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Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation improves symptoms among older adults with knee osteoarthritis during stair ascending – a randomized controlled trial

journal contribution
posted on 04.10.2021, 11:28 by Peixin Shen, Li Li, Qipeng Song, Wei Sun, Cui Zhang, Daniel FongDaniel Fong, Dewei Mao
Objective: This study aimed to investigate the effects of a 6-week proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching on pain, proprioception, joint range of motion (ROM), and joint moments during stair ascending among older adults with knee osteoarthritis (KOA). Design: This study is a randomized, controlled, and assessor-blinded trial. Thirty-six older adults with KOA were randomly assigned to the PNF and the control groups. They received PNF stretching and health lecture series, respectively, for 6 weeks. Final data analysis included 14 participants of the PNF group and 13 of the control group. Pain score, joint proprioception, ROM, and joint moments during stair ascending were measured before and after the stretching. Two-way (group by time) ANOVA with repeated measures was used to evaluate stretching effects. Results: Significant interactions were detected in pain score, joint proprioception, external knee adduction moment (eKAM), and external knee extension moment (eKEM). Compared to week 0, the pain score, joint proprioception threshold, and eKAM decreased, while the eKEM increased among older adults in the PNF group at week 7. Conclusion: PNF could be recommended as one of the clinical treatments for KOA to relieve pain, improve proprioception, and balance load distribution between medial and lateral compartments at the knee.


China Shandong Education Department under Grant Movement Science Research Innovation Team (2019-183)



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation


Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Publisher statement

This is a non-final version of an article published in final form in American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Shen, Peixin MEd; Li, Li PhD; Song, Qipeng PhD; Sun, Wei PhD; Zhang, Cui PhD; Fong, Daniel PhD; Mao, Dewei PhD, Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation Improves Symptoms among Older Adults with Knee Osteoarthritis during Stair Ascending–A Randomized Controlled Trial, American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: October 20, 2021 - Volume - Issue - doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000001906

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Dr Daniel Fong. Deposit date: 3 October 2021