Physical activity and MSK

Physical activity is known to be an important factor for self – management rehabilitation for people with musculoskeletal problems including osteo- arthritis (OA).  Wearable technologies have been shown to provide useful, real time feedback and potentially enhance adherence to self- management strategies.

Building on the successful work already completed with stroke survivors using insole pressure sensors to facilitate their rehabilitation ( we explored their potential use with people with early osteo- arthritis (OA) of the knee.

 14 people with knee pain and 14 people without were observed wearing insoles equipped with pressure sensors in their shoes whist they stood up, walked 10 meters and sat down.The 8 pressure sensors in each insole captured the progression over time of the distribution of the user’s weight over the different parts of each foot during the stance phase.

The results demonstrated pressure patterns that differ from normal (based on the controls) in people with early clinically diagnosed OA knee. 3 different strategies to move body weight during the stance phase were displayed: Forefoot pressure from the centre to the medial part of the foot, pressure transition from heel to forefoot and double feet contact asymmetries between feet.

The findings provide further insight about different parameters that can be used to inform a rehabilitation tool to guide people with early stage OA when performing physical activities as part of a personal, self-management programme.