Diagnosis & Disease Information

Exercise reduces pain and improves function in patients with knee osteoarthritis

Level 1: Likely reliable evidenceTherapeutic exercise of the knee (strength training in particular) reduces pain and improves physical function in patients with knee osteoarthritis, based on two systematic reviews. A Cochrane review of 32 randomized trials compared land-based therapeutic exercise vs. nonexercise (Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008[4]:CD004376). Exercise reduced knee pain in a meta-analysis with…

Osteoarthritis caused by erosion of the cartilage (blue) lining the knee

Guidelines stress weight control

Losing weight and engaging in low-impact aerobic exercise are the top recommendations of new guidelines for symptomatic osteoarthritis of the knee.

Weekly goal of 2.5 active hours recommended

Weekly goal of 2.5 active hours recommended

Adults gain substantial health benefits from at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity and can accrue additional benefits as the intensity, frequency, and duration increase.

X-ray shows joint-space narrowing in a knee with osteoarthritis

Weight gains boost odds for arthritic knees

A CDC study predicts that more than four out of 10 Americans will develop osteoarthritis (OA) in their knees before age 85. Those odds rise with weight gained after adolescence, reaching almost 60% among obese adults.

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