Exercise trial for arthritis pain


Toronto : Certain types of exercise can help reduce the pain and symptoms of knee arthritis.

Now a $5million study of the benefits of exercise is looking to recruit Canadians with osteo-arthritic knee pain for further research to be carried out at the University of Calgary’s Sport Medicine Centre.

Andrew Marsh, a master’s student co-ordinating the active aspect of the study, says the project will further test the theory that exercise aids in the treatment of the condition.

The is being funded by the Alberta Heritage Fund for Medical Research, and is a free, supervised, three-month exercise program open to individuals over the age of 40. Those who are younger and living with osteoarthritic pain due to past surgeries may also qualify.

Over six per cent of Canadian adults over 30 experience osteoarthritis, and by age 65, that number jumps to 11 per cent.

Co-ordinators and specialists will follow the activity and personal experiences by participants, who must be committed to exercising over the 12 weeks, most of which can be conducted at home. No heavy weights are involved and everyone will receive the necessary training and equipment.

The exercises will focus on various areas of the lower body, including the hips and thighs, which lend support to knees.

Since osteoarthritis is a gradual progression with often subtle signs of pain or immobility, and key to reducing pain is to increase strength around the joint and within the core so the body is better able to move.

The potential for this study to branch out into other areas of health care is exciting and far reaching, adds Ferber.

“This is unique because we’re doing a whole body study and that’s ever been done before,” he says. “Once the results are published, the knowledge can then be used to help patients and inform physicians, and therapists.”

For more information about participating in the study, call + 1 403-220-3523 or e-mail kneeoa@ucalgary.ca