Exercise Eases Knee Osteoarthritis
Recently, we were interviewed by the Singapore newspaper, Today, for the same-titled article. published on 14th October 2015. Below is the rest of the interview.
Dr Martin Van der Esch from the Centre of Rehabilitation and Rheumatology in Amsterdam, analysed 55 subjects, comparing the effects of a land-based exercise programme against subjects who had no exercise at all, following the end of formal medical treatment.
A Decrease in Pain, Increase in Function
The general consensus showed that weight-bearing exercises considerably reduced pain and moderately improved the physical function of the osteoarthritic knee. In some cases, the subjects also reported enjoying an improvement in their quality of lives.
In a period of 2 to 6 months post-treatment, the subjects also expressed that the knee pain was still reduced.
Strong Muscles, Stronger Knees
“The idea is that if you have more muscle strength, the knee is more stable and you have less wear and tear,” Dr Van der Esch explained. Avoiding physical activities simply leads you to lose muscle strength and unfortunately exposing you to weak muscles.
Osteoarthritis occurs when the top layer of cartilage breaks down and wears away, forcing the bones to rub together. This often causes pain, swelling and a significant loss of motion in the joint.
Outside of exercise, the only other common treatments for osteoarthritis include simple painkillers, cortisone shots or in severe cases, a joint replacement surgery.
Patients Need to Keep Moving
Other recent studies never listed the best specific exercise for an osteoarthritic knee, but the most important factor is the patient needs to be exercising regularly.
“Patients have to move at least 30 minutes a day”, Dr Van der Esch shared.