This is rather a novel new way to treat osteoarthritis. We know that exercise for osteoarthritis sufferers is vital but they are time consuming and often painful to do. This makes patient compliance relatively low.
I know from experience how people often start full of good intentions but then then enthusiasm wanes especially when they start to feel better! They think they can stop and things will stay the same. Then a few weeks later I get an email asking do they need to start from scratch or can they jump in back where they left off.
Anyway researchers are looking at ways of tricking the cartilage into believing it is doing exercise.This was simply explained by Dr. Farshid Guilak, Laszlo Ormandy (professor of orthopaedic surgery at Duke University and senior author of the new study) reporting by Medical Daily.
“Mechanical loading plays a critical role in the overall health of the cartilage,” he said. “If we can figure out how cartilage cells sense mechanical loads, we can trick them into thinking they are being exercised or stop them from responding to abnormal loading. Think of it as artificial exercise for your cartilage.”
He says if you can effectively trick the body into thinking it is doing exercise for osteoarthritis then the cartilage will “translate” physical activity to actual cartilage and tissue gains which is what degenerates with OA.
Is this Type of Exercise for Osteoarthritis the Answer?
I certainly think it could have it’s place in helping people as part of their overall management. However the danger will be that people will think it is the only type of exercise they should do! You don’t need to exercise for osteoarthritis but also for your general health.
However there is a difference between exercises for osteoarthritis and exercise or activity.
Exercise for osteoarthritis are a specific set of stretches and movements that work directly on the affected joint.
Exercise is a general body work out vital to your overall health and well being.
You need to do both but this treatment will only do the exercises for the osteoarthritis.
It’s biggest plus for me is that it may enable someone to do exercise as many severe OA sufferers find it difficult and painful.
So this may be the too lazy solution for exercise for osteoarthritis! Anyway it is still in it’s infancy so in the meantime you need the tried and trusted way!