ExerciseHydrotherapyOsteoarthritisTai Chi

Comparing exercise programs in people with osteoarthritis

Reduced aerobic capacity in people osteoarthritis of the lower limbs affects independence and the ability to perform everyday activities.

Researchers at Universidad de Extremadura, in Spain, reviewed exercise programs and the ability to perform activities require sustained aerobic metabolism.

First, the details.

  • 20 studies were selected for analysis.
  • The studies were grouped into 5 categories.
    • Strength programs
    • Tai chi
    • Aerobic programs
    • Mixed exercise
    • Hydrotherapy

And, the results.

  • Functional aerobic capacity improved with the following programs.
    • Tai chi
    • Aerobic exercise
    • Mixed exercise programs

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Exercise programs based on tai chi, aerobic, and mixed exercise seem to give better results than hydrotherapy programs, but without the differences being altogether clear.”

The unanswered question is does the type of exercise affect the ability to maintain independent living?

In addition, the authors concluded.

  • Despite recommendations for exercise programs for aerobic fitness in patients with hip and knee osteoarthritis, few studies have been conducted.
  • The structure of the exercise programs (program content and duration, and session frequency and duration) differs greatly.

8/16/11 19:11 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.