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Improving Quality of Life in Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis


Clinical trial shows that a simple home-based exercise program can help with knee osteoarthritis

Can a simple home-based exercise program be an effective and low-cost option to help elderly patients with knee osteoarthritis? A clinical trial investigates.

What is Osteoarthritis

Knee osteoarthritis (OA), also known as the degenerative joint disease of the knee, is typically the result of wear and tear and progressive loss of articular cartilage. 
It is a common condition that affects the knee joints, causing pain, stiffness, and swelling. It can be divided into two types:
  • Primary
  • Secondary

Primary osteoarthritis is articular degeneration without any apparent cause while secondary osteoarthritis can result from trauma or the presence of abnormal cartilage in the joint in diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.


How does it affect the patient?

It is typically seen in elderly patients and can limit their ability to perform daily activities. It is a progressive disease with a gradual increase in the intensity of the symptoms which include:
  • Pain that increases with physical activity
  • Joint swelling
  • Joint warmth
  • Early morning stiffness
  • Decrease in the range of motion of the affected joint

Available Treatments

There are many treatments available for osteoarthritis such as:
  • Anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDs)
  • Steroids
  • Immunosuppressant drugs
  • Joint injections
  • Surgery which includes joint replacement

While these treatments have shown good efficacy over the years, they can be costly and have potential side effects. Also, these pharmacologic treatments do not have the desired results when used alone without exercise regimens.

Many different regimens are in current use and there is a need to identify the best ones according to the patient demographics.

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Clinical Trial

A recent study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders investigated the effects of a home-based exercise intervention on elderly patients with knee osteoarthritis. The study aimed to determine whether a simple exercise program could improve the patient's pain, physical function, and quality of life.

The study involved 171 participants all over the age of 60, who were diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis. The participants were divided into two groups - an intervention group and a control group. The intervention group participated in a twelve-week home-based exercise program, while the control group was only given health education without any guidance on home-based exercises.

The home-based exercise program involved a combination of exercises designed to improve strength, flexibility, and balance. The exercises included:
  • Isometric contraction of the quadriceps
  • Supine and prone leg-lifts
  • Passive knee flexion and extension
  • Resistance knee flexion and extension
  • Shifting of the center of gravity

After twelve weeks, the researchers found that the participants in the intervention group had significant improvements in pain, physical function, and quality of life, compared to the control group. Specifically, the intervention group had a 41% reduction in pain, a 28% improvement in physical function, and a 23% improvement in quality of life.


These findings suggest that in addition to the pharmacologic treatments, a simple home-based exercise program can be an effective and low-cost option for elderly patients with knee osteoarthritis.

These exercises can easily be performed at home with specialized equipment or expert supervision and can help patients improve their quality of life immensely.

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This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. CenTrial Data Ltd. does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. Treatments and clinical trials mentioned may not be appropriate or available for all trial participants. Outcomes from treatments and clinical trials may vary from person to person. Consult with your doctor as to whether a clinical trial is a suitable option for your condition. Assistance from generative AI tools may have been used in writing this article.