Possibilities with backward walking for knee pathology (literature review)

Klemenov A.V.


Recently backward/retro walking has been increasingly used in medicine. Kinetic and kinematic analysis during backward walking showed advantages over traditional ambulation making it ideal for those who struggle with knee pain. Retro walking is well known for reducing the strain on the knees and it is one of the few natural ways to strengthen the quadriceps of the thigh. Walking backwards leads to a more significant load on the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. This load builds a more substantial increase in both the aerobic and anaerobic capabilities than just walking forward with similar parameters of physical activity.
Material and methods
A systematic search of studies published during the period up to February 2020 was conducted using bibliographic databases in English, including Medline, PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science and in Russian, including eLIBRARY, CyberLeninka to summarize the available information on the possibilities of retro walking in treatment and rehabilitation of patients with knee pathology. Search terms included 'backward/retro walking/running', 'knee joint'.
Results and discussion
Several studies have been performed to explore the effectiveness of backward walking for knee osteoarthritis. There is a strong evidence that backward walking can be a useful adjunct to conventional physiotherapy to improve pain, knee function and strength of the quadriceps muscles. There is a limited number of papers describing effects of backward walking for patellofemoral pain syndrome and anterior cruciate ligament injury.
Although there is little data overall reporting effects of backward walking, and more studies are needed to further explore this topic this version of walking has been shown to provide great beneficial effects in knee joint rehabilitation.


backward walking, rehabilitation, knee joint, anterior cruciate ligament, osteoarthritis, patellofemoral pain syndrome, literature review

Full Text


PDF PDF (Русский)

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18019/1028-4427-2021-27-1-128-131


  • There are currently no refbacks.