Strong Evidence Supports Therapy for Knee Pain

Part of new guidelines on patellofemoral pain

In the first-ever comprehensive clinical practice guideline on patellofemoral pain, APTA’s Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy set forth recommendations that stress exercise therapy as the best approach to improve functional performance in the short, medium, and long term. 

A panel of content experts from the Academy conducted an extensive review of scientific articles associated with patellofemoral pain from 1960 to 2018, evaluating each for its evidence related to physical therapist (PT) clinical decision making around the condition. 

From an initial field of 4,691 articles, reviewers narrowed the studies down to 271 that addressed diagnosis and classification, examination, and interventions. The panel analyzed the overall strength of evidence, and shared a draft of its recommendations with members of the Academy and, later, with a panel of consumer representatives and other stakeholders that included claims reviewers, coding experts, researchers, and academic and clinical educators.

Recommendations were assigned letters according to the strength of the evidence evaluated: A-“strong,” B-“moderate,” C-“weak,” D-“conflicting,” E-“theoretical/foundational,” and F-“expert opinion.”  

Patellofemoral pain is believed to affect about one in every four adults, with women twice as likely to experience the pain as men.

SOURCE: PT in Motion

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