Osteoarthritis is a chronic, degenerative disease and is one of the leading causes of disability. Knee osteoarthritis is classically characterised by pain, joint stiffness, reduced range of motion, quadriceps weakness, and proprioceptive deficits. Current clinical guidelines for treating knee osteoarthritis is therapeutic exercise (aerobic, resistance, strengthening, and proprioception), physical therapy (massage, ultrasound, and thermotherapy), lifestyle modifications, weight management, and education. These interventions are all geared towards relieving pain, improving function, and slowing the progression of the disease.
Proprioceptive training has grown interest in the rehabilitative field but little is still known about its effects. Proprioception mainly consists of several different biomechanical components, such as joint position sense, motion sense, velocity, and force.
Results show that compared to no intervention, proprioceptive training significantly improves pain, stiffness, physical function, joint position sense, muscle strength, mobility and knee range of motion in people with knee osteoarthritis. Proprioceptive training is a safe and effective intervention for those suffering with knee osteoarthritis, and there is some evidence to suggest that this should be combined with non-proprioceptive or conventional physiotherapy for more effective results.
Guan, Y. et al. (2021). Proprioceptive training for knee osteoarthritis: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Geriatric Medicine. 10.3389.