Pain relief and functional improvement in osteoarthrtis of the knee can be achieved with

  1. Exercise
  2. Correct lower limb alignment
    -to have a good understanding of points 1. and 2. visit
  3. weight lossIntensive weight loss combined with low to moderate exercise can halve the pain suffered by overweight patients with knee osteoarthritis. This information comes from Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney.

An international study was conducted with more than 450 patients aged at least 55 who had a BMI between 27 and 42 kg/m2. Patients were randomised to either

  • intensive dietary restriction using meal replacement products;
  • two 15-minute walks and one 20-minute weight training session three times weekly;
  • or the combination of diet and exercise.

The diet aimed for 10% weight loss.

At 18 months, patients lost an average 11kg (11% of original weight) with diet and exercise and 9kg with diet alone, but only 2kg with exercise alone.

The WOMAC pain score ( this is a measure of how much pain is experienced and is measured on a 10 point scale ) fell 51%, from 6.7 at baseline to 3.3, in patients who both dieted and exercised.

In the diet alone group, the reduction was 27%. In the exercise alone group, the reduction was 29%.

Other benefits included improvements in the WOMAC functional score and in walking speed.

Improvements in weight, pain and function were apparent in all groups after six months but continued to grow in the diet and exercise group until the end of the study.

Long-term intensive weight loss is possible in an OA population and there is a marked improvement in within six months, and with a combination of diet and exercise the benefits will continue to grow.

These data provide evidence that the best recommendation for long-term symptom reduction in overweight and obese patients with knee OA is intensive weight loss combined with low to moderate intensity exercise.