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N Am J Med Sci. 2013 Feb;5(2):108-12. doi: 10.4103/1947-2714.107527.

Retrowalking as an adjunct to conventional treatment versus conventional treatment alone on pain and disability in patients with acute exacerbation of chronic knee osteoarthritis: a randomized clinical trial.

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Department of Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy, Terna Physiotherapy College, Navi-Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.



Increased external knee adduction moment during walking alters the joint biomechanics; which causes symptoms in chronic knee osteoarthritis patients.


To assess additional effects of Retro-walking over conventional treatment on pain and disability in patients with acute exacerbation of chronic knee osteoarthritis.


Thirty chronic knee osteoarthritis patients were randomly assigned into 2 groups. Group 'A' (7 men, 8 women) received conventional treatment. Group 'B' (8 men, 7 women) received conventional treatment and Retro-walking. Pain, assessed through visual analogue scale (VAS), and Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index (WOMAC) were the primary outcomes and knee range of motion (ROM), hip abductor and extensor strength were secondary outcomes; measured pre-intervention, after 1 week and after 3 weeks of intervention.


Two factors analysis of variance for repeated measures was used for all outcomes. At the end of 3 weeks; WOMAC score showed highly significant difference within (P < 0.0001) and significant difference between groups (P = 0.040) also by Time × group interaction (P = 0.024), VAS showed highly significant difference within groups (P < 0.0001). Knee ROM showed significant difference within groups. Hip abductor and extensor strength showed significant difference by Time × group interaction (P < 0.05).


Retrowalking is an effective adjunct to conventional treatment in decreasing disability in patients with knee osteoarthritis.


Backward-walking; Knee osteoarthritis; Pathomechanics; Retrowalking

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