Objective. To evaluate the safety of isokinetic knee extensor strength training, and its effectiveness with regard to knee extension, in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Methods. Nine women with RA, all in functional stage II or III, underwent a low-intensity strengthening protocol with 48 repetitions at 50% of maximal voluntary contraction, 3 times per week for 3 weeks, using an isokinetic dynamometer.
Results. Five patients had knee synovitis at entry; but neither synovitis nor joint pain increased. The mean gain in strength was 21%.
Conclusion. This training method was effective and safe in patients with RA.