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Blood flow restricted walking in elderly individuals with knee osteoarthritis: a feasibility study

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OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether blood flow restricted walking exercise is feasible in patients with knee osteoarthritis, and to examine changes in functional performance and self-reported function. DESIGN: Feasibility study. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Fourteen elderly individuals diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis participated in 8-10 weeks of outdoor walking (4 km/h, 20 min/session, 4 times/week) with partial blood flow restriction applied to the affected leg. Adherence, dropouts and adverse events were registered. Timed Up and Go test, 30-s sit-to-stand performance, 40-m fast-paced walk speed, stair-climbing and Knee Osteoarthritis Outcome Score were assessed pre- and post-training. RESULTS: Nine participants completed the intervention, while 5 participants withdrew (4 due to intervention-related reasons). In non-completing participants baseline body mass index (BMI) (p = 0.05) and knee pain (p = 0.06) were higher, while gait performance (p = 0.04) was lower. Considering completed case data, the training-adherence rate was 93%, while mean knee pain in the affected leg was 0.7 on a numerical rating scale of 0-10. Functional performance improved, while self-reported function remained unchanged. CONCLUSION: Blood flow restricted walking exercise appeared feasible in patients with knee osteoarthritis. Participants who completed the intervention protocol demonstrated improvements in functional performance, with no changes in self-reported function.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Rehabilitation Medicine
Pages (from-to)jrm00282
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2022

    Research areas

  • Aged, Exercise Therapy/methods, Feasibility Studies, Humans, Osteoarthritis, Knee, Pain, Postural Balance/physiology, Time and Motion Studies, Walking/physiology

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