Exercise improves physical function and reduces painkiller use in people with hip and knee osteoarthritis

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knee arthritis, hip arthritis, exercise, arthritis information, arthritis digest, arthritis magazineImplementation of an exercise protocol was linked with improved physical function in people with knee and hip osteoarthritis, experts revealed at the Osteoarthritis Research Society International World Congress.Physiotherapists in Denmark provided eight weeks of education and supervised neuromuscular exercises to people with knee and hip osteoarthritis.

After three and 12 months the researchers evaluated their patients using patient reports, physiotherapist reports, 30-second chair stand and 40-minute walk tests and found definite improvements. There was a reduction in use of painkillers of 19% for knee patients and of 30% for hip patients, as well as improvements in functional performance and level of physical activity.

“Looking at the improvement in percent, [it] is between 23% and 27% at three months and 28% for both knees and hips at the 12-month follow-up,” explains Dr Soren Skou. “We asked patients at baseline whether or not they had been on sick leave due to their knee or hip within the last year, then we asked the same question at 12 months, and you can see that there seems to be a risk reduction in the number of patients being on sick leave due to their joint.”

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