Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation Improves Pain and Descending Mechanics Among Elderly With Knee Osteoarthritis

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports







Knee osteoarthritis (KOA) is a common disease that causes pain and limits functionality in the elderly during daily activities, especially during stair descent. Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) practices promote multiple‐plane joint movements, which relieve pain and increase joint range of motion (ROM). This study aims to examine the effects of a 12‐week PNF intervention on pain relief, passive and active joint ROM, external knee adduction moment (KAM), and hip adduction moment (HAM) in the elderly with KOA during stair descent.

Materials and Methods

Seventy‐six elderly who were diagnosed with KOA were assessed for eligibility and, 36 of them met the inclusive criteria, were randomly divided into two groups: the twelve‐week PNF intervention group and the control group. Pain score was measured by the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index (WOMAC). Passive joint ROM was measured using a goniometer. Active joint ROM, KAM, and HAM during stair descent were measured using a motion analysis system with a force platform. All the data were recorded at weeks 0, 6, and 12.


Compared to the control group, the PNF group showed a decreased pain score; increased passive hip, knee, and ankle ROM; a decreased minimum knee flexion angle, and increased HAM during stair descent.


Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation intervention is a successful method to relieve symptoms of KOA. It relieves pain without increasing KAM, enhances passive ROM, increases active knee flexion ROM, and increases HAM during stair descent in the elderly with KOA.