Benefits of exercise continue well after official programme ends for people with knee osteoarthritis
Improvements in knee pain, joint function and thigh muscle strength associated with taking part in a special exercise regime were maintained well after the programme ended, says research in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine.
Overweight people with knee osteoarthritis exercised under low-load treadmill walking conditions (3mph for 30 minutes) twice a week for 12 weeks using lower-body positive pressure support that minimised knee pain.
Knee pain, function, thigh muscle strength and measurements of the body were reassessed a minimum of six months after completion of the initial exercise regime and compared with results from the start of the study and immediately after the study finished. The results showed that the participants:
- Maintained improvements in knee joint pain and symptoms;
- Continued to report enhanced joint function and improved quality of life;
- Maintained thigh muscle strength gains.
Most people also continued to experience significant reductions in acute knee pain during full weight-bearing treadmill walking.
“These findings have important implications for the development and refinement of exercise strategies and interventions used in the long-term management of joint symptoms associated with knee osteoarthritis in overweight patients.”
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