Exercise and Osteoarthritis
The other day I came across this study in the JAMA Network, that focused on effects of exercise on those 60+ who suffer from knee osteoarthritis.
What is Osteoarthritis?
"Osteoarthritis (also known as OA) is a common joint disease that most often affects middle-age to elderly people. It is commonly referred to as "wear and tear" of the joints, but we now know that OA is a disease of the entire joint, involving the cartilage, joint lining, ligaments, and bone," American College of Rheumatology.
What they did was take 439 people and place them into two types of exercise programs. 68% were placed in an aerobic exercise program. 70% were placed in a resistance training group.
The aerobic exercise group was able to score 10% lower on a physical disability questionnaire and 12% lower on the pain scale. They were able to complete a 6 minute walk, and climb both up and down stairs without feeling straining in their knees.
The exercise group scored 8% lower on the physical disability questionnaire and 8% lower on the pain scale. They walked a greater distance in the 6-minute walk, and even had a faster times in lifting and carrying task.
Their conclusion: "Older disabled persons with osteoarthritis of the knee had modest improvements in measures of disability, physical performance, and pain from participating in either an aerobic or a resistance exercise program. These data suggest that exercise should be prescribed as part of the treatment for knee osteoarthritis."
Exercise has more benefits than building muscle and loosing weight. Exercise can be a beneficial, less dangerous, and healthy alternative prescription. Just take this study as one example.
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