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Supervised Exercise Found Helpful in Treating Knee Pain

Study suggests exercise works better than usual care for patellofemoral pain syndrome

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 21 (HealthDay News) -- A program of supervised exercise is more effective than usual care in treating patellofemoral pain syndrome, according to a study published online Oct. 20 in BMJ.

Robbart van Linschoten, M.D., of Erasmus University Medical Centre in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and colleagues conducted a study of 131 patients, of whom 66 were instructed to rest during painful periods and avoid activities that provoked pain, while 65 were randomized to a six-week standardized exercise program under the individual monitoring and supervision of a physical therapist, followed by a three-month period of exercises to do at home.

The researchers found that, in terms of pain at rest, pain on activity and function, the outcome after three months was better for the treatment group than for the control group, and the pain reduction benefits of the treatment persisted to the 12-month mark. There was a difference between patients recruited by sports physicians and those recruited to the study by general physicians, with the latter group benefiting more from the intervention.

"This study provides evidence that supervised exercise therapy for patellofemoral pain syndrome in general practice is more effective than usual care for the outcome parameters pain at rest, pain on activity, and function at three and 12 months," the authors write. "However, supervised exercise therapy had no effect on perceived recovery. Further research should aim to elucidate the mechanisms whereby exercise therapy results in better outcome."

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