November 25, 2003
Exercises for Osteoarthritis
Newswire) -- A new study shows hydrotherapy, or water exercise,
may improve strength and mobility in patients with osteoarthritis.
Researchers from Australia
studied more than 100 patients with osteoarthritis who were older
than age 50. Patients were divided into three groups. The first
group exercised three times a week in a swimming pool, the second
exercised in a gym, and the third did not exercise at all. Both
the water and gym programs focused on resistance exercises.
Results of the study
show patients in both exercise groups were able to walk faster
and further than those in the control group. Researchers say the
ability to walk is extremely important in these patients because
it allows them to increase and maintain independence while increasing
muscle strength around affected joints.
Patients in the gym
group reported increased thigh muscle strength in both legs, while
those in the water group experienced improved strength in their
left thighs only. Patients in the water group, who reported worse
symptoms at the start of the study, also experienced a reduction
in pain. Researchers say water exercises increase cardiovascular
fitness and allow patients to exercise with greater intensity
than they might be able to on land.
Researchers say these
results show patients with osteoarthritis can engage in higher
intensity exercises. They conclude: “Both the gym and hydrotherapy
interventions produce positive functional outcomes for patients
with osteoarthritis. However, it seems that hydrotherapy may be
more suitable for aerobic based exercise programs. Hydrotherapy
provides the optimal environment for patients with osteoarthritis
to exercise aerobically, and at higher intensities than would
be possible on land.”
This article was reported
by Ivanhoe.com, who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day
of the week. To subscribe, go to: http://www.ivanhoe.com/newsalert/.
SOURCE: Annals of Rheumatic
article was reported by Ivanhoe.com, who offers Medical Alerts
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