The benefits of exercise in minimizing pain and improving mobility for individuals living with osteoarthritis has been well documented. The new study focused on osteoarthritis of the knee — which is one of the most common areas it strikes. Osteoarthritis is the world’s most common cause of joint pain, triggered by the gradual breakdown of cartilage in the joint. It leaves no cushion within a joint.
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The health news was unveiled last week at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Researchers took 107 patients with knee osteoarthritis and put them in a group that watched an exercise DVD and left another as control. The DVD group received a video-based exercise program, as well as verbal and hands-on exercise instructions, for the first four to eight weeks.
Participants in the exercise group reportedly exercised 5.3, 5.0 and 3.8 times per week at three-, six- and 12-month intervals. The improvements in pain and physical function were significantly greater in the DVD group than the control group at every interval. While pain was reduced and mobility improved, there were no significant differences between the two groups in osteoarthritis progression.
The takeaway message given by the presenters: video-based home exercise programs could enhance adherence to a prescribed exercise program, reduce pain, improve physical function, and improve life quality in patients living with knee osteoarthritis.
Keep watch for osteoarthritis, as catching it early is very beneficial. It develops and worsens over time. Along with actual pain, your joint could be tender to the lightest pressure, stiff in the morning, inflexible and even give off a grating sound when you use it. You might see lumps, bone spurs, form around the affected joint. See a doctor if you have swelling or stiffness in your joints that lasts for more than a few weeks.