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Is long-term physical activity safe for people with knee OA?

Is it safe to exercise with osteoarthritis? This article discusses the evidence behind exercise and OA.

A systematic review (49 studies of physical activity of 3 or more months duration) evaluated safety outcomes of physical activity in older adults with knee pain.22 The review found NO EVIDENCE of:

  • serious adverse events
  • increases in pain
  • decreases in physical function
  • progression of structural OA on imaging
  • increased knee arthroplasty rates

BOTTOM LINE: Long-term therapeutic exercise > 3 months is safe for most older adults with knee pain.

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Physiotherapy Exercise and Physical Activity for Knee Osteoarthritis (PEAK)

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