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J Phys Ther Sci. 2014 Jan;26(1):139-44. doi: 10.1589/jpts.26.139. Epub 2014 Feb 6.

The Effectiveness of Thai Exercise with Traditional Massage on the Pain, Walking Ability and QOL of Older People with Knee Osteoarthritis: A Randomized Controlled Trial in the Community.

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School of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Khon Kaen University, Thailand ; Back, Neck and Other Joint Pain Research Group, Khon Kaen University, Thailand.
Graduate School of Human Health Sciences, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Japan ; Future Institute for Sport Sciences, Japan.


[Purpose] This study investigated the effectiveness of a class- and home-based exercise with massage between Thai traditional and standardized physical therapy (TPT and SPT) in older people with knee osteoarthritis (KOA). [Subjects and Methods] Thirty-one subjects with KOA (aged 50-85 years) in two selected villages were randomly assigned into the TPT or SPT programs. Seventeen TPT subjects received Thai exercise with traditional massage, and 14 SPT individuals performed strengthening exercise with Swedish massage. Both programs consisted of a class with supervision plus home self-care for 8 weeks; the subjects then managed home self-care for 1 year. [Results] After 2 months, the six-minute walk test (6MWT), Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index (WOMAC), and SF-36 testing showed significant improvement in both groups, but the improvement of the TPT group was greater. After 1year, only the score for the 6MWT was greater in the TPT group than in the SPT group. [Conclusion] The TPT program yielded better results for the 6MWT, but, both programs had beneficial effects on the pain, function, and QOL of middle-aged and older patients with KOA in the community setting.


Bodyweight-based exercise training; Knee osteoarthritis; Six-minute walk test

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