Efficacy and potential determinants of exercise therapy in knee and hip osteoarthritis: A systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Siew-Li Goh, Monica S.M. Persson, Joanne Stocks, Yunfei Hou, Jianhao Lin, Michelle C. Hall, Michael Doherty, Weiya Zhang
  • Annals of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, May 2019, Elsevier
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.rehab.2019.04.006

What determines how effective exercise is as a treatment for osteoarthritis?

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

What is it about?

Exercise is an effective treatment for osteoarthritis. However, the effect may vary from one patient to another. We have combined the results from 77 studies of 6472 participants with knee or hip osteoarthritis to see which factors can influence who will experience improvements in their pain, function, performance and quality of life when undertaking 8 weeks of exercise.

Why is it important?

We found in this study that in people with knee or hip osteoarthritis 8 weeks of exercise can have moderate but significant benefits for pain and function. However, these benefits then gradually decrease, to be no better than usual care at 9-18 months. People who were younger and not waiting for knee replacement were also more likely to benefit from exercise therapy.


Dr Joanne Stocks
University of Nottingham

Long-term adherence to exercise therapy programmes is important to maintain the benefits of exercise in improving osteoarthritis pain and function.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Joanne Stocks