October 2014

RCT finds exercise therapy improves pain, function in patients with hip OA

In the moment: Rehabilitation

By Jordana Bieze Foster

Twelve weeks of exercise therapy can significantly reduce pain and improve function in patients with hip osteoarthritis (OA), according to a randomized controlled trial from German researchers.

Investigators from the University Hospital of Tübingen randomized 225 patients with hip OA to undergo 12 weeks of exercise therapy, placebo ultrasound treatment, or no treatment. Exercise therapy involved a 60- to 90-minute group session once a week and 30- to 40-minute home exercise sessions twice a week; exercises were designed to improve strength, proprioception, balance, and flexibility. Place­bo ultrasound was administered once a week for 15 minutes.

At 12 weeks, improvement in pain based on the Short Form-36 questionnaire was significantly greater in the exercise group than the control group. Improvement in the exercise group was also significantly greater than in the placebo or control groups for the physical functioning and pain subscales of the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities (WOMAC) Osteoarthritis Index. There were no significant between-group effects for joint stiffness or health-related quality of life.

The findings were published in the September issue of Deutsches Arzteblatt Inter­national.


Krauss I, Steinhilber B, Haupt G, et al. Exercise therapy in hip osteoarthritis – a randomized controlled trial. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2014;111(35-36):592-599.

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