Osteoarthritis (OA) is a major cause of disability worldwide and it often results in pain, decreased physical functioning and physical activity level. This study was aimed to investigate the Pain Intensity (PI), Physical Function (PF) and Physical Activity Level (PAL) of patients with knee OA and the difference in their PI and PF across the different physical activity levels (PALs).
A purposive sample of 110 individuals diagnosed with knee OA participated in this survey. The International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ), Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and Ibadan Knee/Hip Osteoarthritis Outcome Measure (IKHOAM) were used to measure the PAL, PI and PF of the participants respectively. Data was analyzed using ANOVA at α set at 0.05.
Participants (59 males, 51 females) were aged 55.59 ± 10.51 years. Participants mean PI, PF and duration of onset of knee pain score were 3.86 ± 2.03, 76.1 ± 16.91 and 6.42 ± 7.57 months respectively. Majority (80.9%) had low PAL. There was no significant difference in PF (F = 0.058, p = 0.05) across the three PALs (low - 73.46 ± 17.58, moderate - 83.97 ± 5.76 and vigorous - 83.97 ± 5.76). There was also no significant difference in PI (F = 0.058, p = 0.05) across the three PALs (low - 4.08 ± 2.04, moderate - 3.05 ± 1.34 and vigorous - 2.92 ± 1.77).
Participants who were more active reported lower PI and higher PF. No significant difference was found between PI and PF on the basis of their PALs, however those who reported low physical activity had higher PI and lower PF. Hence, it is necessary for physiotherapists to assess PALs of individuals with knee OA and provide suitable specific instructions on this to alleviate pain and improve PI.