Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study To Assess Hip Exercises As Treatment For Osteoarthritis In The Knee Joints

Date:
July 16, 2009
Source:
Rush University Medical Center
Summary:
Researchers are testing a novel regimen of hip-muscle exercises to decrease the load on the knee joints in patients with osteoarthritis. The goal is not only to relieve pain but also, possibly, to halt progression of the disease.

Researchers at Rush University Medical Center are testing a novel regimen of hip-muscle exercises to decrease the load on the knee joints in patients with osteoarthritis. The goal is not only to relieve pain but also, possibly, to halt progression of the disease.

Related Articles


"Each time you take a step, a load, or force, is placed on the knee joints. How much load depends not just on your weight, but also on the way you walk and the alignment of your leg," said Laura Thorp, PhD, assistant professor of anatomy and cell biology at Rush Medical College and principal investigator for the study. "If we can appropriately alter the gait patterns of patients with osteoarthritis, we can minimize the load and relieve pain.

"Ultimately, we're hoping we can prevent the disease from advancing. No treatment currently exists that can stop osteoarthritis from progressing in the knees, other than joint replacement surgery."

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and a significant source of disability and impaired quality of life. A higher-than-normal load on the knees during walking is a hallmark of the disease, associated with both the severity of the osteoarthritis and its progression, according to Thorp.

Thorp is enrolling patients with mild to moderate osteoarthritis in their knees in a research study to determine the effectiveness of certain hip exercises in treating the disease. Study participants have their knees x-rayed and undergo an initial assessment in Rush's Human Motion Laboratory to measure the load on their knee joints while walking. Participants then follow a specific regimen of hip exercises for four weeks under the direction of Charles Cranny, clinical manager of outpatient physical therapy.

The exercises focus on strengthening the hip abductor muscles, such as the gluteus medius, a broad, thick, radiating muscle that helps to stabilize the pelvis during ambulation. In patients with osteoarthritis in the knees, these muscles tend to be weak, causing the pelvis to tilt toward the side of the swing leg when walking, instead of remaining level with the ground, which increases the load on the knee joints. Strengthening these muscles helps the pelvis and the knee remain in better alignment, and thereby lessens the load.

After the four weeks of supervised physical therapy, participants are reassessed to determine whether the load on the knees has decreased, and whether the pain has subsided.

The trial continues for another four weeks, with patients exercising at home to determine whether the adjustments in gait can be maintained.

According to Thorp, exercise regimens to date have focused largely on strengthening the quadriceps and hamstring muscles, which stabilize the knee joint but likely do little to correct alignment with the rest of the leg or alter the load on the joint.

Preliminary evidence in the present trial has already shown that a decrease in load is attained with hip-muscle exercises.

"By lessening the load on the knees, we can remove one of the major known risk factors for the progression of osteoarthritis," Thorp said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rush University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Rush University Medical Center. "Study To Assess Hip Exercises As Treatment For Osteoarthritis In The Knee Joints." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090716094150.htm>.
Rush University Medical Center. (2009, July 16). Study To Assess Hip Exercises As Treatment For Osteoarthritis In The Knee Joints. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090716094150.htm
Rush University Medical Center. "Study To Assess Hip Exercises As Treatment For Osteoarthritis In The Knee Joints." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090716094150.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) Fears of Ebola are keeping doctors and patients alike away from hospitals in the West African nation of Guinea. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) The family of a Dallas nurse infected with Ebola in the US says doctors can no longer detect the virus in her. Despite the mounting death toll in West Africa, there are survivors there too. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins