Both high- and low-dose exercise could benefit people with knee osteoarthritis

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Osteoarthritis of the knee joint is associated with chronic pain, stiffness, impaired function and reduced quality of life.

The preferred treatment is exercise, but there are few studies that have investigated which exercise dose is optimal.

In a study from Karolinska Institutet, scientists found both high- and low-dose exercise could benefit people with knee osteoarthritis.

They compared high-dose exercise therapy versus low-dose in patients with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis and found that both groups had similar results.

However, high-dose exercise therapy provided better outcomes related to function in sports and recreation in the short term, with results subsiding after six months.

In the study, the team tested 189 people at four different centers, two in Norway and two in Sweden.

Patients assigned to the high-dose group performed eleven graded exercises lasting 70 to 90 minutes, and patients assigned to the low-dose group performed five graded exercises lasting 20 to 30 minutes.

All patients had three treatments a week for twelve weeks.

The team found that at follow-up periods, knee osteoarthritis scores improved in both groups.

The only differences favoring high-dose exercise were in the domain of knee function during sports and recreation at the end of treatment and six months after the intervention and in the quality-of-life domain at six months.

The researchers note that high-dose treatment could be preferable to low-dose treatment in the long run for people who lead active lives.

However, adherence could be an issue, as those in the low-dose group had nearly perfect adherence to the intervention, while the high-dose participants had a higher drop-out rate.

If you care about exercise, please read studies about exercise that may slow down bone aging, and this exercise is vital to improving longevity in older people.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about Paleo diet plus exercise could boost heart health in people with diabetes and results showing that DASH diet for high blood pressure may reduce gout symptoms.

The study was conducted by Tom Arild Torstensen et al and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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