Walking, running, and recreational sports for knee osteoarthritis: an overview of the evidence

Review written by Anthony Teoli info

Key Points

  1. There is consistent evidence that common forms of physical activity such as walking, running and certain recreational sports are not associated with the structural progression of knee osteoarthritis (OA) and can be safely recommended to patients with (or at risk) for knee OA.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Physical activity is recommended by practice guidelines for the management of knee osteoarthritis (OA) to improve pain and function (1). However, there is uncertainty among healthcare professionals with regards to how physical activity affects the structural integrity of their patients’ knees, which can be an important barrier to recommending physical activity to patients (2).

Therefore, the aim of this study was to provide a comprehensive overview of existing narrative reviews, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses that examine how physical activity relates to structural progression of knee OA.

Physical activity is recommended by practice guidelines for the management of knee osteoarthritis to improve pain and function.
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When recommending physical activity, excess weight or a previous knee injury may alter the knee joints’ response to physical activity.

METHODS

  • The authors of this study searched the PubMED database for reviews published in English related to “exercise” [MeSH Terms] AND “knee osteoarthritis” [MeSH Terms] from 2005 to 2020.
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