Knee osteoarthritis - how to manage it

A study conducted by Marconcin et al., (2016) looked into the best management strategies for living with osteoarthritis of the knee. Self-management and exercise programmes were compared to an educational intervention only approach.

Subjects were over 60 years in age with a clinical and radiographic diagnosis of knee osteoarthritis, and were divided equally into two groups; self-management and exercise programme based, and education only. Both groups were followed up at three and six months after starting the study.

The self-management and exercise programme group took part in bi-weekly sessions involving 30 minutes self-management techniques, and 60 minutes exercise. Exercises involved resistance/strength, flexibility, balance and cardiovascular activities. The educational group received a book on how to manage knee osteoarthritis, as well as three (1 hour) monthly educational sessions projecting strategies, exercise, and self-management techniques.

In the self-management and exercise group, there was a 31% reduction in reported pain, as well as a 29% reduction in knee osteoarthritis symptoms. However, there were improvements in both groups, and it was concluded that self-management, exercise and education techniques are important in managing knee osteoarthritis. The psycho-emotional context of those living with knee osteoarthritis must also be considered and addressed so they can create their own individual goals in improving their quality of life.