New study finds novel non-surgical OA treatment

When it comes to knee osteoarthritis and its associated pain, are there novel, non-surgical treatments still available? A new study found, in fact, that there is an effective, non-surgical treatment for OA pain which is not widely known or used.

The study appears in the December 2018 edition of Osteoarthritis and Cartilage.

ElliptiGO on Miller Highway in Jersey City NJ. Jim Henderson, Wikimedia Commons

Elizabeth Hofheinz MPH MEd, Orthopedics This Week December 14, 2018

John Song MD, with the Center for Healthcare Studies at the Institute for Public Health and Medicine at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, explained the innovative approach to OTW, “We are interested in the impact of physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep on health, in this case, pain among people with knee osteoarthritis (OA) or with OA risk factors.”

“Although improving physical activity can improve health, little is known about the potential benefit of different intensities of physical activity on pain. We applied statistical methods called isotemporal substitution to evaluate associations in relation to pain from trading time in one intensity type of wake activity (sedentary, light, moderate activity) or sleep for another.”

The authors wrote, “Moderate PA [physical activity] substituted for an equivalent time in sleep or other types of wake behaviors was most strongly associated with lower odds of pain (bodily pain interference odds reduced 21–25%, knee pain odds reduced 17–20% per 10-min exchange).”

“Moderate intensity physical activity substituted for an equivalent time of less intense activity (e.g. light intensity, sedentary, or sleep) was most strongly associated with less pain. In addition, the potential substitution benefit in pain reduction was strongest among persons who did not report any restless sleep,” Dr. Song commented to OTW.

“In addition to promoting moderate physical activity above and beyond formal physical therapy, sleep problems may be an important factor to address in managing pain among people with chronic knee symptoms. Learning about the physical activity and sleep experience of patients could improve pain management in knee OA patients.”

Reallocating time spent in sleep, sedentary behavior and physical activity and its association with pain: a pilot sleep study from the Osteoarthritis Initiative, Song J, Dunlop DD, Semanik PA, Chang AH, Lee YC, Gilbert AL, Jackson RD, Chang RW, Lee J. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2018 Dec;26(12):1595-1603. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2018.07.002. Epub 2018 Jul 24.

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