Academic creates new treatment for knee osteoarthritis

Categories: School of Health and Society

A School of Health and Society academic has created a new treatment for knee osteoarthritis, a condition characterised by pain and stiffness in and around the knee joint which tends to affect older people.

Dr Steve Preece portrait

Dr Stephen Preece, Director of the Centre for Health Sciences Research at the University of Salford, has developed Cognitive Muscular Therapy (CMT), a new physiotherapy treatment which combines psychologically informed practice with muscle biofeedback training.

CMT aims to reduce muscle overactivity, minimise mechanical loading on the knee during daily activities and change beliefs related to knee osteoarthritis pain.

The treatment, which was developed through an NHS-funded research study at the University of Salford, is published in the journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. 

Patients reported that the intervention allowed them to understand and challenge the way they move and react to pain.  One participant described the intervention as “genuinely life changing” as it had had both a psychological and physical impact and had resulted in her feeling “more energised.”

Dr Preece said: “I am most proud of the effect that the intervention has had on the patients and the potential for this treatment to help huge numbers of people living with chronic knee pain.

“I am also proud of the way we integrated biomechanics, pain science and health psychology to create a completely new approach to treating knee osteoarthritis.”

The University of Salford is now carrying out a larger scale study of CMT, for people with knee osteoarthritis who haven’t benefited from exercise-based management.

A Continuing Professional Development (CPD) course is being developed for physiotherapists, which will provide them with theoretical knowledge and the practical skills to deliver CMT in clinical practice. 

Find out more about CMT

Physiotherapists interested in learning more about the CPD course can sign up to the mailing list. 

Steve P

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