Knee pain sufferers may get relief from aqua fitness, low-impact aerobics

07 November 2012 - 14:34 By AFP Relaxnews

If you suffer from knee pain from osteoarthritis, a new review of nearly 200 studies finds that certain exercises can help give you some relief.

Researchers from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health found that low-impact aerobic exercise and water exercises, as well as strength training and therapeutic ultrasound, can reduce pain and ease mobility -- as long as you stick with the program.

In the new review, published Tuesday in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, researcher Dr. Tatyana Shamliyan and colleagues looked at 193 studies conducted between 1970 and 2012 that examined nonsurgical and non-drug treatments for osteoarthritis-related knee pain, ranging from tai chi and massage to taping and diathermy. Exercise fared the best at improving pain and mobility, as long as subjects followed through with a program, while the researchers found that few physical therapy interventions were as effective.

However patients need to proceed with caution, Shamliyan said. "For people with osteoarthritis, exercise can increase knee pain, at least short-term, and that can be a big deterrent," she told WebMD. "That is why it is so important to start under the supervision of a physical therapist."

Another study published in 2005 found that losing weight can also help overweight sufferers of osteoarthritis of the knee. Researchers found that for every pound of body weight lost, subjects experienced a four-pound reduction in knee joint stress. That study was published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism.