Ooo, my knee!

Sep 18, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Once we reach the age of 55 there's a 25 per cent chance that we will be suffering from bad knees. Of that 25 per cent, half will experience some sort of associated disability, such as difficulty carrying out everyday activities, and most of us will have reached for the painkillers.

However, experts at The University of Nottingham have just completed one of the largest and longest running studies of its kind which backs up international recommendations emphasising the importance of lifestyle interventions to ease those painful knees.

Tony Avery, Professor of Primary Care in the School of Community Health Sciences, said: “As a GP I often see patients with and it can really affect quality of life particularly when people find they cannot do their usual work, home or leisure activities. Often patients have to take drugs to help control the pain and yet these don't always work and sometimes have serious side effects.”

With funding of over £400,000 from the Research Campaign researchers selected 389 patients from five general practices in Nottingham, to take part in the two year research project which has been published in the (BMJ).

Participants were chosen if they were overweight and had reported that they were suffering from knee pain. They were randomised into four groups: one group was given an exercise programme aimed at strengthening the muscles around the knee; another group took part in a weight reduction programme; a third group combined the exercise program and the weight reduction programme; and a fourth group were given an advice leaflet (this acted as the control group).

Professor Avery said: “We have shown that the use of simple home-based exercises to help strengthen the knee can improve knee pain and also reduce the need for painkillers. Also, a weight reduction programme helped people to lose weight and also helped to improve mood.”

The exercise programme was effective at reducing knee pain when measured throughout the study and two years after the start of the study. The weight reduction programme helped people to lose an average of 3kg (almost half a stone) in weight and, while it did not improve knee pain, it did improve depression scores. The researchers also carried out a health economic analysis which showed that the combination of the knee strengthening exercise programme and the weight reduction programme was the most cost-effective way of treating knee pain — meaning that the benefits in terms of improvement in quality of life were considered sufficient to outweigh the costs to the NHS.

Dr Claire Jenkinson, lead researcher for the project, said: “We are extremely grateful to the patients who took part in this study and also to all the NHS staff, including general practices, for helping to make the study a success.”

Provided by University of Nottingham (news : web)

Explore further: Sierra Leone faces criticism over Ebola shutdown

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Chronic knee pain: Is surgery the only solution?

Dec 13, 2007

The results of a study published in the online open access journal, BMC Medicine indicate that sufferers of chronic patellofemoral syndrome (PFPS), a chronic pain in the front part of the knee, gain no extra benefit from s ...

Detecting early signs of osteoarthritis

Jul 23, 2009

Researchers at The University of Nottingham are hoping to find out if inflammation of the knee could be an early sign of osteoarthritis — a condition which leads to pain, stiffness, swelling and disability.

1 in 2 adults at risk for painful knee arthritis

Sep 03, 2008

A landmark government study suggests nearly one in two people (46%) will develop painful knee osteoarthritis over their lifetime, with the highest risk among those who are obese. According to the Arthritis Foundation, the ...

Helping back pain sufferers to stay in work

Feb 22, 2008

New research to be carried out at The University of Nottingham could have a major impact on the way that people struggling with low back pain are helped to stay in work.

Recommended for you

Sierra Leone reaches final day of Ebola lockdown

2 hours ago

Frustrated residents complained of food shortages in some neighborhoods of Sierra Leone's capital on Sunday as the country reached the third and final day of a sweeping, unprecedented lockdown designed to ...

Sierra Leone faces criticism over Ebola shutdown

Sep 20, 2014

Sierra Leone began the second day of a 72-hour nationwide shutdown aimed at containing the spread of the deadly Ebola virus on Saturday amid criticism that the action was a poorly planned publicity stunt.

Presence of peers ups health workers' hand hygiene

Sep 19, 2014

(HealthDay)—The presence of other health care workers improves hand hygiene adherence, according to a study published in the October issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

Sierra Leone streets deserted as shutdown begins

Sep 19, 2014

Sierra Leone's normally chaotic capital resembled a ghost town on Friday as residents were confined to their homes for the start of a three-day lockdown aimed at halting the deadly Ebola epidemic.

User comments : 0