Why is exercise effective in reducing pain in people with osteoarthritis?

Review written by Anthony Teoli info

Key Points

  1. The relationship between exercise and pain and functional outcomes in patients with knee and hip osteoarthritis (OA) may be mediated by neural mechanisms, improved muscle strength and neuromuscular control, improved cartilage health, and reduced systemic and local joint inflammation.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a complex, multi-factorial disease involving mechanical stress, biochemical, and biological processes that affect the entire joint and surrounding muscles. More than 50 randomized trials have demonstrated the positive effect of exercise in relieving pain and improving function in people with symptomatic hip or knee OA (1). The objective of this narrative review was to summarize the beneficial effects of exercise for those with symptomatic hip and knee OA.

Osteoarthritis is a complex, multi-factorial disease involving mechanical stress, biochemical, and biological processes.
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Exercise is a crucial component of first-line treatment for patients with knee and hip OA.

METHODS

Narrative reviews are useful for obtaining a broad perspective on a topic, but differ fundamentally from other reviews such as systematic reviews (see the limitations section for more detail on this). For example, narrative reviews are not systematic and do

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