Context: Weight-bearing (WB) and non-weight-bearing (NWB) exercises are commonly used in rehabilitation programs for patients with anterior knee pain (AKP). Objective: To determine the immediate effects of isolated WB or NWB knee-extension exercises on quadriceps torque output and activation in individuals with AKP. Design: A single-blind randomized controlled trial. Setting: Laboratory. Participants: 30 subjects with self-reported AKP. Interventions: Subjects performed a maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) of the quadriceps (knee at 90°). Maximal voluntary quadriceps activation was quantified using the central activation ratio (CAR): CAR = MVIC/(MVIC + superimposed burst torque). After baseline testing, subjects were randomized to 1 of 3 intervention groups: WB knee extension, NWB knee extension, or control. WB knee-extension exercise was performed as a sling-based exercise, and NWB knee-extension exercise was performed on the Biodex dynamometer. Exercises were performed in 3 sets of 5 repetitions at approximately 55% MVIC. Measurements were obtained at 4 times: baseline and immediately and 15 and 30 min postexercise. Main Outcome Measures: Quadriceps torque output (MVIC: N·m/Kg) and quadriceps activation (CAR). Results: No significant differences in the maximal voluntary quadriceps torque output (F 2,27 = 0.592, P =.56) or activation (F 2,27 = 0.069, P =.93) were observed among the 3 treatment groups. Conclusions: WB and NWB knee-extension exercises did not acutely change quadriceps torque output or activation. It may be necessary to perform exercises over a number of sessions and incorporate other disinhibitory interventions (eg, cryotherapy) to observe acute changes in quadriceps torque and activation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation