Physiological and clinical effects of low-intensity blood-flow restricted resistance exercise compared to standard rehabilitation in adults with knee osteoarthritis-Protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common disease with high socioeconomical costs. In Denmark, standard rehabilitation (SR) consists of a combination of patient education and supervised physical exercise involving a standardized neuromuscular training program. As an evidence-based alternative, high-load (>70% 1RM) resistance training (HIRT) has shown positive rehabilitation effects in knee-OA but may not be tolerated in all patients (~25%) due to knee joint pain. However, low-load resistance training (20-40% 1RM) with concurrent partial blood-flow restriction (BFR) appears to produce effects similar to HIRT yet involving reduced joint pain during and after exercise. The aim is to examine the effect of low-load BFR training compared to SR on pain, thigh muscle mass and muscle function in adults with knee-OA. We hypothesize that 12 weeks of BFR will lead to superior improvements in pain, muscle mass and mechanical muscle function compared to SR.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: 90 participants diagnosed with radiographic knee-OA will be randomized to either BFR or SR twice a week for 12 weeks. BFR will consist of two selected lower limb strength exercises performed with an inflated pneumatic occlusion cuff. Intervention procedures in SR consist of a full 8 weeks GLA:D course followed by 4 weeks of team group training. Primary outcome variable is the change in KOOS-Pain subscale from baseline to 12 weeks. Secondary outcome variables are changes in pain sensitivity, functional performance, muscle mass and mechanical muscle function. Intention-to-treat and per-protocol analyses will be conducted. One-way analysis of variance will be performed to evaluate between-group changes. Pre-to-post intervention comparisons will be analyzed using a mixed linear model. Regression analysis will be performed to evaluate potential associations between selected outcome variables.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0295666
JournalPLoS One
Volume18
Issue number12 December
Pages (from-to)e0295666
ISSN1932-6203
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

Keywords

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee/complications
  • Resistance Training/methods
  • Exercise Therapy/methods
  • Pain
  • Arthralgia/complications
  • Muscle Strength/physiology
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic

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