International guidelines recommend exercise as the first choice treatment for knee osteoarthritis (KOA). Muscle strengthening (MST) and behavioral graded activity (BGA) show comparable effects on KOA pain, but the mechanisms of action are unclear. Understanding these mechanisms is necessary to tailor exercise therapy towards specific mediators and thereby optimize treatment effects. Based on my promoters’ and others’ published data, exercise-induced antiinflammation and endogenous analgesia are most promising pathways for pain reduction after exercise. In 2018 FWO granted my promoters a RCT of 12 weeks of MST vs. BGA vs. control. This innovative project examines resting levels of inflammation and endogenous analgesia as mediators for the effect of these two types of exercise therapy on pain in patients with KOA and will start in October 2019. I’ll make use of the excellent opportunity to investigate the acute anti-inflammatory and endogenous hypoalgesic response to the interventions studied in this RCT (in contrast to resting levels as assessed in the already funded RCT). No extra participants will be recruited and the study procedures of the RCT won’t be affected. I will run the specific extra work packages & tasks related to the acute responses to training. The acute intervention-induced effects that I will assess in this PhD project will allow to gain insight in the underlying physiologic mechanisms by which repeated bouts of MST or BGA induce pain reduction.
Short titleBackup mandate
Effective start/end date1/11/1931/10/20

    Research areas

  • osteoarthritis, Inflammation, Rehabilitation

    Flemish discipline codes

  • Rehabilitation

ID: 47826748