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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 272018, 7 pages
Clinical Study

Effects of Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation Combined with Exercises versus an Exercise Program on the Pain and the Function in Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis: A Randomized Controlled Trial

1Internal Medicine Department, Federal University of São Paulo, 04023-900 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
2Human Movement Science Department, Federal University of São Paulo, 11060-001 Santos, SP, Brazil
3Medicine Department, Santo Amaro University, 04829-300 São Paulo, SP, Brazil

Received 23 April 2013; Revised 10 August 2013; Accepted 12 August 2013

Academic Editor: Jón Karlsson

Copyright © 2013 Aline Mizusaki Imoto et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. To investigate the effect of 8 weeks of NMES + Ex (neuromuscular electrical stimulation combined with exercises) on pain and functional improvement in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA) compared to exercise (Ex) alone. Design. Randomized controlled trial. Setting. A specialty outpatient clinic. Participants. Patients ( ; women = 86, men = 14; age range, 50–75 years) with knee OA. Interventions. Participants were randomly assigned to NMES + Ex or Ex group. Outcome Measures. Numerical Rating Scale 0 to 10 (NRS) and the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test were the primary outcomes. The secondary outcomes used were the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC). Results. Following the interventions, a statistically significant improvement in both groups was observed in all outcomes assessed. For the comparison between the groups, no statistically significant difference was found between the NMES + Ex and the Ex groups in NRS ( ), TUG test ( ), and aspects of WOMAC: pain ( ), function ( ), and stiffness ( ). Conclusion. The addition of NMES to exercise did not improve the outcomes assessed in knee OA patients. This study was registered at the Australian Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN012607000357459).