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Exercise for the person with osteoarthritis 

Exercise for the person with osteoarthritis
Exercise for the person with osteoarthritis

Kim L. Bennell

, Ans Van Ginckel

, Fiona Dobson

, and Rana S. Hinman

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date: 23 June 2021

Because of its beneficial effects on pain and physical dysfunction commonly reported by afflicted individuals, all clinical guidelines of osteoarthritis (OA) advocate exercise therapy as a vital component of conservative management strategies. Although the optimal exercise modalities in terms of dosage, exercise type, or delivery mode are not yet known, clinical benefits can be achieved with a wide range of exercise types. While treatment effect sizes may be considered small to moderate, they are similar to those of common analgesic drugs or oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatories but seem to elicit fewer side effects. To achieve optimal treatment outcomes, programme parameters should be individualized to the patient’s clinical characteristics and preferences. Where validated instruments could assist the clinician in monitoring the progress of an exercise intervention programme, adherence to exercise in the longer term is a prerequisite to maintain symptom relief over time. Whereas the current body of evidence mainly comprises clinical trials in people with knee OA, future studies should continue to address efficacy and safety of exercise therapy in individuals suffering from hand or hip OA and should further determine its ability to postpone the need for costly arthroplasty surgery.

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