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Posted by on Nov 1, 2014 in Rheumatoid Arthritis | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study investigated whether a 12 week therapeutic exercise program can decrease pain sensitivity in patients with knee osteoarthritis

Some background

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and can affect any joint in the body. One common symptom of osteoarthritis is pain during or after movement. It has previously been reported that exercise can help patients with osteoarthritis by increasing muscle strength and endurance. It is also thought that exercise can increase the pain threshold (the ability of the patient to deal with pain) for patients. However, until now, the reasons why exercise could reduce pain sensation have not been explored.

Methods & findings

This study included 48 participants with knee osteoarthritis. The study included two groups: group one (25 patients) received 3 supervised exercise sessions per week for 12 weeks and group 2 (23 patients) received no exercise therapy. Following the 12 week treatment program patients were assessed for pressure pain sensitivity. Pressure pain sensitivity was assessed by putting a cuff on the leg most severely affected by the arthritis and increasing the pressure. Patients’ self-reported pain was also assessed.

Patients exposed to the exercise therapy had a significantly higher pain threshold after the program compared to patients who received no exercise therapy. Exercise therapy also significantly decreased patients’ self-reported pain levels compared to patients who did not receive exercise therapy.

The bottom line

The authors concluded that the 12 week exercise program reduces the pressure pain sensitivity of patients with knee osteoarthritis. It also helps reduce self-reported pain in these patients.

What’s next?

This was a supervised therapeutic exercise program. If you think you might benefit from exercise-induced pain relief please discuss the options with your doctor.

Published By :

Arthritis Care & Research

Date :

Jun 06, 2014

Original Title :

Exercise therapy reduces pain sensitivity in patients with knee osteoarthritis: A randomized controlled trial.

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