A new Cochrane review was recently released in the British Journal of Sports Medicine regarding knee osteoarthritis. Exercise was found beneficial by most clinical practice guidelines for treatment of knee osteoarthritis, in terms of stiffness and pain.
Fifty four randomized control trials were evaluated looking at the effect of land based exercise. Outcomes tracked included pain, function, and quality of life.
Subjects who participated in exercise programs demonstrated similar results regarding pain and functional improvements with those participants prescribed analgesics or non-steroidal anti-inflammatories. Additionally, pain relief and improvements in physical function were significant at two to six months after treatment.
This review demonstrated significant benefits of land based exercise. However, due to a broad variety of exercise types, authors were unable to determine the benefits of one type of exercise compared to another in terms of duration, frequency, and intensity. Authors also noted, that no high impact exercise studies were found to evaluate this exercise intervention for knee osteoarthritis.