Staying active might reduce pain in osteoarthritis patients

Jasmine Phu

February 9, 2012

Staying active might reduce pain in osteoarthritis patientsPeople suffering from osteoarthritis tend to have constant pain in their joints, which can limit their physical activity and mobility. However, many believe getting sufferers moving might actually be the best medicine.

A recent study presented at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons looked to see if people with osteoarthritis would benefit from using an exercise DVD.

Scientists tested this by enlisting 107 individuals who were diagnosed with osteoarthritis. Half of the participants received the workout DVD  as well as verbal and hands on exercise instructions for the first eight to 12 weeks of the study. The second half of the group did not get either program. Each participant was evaluated at three, six and 12 months to test their pain and mobility levels.

From the results, researchers found that sufferers in the DVD group had “significantly greater” improvements with pain and physical activity in comparison to the control group. However, exercising did not change the progression of the disease.

Nearly 27 million people in the U.S. have osteoarthritis, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Elders living at home with osteoarthritis might want to start working out to help increase mobility as achy joints could lead to a fall. Even if seniors get stronger, accidents can still happen, so those living alone might also benefit from installing a medical alert system in case they need medical assistance.

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