A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial for Aerobic and Strengthening Exercises on Physical Function and Pain for Hip Osteoarthritis

Austin R. Thompson, Zach Christopherson, Lynn M. Marshall, Hans L. Carlson, Nels L. Carlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Hip osteoarthritis (OA) limits lower extremity physical function. Exercise therapy may improve physical function and reduce pain in patients with hip OA. Objective: To evaluate the feasibility of a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to measure the effect of a structured hip-specific resistance and aerobic exercise program on physical function and self-reported pain in adults with hip OA. Design: Pilot RCT. Setting: Academic medical center. Participants: Thirty one adults with radiographic hip OA. Interventions: Participants were randomly allocated in a 2:1 ratio to a 3-month structured exercise intervention (n = 21) or a 3-month waitlist control (n = 10). Main Outcome Measures: The 6-minute walk test was the primary outcome measure. Self-reported physical function was assessed with the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) physical function subscale and pain visual analog scale (VAS). Measures of feasibility were assessed as secondary outcomes. Results: From baseline to 3 months, the median change from baseline in distance covered during the 6-minute walk test in the intervention group (49 m) was double that of the control group (22 m), but the difference was not statistically significant (P =.13). Likewise, the WOMAC physical function subscale score median changes in the intervention group (5 points) were double that of the controls (2 points), although the difference was not statistically significant (P =.06). Median change in pain scores was slightly reduced in each group but not significantly different between groups (P =.53). Conclusion: Although no statistically significant between-group differences were found in this pilot RCT, improvements were seen in measures of physical function compared to controls. A larger RCT of this structured exercise program may be warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-237
Number of pages9
JournalPM and R
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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