- July 27, 2020
- Written by: Dr. Atul Wankhede
Osteoarthritis (OA), the most common rheumatic disease, primarily affects the articular cartilage and the subchondral bone of a synovial joint, eventually resulting in joint failure. People with progressive symptomatic knee OA experience pain and increasing difficulty with daily functional activities. In fact, knee OA bears more responsibility than any other disease for disability in walking, stair climbing and housekeeping. Currently, no cure for OA is known. However, disease-related factors, such as impaired muscle function and reduced fitness, are potentially amenable to exercise therapy
Exercise therapy takes a multitude of forms and results in numerous systemic and local effects, some of which have been investigated among people with knee OA. Therapeutic exercise covers a range of targeted physical activities that directly aim to improve muscle strength, neuromotor control, joint range of motion and aerobic fitness. One of the main aims of exercise is to improve muscle strength, given that weakness is common in knee OA.
Strength training of sufficient dosage can address muscle weakness by improving muscle mass and/or recruitment. However, among patient groups, pain must be considered and may be a barrier, hence leading to underdosage of the strength stimulus. Enhanced strength of the lower limb may lessen internal knee forces, reduce pain and improve physical function.
Increased muscle strength may modify biomechanics, resulting in a decreased joint loading rate or localised stress in the articular cartilage, thereby playing an important role in delaying initiation and ameliorating progression of knee OA. Improved fitness may enhance quality of life by allowing a greater range of available daily tasks, thereby improving physical function.
As I always say, Exercises are the only long term insurance one has, to avoid any intervention in future.
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