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Balance control is sequentially correlated with proprioception, joint range of motion, strength, pain, and plantar tactile sensation among older adults with knee osteoarthritis

journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-06, 13:14 authored by Peixin Shen, Simin LiSimin Li, Li Li, Daniel FongDaniel Fong, Dewei Mao, Qipeng Song

Background: Patients with knee osteoarthritis (KOA) are at high risk for falls, which is attributed to their impaired balance control. Identifying factors associated with balance control facilitates the development of precise KOA rehabilitation programs. This study was to investigate the correlations of balance control with proprioception, plantar tactile sensation (PTS), pain, joint range of motion (ROM), and strength among older adults with and without KOA, as well as the magnitudes and sequence of correlation of these factors to balance control. Methods: A total of 240 older adults with (n = 124, female: 84, age: 68.8 ± 4.0 years) and without (n = 116, female: 64, age: 67.9 ± 3.5 years) KOA were recruited and assigned to the KOA and control groups. Their proprioception, PTS, pain, ROM, and strength were measured. Pearson or Spearman correlations were used to test whether they were significantly related to their Berg Balance Scale (BBS), and factor analysis and multivariate linear regression were used to determine the degrees of correlation between each factor and the BBS. Results: Compared to the control group, the KOA group had lower BBS score, larger proprioception and PTS thresholds, smaller ROM, and less strength (p: 0.008, <0.001-0.016, <0.001-0.005, <0.001-0.014, and <0.001-0.002, respectively). In the KOA group, the BBS was weakly to moderately correlated with proprioception, PTS, pain, ROM, and strength (r: 0.332-0.501, 0.197-0.291, 0.340, 0.212-0.508, and 0.236-0.336, respectively). While in the control group, the BBS was correlated with proprioception and strength (r: 0.207-0.379, and 0.212-0.410). In the KOA group, BBS = 54.41+ (0.668*strength) - (0.579*PTS) - (1.141*proprioception) + (1.054* ROM) - (0.339*pain). While in the control group, BBS = 53.85+ (0.441*strength) - (0.677*proprioception). Conclusion: Worse proprioception and PTS, smaller ROM, and less strength were detected among older adults with KOA, and their proprioception, PTS, pain, ROM, and strength were all related to balance control. Proprioception had the strongest correlations, followed by ROM, strength, pain, and PTS. Precise KOA rehabilitation programs may be proposed following the sequence of improving the five factors.


General Administration of Sport of China (23QN009)

National Natural Science Foundation of China (12102235)

International Society of Biomechanics Council (Student Matching Dissertation Grant)



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

Sports Medicine - Open




  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This is an Open Access article published by Springer Nature and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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Dr Daniel Fong. Deposit date: 3 June 2024

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