The University of Salford is receiving funding to investigate a new treatment for knee osteoarthritis

The university has received a grant of £ 258,112 from the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), a major funder of global health research and education to understand the potential effectiveness of a new treatment for people with knee osteoarthritis.

Dr Stephen Preece, director of the Center for Health Sciences Research at the University of Salford, developed Cognitive Muscular Therapy (CMT), the new physiotherapy treatment that combines psychologically informed practice with muscle biofeedback training.

CMT aims to reduce muscle overactivity, minimize mechanical strain on the knee during daily activities, and change beliefs related to knee osteoarthritis pain.

The treatment, developed through an NHS-funded research study at the University of Salford, is published in the journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders.

Patients reported that the intervention allowed them to understand and challenge the way they move and respond to pain. One participant described the intervention as “truly life-changing” as it had had both a psychological and physical impact and had resulted in her feeling “more energetic”.

Dr Preece said: “In our previous pilot study, we delivered the CMT treatment to 11 patients with knee osteoarthritis and observed major improvements in pain.

“I am now eager to understand whether we can train NHS physiotherapists to deliver our new treatment and to understand whether we can reduce pain in people who do not benefit from conventional physiotherapy.”

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