randomly into either the neuromuscular training group or quadriceps training group. Twelve weeks of supervised exercise protocol was given to the participants of both groups, which included 3 sessions per week. Primary outcomes were gait variables and self-reported physical function (WOMAC index).
Results: Of 66 knee OA patients, only 31 (94%) in the NMT group and 28 (84.8%) in the QT group completed the exercise protocol and were included in the analysis. There was a significant improvement in gait velocity (P = .022), stride length (P = .009), and global WOMAC index (P = .011) in the NMT group compared to the QT group. However, the scores of cadence (P = .226), gait cycle (P = .332), and double limb support (P = .054) were not found significant in the NMT group compared with the QT group.
Conclusion: The NMT group showed improvement in some of the gait parameters as well as improvement in pain, stiffness, and functional limitation compared with conventional QT. No additional improvement was found in cadence, gait cycle, and double limb support in patients who received NMT.
Author keywords: Osteoarthritis; Genu Varum
Author affiliations: SAR, JAM, SS, SR, MEH: Centre for Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, India; SMR: Division of Veterinary Biochemistry, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Shuhama, Srinagar, Kashmir, India
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