Dynamic Balance Training Improves Physical Function in Individuals With Knee Osteoarthritis: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

Published:March 07, 2017DOI:



      To examine the effect of a targeted balance training program on dynamic balance and self-reported physical function in people with medial tibiofemoral osteoarthritis (OA).


      Single-blind randomized controlled trial.


      Exercise gymnasium and community dwellings.


      Individuals with medial compartment knee OA (N=40).


      Ten weeks of partially supervised exercises targeting dynamic balance and strength performed 4 times per week or no intervention (nonintervention group).

      Main Outcome Measures

      Dynamic balance was measured using the Community Balance and Mobility Scale (CB&M), and self-reported physical function was measured using the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index physical function subscale. Secondary outcomes included knee pain, fear of movement, knee joint proprioception, and muscle strength.


      Forty individuals underwent baseline testing, with 36 participants completing follow-up testing. Adherence to exercise in the training group was high, with 82.2% of all home-based exercise sessions completed. No significant changes were observed in any outcome in the nonintervention group at follow-up. Significant improvements in self-reported pain, physical function, and fear of movement were observed in the training group when compared with the nonintervention group. No other within- or between-group differences were observed.


      A 10-week dynamic balance training program for people with knee OA significantly improved self-reported knee pain, physical function, and fear of movement; however, there was no change in dynamic balance as quantified by the CB&M. Further research is needed to investigate how exercise may result in improvement on objective measures of dynamic balance.


      List of abbreviations:

      CB&M (Community Balance and Mobility Scale), KL (Kellgren and Lawrence), LES (lower extremity strength), NRS (numerical rating scale), OA (osteoarthritis), WOMAC (Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index)
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