Exercise in the management of knee and hip osteoarthritis

Elizabeth Wellsandt, Yvonne Golightly

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Purpose of review This review focuses on studies published during July 2001 to August 2017 of exercise as an intervention in knee and hip osteoarthritis, including its influence on an array of patient outcomes. Recent findings Studies continue to illustrate the efficacy of exercise in treating and managing osteoarthritis, with current literature more focused on the knee compared with the hip joint. Both traditional (e.g. strength, aerobic, flexibility) and more nontraditional (e.g. yoga, Tai Chi, aquatic) training modes improve patient outcomes related to joint symptoms, mobility, quality of life, psychological health, musculoskeletal properties, body composition, sleep, and fatigue. Exercise that is adequately dosed (e.g. frequency, intensity) and progressive in nature demonstrated the greatest improvements in patient outcomes. Supervised, partially supervised, and nonsupervised interventions can be successful in the treatment of osteoarthritis, but patient preference regarding level of supervision and mode of exercise may be key predictors in exercise adherence and degree of outcome improvement. A topic of increasing interest in osteoarthritis is the supplementary role of behavior training in exercise interventions. Summary Osteoarthritis is a complex, multifactorial disease that can be successfully managed and treated through exercise, with minimal risk for negative consequences. However, to have greatest impact, appropriate exercise prescription is needed. Efforts to achieve correct exercise doses and mitigate patient nonadherence are needed to lessen the lifelong burden of osteoarthritis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-159
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent opinion in rheumatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018


  • osteoarthritis
  • physical activity
  • physical therapy
  • training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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