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Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2016 Dec;95(12):921-930.

Effect of Electromyographic Biofeedback Training on Pain, Quadriceps Muscle Strength, and Functional Ability in Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis.

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From the Department of Physical Therapy, College of Applied Medical Sciences, Najran University, Najran, KSA (MAME, SMA); and Departments of Physical Therapy For Disturbances of Growth and Development in Children and Its Surgery (MAME, SME-S), and Biomechanics (SMA), Faculty of Physical Therapy, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.



To investigate the effects of electromyographic (EMG) biofeedback training on pain, quadriceps strength, and functional ability in juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA).


This is a randomized controlled study; 36 children (11 boys and 25 girls) with polyarticular JRA, with ages ranging from 8 to 13 years, were selected and assigned randomly, using computer-generated random numbers, into 2 groups. The control group (n = 18) received the conventional physical therapy program, whereas the study group (n = 18) received the same program as the control group in addition to EMG biofeedback-guided isometric exercises for 3 days a week for 12 weeks. Pain, peak torque of quadriceps strength, and functional ability were evaluated before, after 6 weeks, and at the end of 12 weeks of the treatment program.


By 6 weeks, significant differences were observed in the study group (P < 0.05) in all measured variables except pain levels, whereas nonsignificant differences were observed in all measured variables in the control group. By 12 weeks, each group demonstrated significant improvements in pain, quadriceps strength, and functional ability (P < 0.05), with significantly greater improvements seen in the study group compared to the control group (P < 0.05). Both groups showed significant improvement at 12 weeks compared to that at 6 weeks.


Electromyographic biofeedback may be a useful intervention modality to reduce pain, improve quadriceps strength, and functional performance in JRA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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