ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Supplement Hampers Thyroid Cancer Treatment
Awareness of Alternative Therapies May Be Lacking
Health Tip: Anticipating Acupuncture
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Health Tip: Back Pain in Children
Alcohol Abuse Can Damage Bones
A Little Drink May Be Good for Your Bones
CANCER
Adding Garlic Might Cut Cancer Risk
U.S. Reported 25,000 Cases of HPV-Related Cancers Annually
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
CAREGIVING
Hospital Practices Influence Which Moms Will Breast-Feed
Newborn Screenings Now Required Across U.S.
Bariatric Surgery Centers Don't Deliver Better Outcomes
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
COSMETIC
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
Laser Technology Spots Cavities Before They Start
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
DIABETES
Coffee, Tea Might Stave Off Diabetes
Poor Blood Sugar Control After Heart Surgery Impacts Outcomes
Insulin Resistance Tied to Peripheral Artery Disease
DIET, NUTRITION
Pesticides on Produce Tied to ADHD in Children
Dark Chocolate May Lower Stroke Risk
Drinking Your Way to Health? Perhaps Not
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
Climate Change Linked to Longer Pollen Seasons
Is It Safe to Go in the Gulf Coast's Water?
EYE CARE, VISION
Eye Problems, Hearing Loss May Be Linked
Omega-3 Foods May Lower Eye Disease Risk
Eye Disease, Cognitive Decline Linked in Study
FITNESS
Barefoot Best for Running?
Fliers Can Keep Blood Clots at Bay
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
Regular Yoga May Improve Eating Habits
Vitamin D and Bone Health: Are You Getting Enough of This Important Vitamin?
Deployment Takes Toll on Army Wives
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
A Little Chocolate May Do the Heart Good
B-Vitamins Help Protect Against Stroke, Heart Disease
Kids With Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Heart Trouble
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Scary Toxins Make Halloween Face Paints Questionable
Winter's Bitter Cold Poses Health Dangers
Even Young Kids Can Learn CPR
MEN'S HEALTH
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Countdown to Hair Loss
MENTAL HEALTH
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
Musicians' Brains Tuned to Emotions in Sound
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
SENIORS
Boost In Elderly Population Will Be Felt Worldwide
Nighttime Urination Linked to Higher Death Rate Among Elderly
15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Most Women With Osteoporosis Unaware of Raised Fracture Risk
For Women, Moderate Midlife Drinking Linked to Healthier Old Age
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
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Cane Use May Cut Progression of Knee Osteoarthritis

MONDAY, May 26 (HealthDay News) -- Using a cane may help reduce the risk of knee osteoarthritis (OA) progression, according to a study by researchers at the University of Melbourne in Australia.

The study included 16 men and 24 women, mean age 65, with knee OA, an incurable joint disease that's the leading cause of disability in elderly people. All the participants walked in their bare feet and then in their own shoes. Then, 20 of the participants walked wearing their own shoes and using a cane in the hand opposite to the knee with OA.

During these tests, the participants walked over sensors that recorded ground impact. The researchers also gathered data on limb movement.

Overall, the peak knee adduction moment -- an indication of weight placement while walking -- was 7.4 percent higher when wearing shoes than when walking barefoot. Use of a cane resulted in a 10 percent average decrease in the knee adduction moment. Some of the participants had a more than 20 percent decrease when using a cane.

While the participants tended to walk more slowly while using the cane, they had greater stride length and improved pelvis control, which alleviates the damaging load on the knee with OA.

The study was published in the journal Arthritis Care & Research.

While canes are already widely recommended for patients with knee OA, this study confirms their therapeutic value, at least in the short-term, the researchers said.

"Further studies are required to establish whether knee loading remains lower with ongoing use of a cane and whether the reductions in loading translate to a reduced risk of disease progression," study author Dr. Rana S. Hinman said in a prepared statement.

It's not clear why wearing shoes increased the peak knee adduction moment, but heel height, sole thickness, and arch supports may all be factors.

"Because it is potentially dangerous as well as impractical to advise patients with knee OA to walk about in bare feet, further research is needed to determine which types of shoes least increase the knee adduction moment or, ideally, reduce it," Hinman said.

More information

The Arthritis Foundation has more about osteoarthritis.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: Arthritis Care & Research, news release, May 2008

Last Updated: May 26, 2008

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