Study outlines benefits of knee bracing for osteoarthritis sufferers
1st May 2013
A new study carried out by expert researchers at the University of Manchester, funded and supported by Arthritis Research, has reportedly found that the wearing of a knee brace could significantly reduce the effects of osteoarthritis affecting this part of the body.
Whilst sophisticated mobility aids such as stair lifts and walk in showers and baths play a vital role in making life easier for those who are living with the often debilitating condition, there can be no denying that the prospect of seeing a reduction in the pain and associated symptoms of osteoarthritis altogether is an attractive one for all who may benefit from this potentially groundbreaking therapy.
The results of the research were unveiled at the most recent meeting of the Osteoarthritis Research Society International in the US city of Philadelphia, and have been hailed as a cheap and straightforward replacement for the often costly practice of acquiring effective painkillers. With approximately six million people estimated to be living with osteoarthritis of the knee in the UK, and our ageing population leading to predictions that this number will continue to increase, this simple discovery could yet prove to be hugely significant.
Otherwise known as patellofemoral osteoarthritis, the condition is responsible for around 20 per cent of all knee pain that is suffered, and affects many simple day-to-day tasks such as going up and down stairs, kneeling and sitting down; as one of the lead researchers, Dr Michael Callaghan, pointed out, there is now very much a 'pressing need for non-surgical interventions' to help deal with the disease, and the suggestion that this could be met just by the wearing of a knee brace has been received with understandable excitement.
The study involved 126 people with osteoarthritis being instructed to wear knee braces over a period of 12 weeks; once this period had finished, every single patient reported improvements in muscle strength and function, and reductions in pain, stiffness and other symptoms.
Image credit: D.L. (flickr.com)
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