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Weight training does not increase strength but may slow progression in OA patients

Moderate to severe osteoarthritis affects more than 22 million American adults between the ages of 25 and 74 and knee osteoarthritis (OA) can lead to disability in daily activities. Weakness in the quadriceps can be a risk factor for knee OA, but it may be the easiest one to prevent. Previous studies have rarely investigated whether quads strengthening exercises prevent or slow progression of knee OA or changes that are visible in X-rays. None have used the highly standardized x-ray procedures employed in a new study published in the October 2006 issue of Arthritis Care & Research (http://www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/arthritiscare), which examined the effects of strength training on the incidence and progression of knee OA in older adults.

Led by Alan E. Mikesky, PhD, of Indiana University and Purdue University in Indianapolis, IN, researchers conducted a study of 221 patients divided into 4 groups (OA/pain, OA/no pain, no OA/pain, no OA/no pain) that were then randomly assigned to either a strength training (ST) program or a range-of-motion (ROM) regimen for 30 months. Patients initially trained at a fitness center twice a week and at home once a week; the sessions at the fitness center were gradually decreased until patients were doing all of the workouts at home after the first year. The ST program included upper-body exercises, but was focused on resistance training for the lower-body. The ROM exercises consisted of simple movement exercises without weights. Strength was measured and X-rays were taken at the beginning of the study and at 30 months. The severity of OA features on the X-rays was rated independently by two different readers who didn't know to which group each patient belonged. In addition, patients were asked to return to the fitness center for strength testing and assessment of pain and function every 6 months after the first year. Of the 221 patients, 67 d
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Contact: Amy Molnar
amolnar@wiley.com
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
29-Sep-2006


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