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A Comparison of Two Exercise Programs on Knee Motor Control

This study has been completed.
National Health and Medical Research Council, Australia
Information provided by:
University of Melbourne Identifier:
First received: April 15, 2008
Last updated: April 18, 2008
Last verified: April 2008
Pain at the front of the knee is a common condition treated by physical therapists. Treatment may consist of generalised strengthening exercises directed at the quadriceps muscle or specific retraining aimed at restoring motor control at the knee. This study compared these two exercise programs in a group of people who were painfree at the time to evaluate their effect on motor control. It was hypothesised that only the motor retraining program would influence motor control at the knee.

Condition Intervention Phase
Knee Pain
Patellofemoral Pain
Behavioral: Motor control retraining program
Behavioral: Quadriceps strengthening program
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: The Effect of Specific Versus Generalised Quadriceps Exercise on Neural Control of the Vasti

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by University of Melbourne:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • latency between the onset of VMO electromyographic activity relative to that of VL during stair ascent and stair descent measured using surface electrodes [ Time Frame: 6 weeks with 8 week followup ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Concentric and eccentric quadriceps muscle strength as assessed by isokinetic dynamometry [ Time Frame: 6 weeks with 8 week followup ]

Enrollment: 60
Study Start Date: March 2003
Study Completion Date: December 2005
Primary Completion Date: December 2005 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: 1
Motor control retraining program
Behavioral: Motor control retraining program
Specific retraining of VMO activation in a low-load situation,and progressed to integrate more functional positions. Use of dual channel biofeedback was incorporated
Behavioral: Quadriceps strengthening program
4 exercises focused on quadriceps strengthening commencing at a resistance of 60% 1 repetition maximum. Each exercise was performed for 3 sets of 10 repetitions


Ages Eligible for Study:   16 Years to 40 Years   (Child, Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • aged between 16-40 years, with the upper age limit to reduce the likelihood of osteoarthritic changes in the patellofemoral joint
  • a self-reported history of anterior or retropatellar knee pain with insidious onset of symptoms and with at least one episode of pain in the past 12 months where pain was aggravated by at least two of the following: prolonged sitting, stairs, squat, running, kneeling and hopping/jumping
  • currently asymptomatic for at least 8 weeks prior to assessment
  • delay in the onset of VMO EMG relative to that of VL of greater than 10 ms during either the ascent or descent of a stair stepping task

Exclusion Criteria:

  • current knee pain
  • history of knee surgery or other knee injury in previous 12 months
  • physiotherapy treatment for knee pain in the past 12 months
  • history of patellar dislocation/subluxation
  • clinical evidence of meniscal lesion, ligamentous instability, traction apophysitis around the patellofemoral complex, patellar tendon pathology, chondral damage, osteoarthritis and spinal referred pain
  • current lower limb pathology affecting their ability to satisfactorily complete the testing or exercise protocol
  • current use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory or corticosteroid drugs
  • inability to communicate and comprehend written or verbal instructions in English
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00662493

Australia, Victoria
University of Melbourne
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 3010
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Melbourne
National Health and Medical Research Council, Australia
Principal Investigator: Kim L Bennell, PhD University of Melbourne
Principal Investigator: Kim Bennell University of Melbourne
Principal Investigator: Kim Bennell, PhD University of Melbourne
  More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: Professor Kim Bennell, University of Melbourne Identifier: NCT00662493     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 020077
Study First Received: April 15, 2008
Last Updated: April 18, 2008

Keywords provided by University of Melbourne:
knee pain
rehabilitation processed this record on April 26, 2017