ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Know Your Asthma Triggers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Green Tea May Help Brain Cope With Sleep Disorders
Awareness of Alternative Therapies May Be Lacking
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Barefoot Lifestyle Has Its Dangers
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
Gene Plays Key Role in Clubfoot
CANCER
Gene Screen May Predict Colon Cancer's Return
Some Spices Cut Cancer Risk That Comes With Grilled Burgers
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
CAREGIVING
Reduce Suffering, Urge Heart Failure Patients and Caregivers
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
Diabetes Epidemic Now Poses Challenges for Nursing Homes
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
Migraines in Pregnancy Boost Vascular Risks
COSMETIC
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
DENTAL, ORAL
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
DIABETES
Findings Challenge Tight Glucose Control for Critically Ill Patients
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
DIET, NUTRITION
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Myrrh May Lower High Cholesterol
Eating your way to Good Health
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Ozone-Depleting Inhalers Being Phased Out
Pesticides Linked to Parkinson's
Household Chemicals May Affect Cholesterol Levels
EYE CARE, VISION
Nearly 18 Million Will Have Macular Degeneration by 2050
Cases of Age-Related Farsightedness to Soar
FDA Goes After Unapproved Eye Washes, Skin Ointments
FITNESS
Walking Golf Course Affects Swing, Performance
Vigorous Treadmill Workout Curbs Appetite Hormones
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
Most Women Struggle With Rising Health Care Costs
Lack of Vitamin D Linked to High Blood Pressure
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Whole Grains Lower Risk of Heart Failure
Coffee Is Generally Heart-Friendly
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Plastics Chemical Tied to Aggression in Young Girls
Even Young Kids Can Learn CPR
School Phys. Ed. Injuries Up 150 Percent
MEN'S HEALTH
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
MENTAL HEALTH
The Unmedicated Mind
Brain Scans Show How Humans 'Hear' Emotion
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
SENIORS
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
Friends, Not Grandkids, Key to Happy Retirement
Video Gaming Just Might Fight Aging
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Health Tip: Be More Comfortable During Childbirth
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Occupational Therapy Plus Exercise Benefits Osteoarthritis

TUESDAY, Sept. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Adding occupational therapy to a structured exercise program increases physical activity for most people who have hip and knee osteoarthritis, say researchers.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that leads to the breakdown of the cartilage in joints. In people with osteoarthritis, exercise helps maintain good joint health, manage symptoms and prevent functional decline.

But studies have shown that the benefits of a structured exercise program are short-lived. The beneficial effects usually fade soon after participation in the program ends.

In a study in the October issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism, researchers investigated whether occupational therapy could benefit people with hip and knee osteoarthritis.

The occupational therapy program in this study was designed to educate osteoarthritis patients about joint protection, proper body mechanisms, activity pacing, and environmental barriers.

The participants of the current study were divided into two groups. The first group participated in a structured exercise program and the occupational therapy program. The second group participated in the same exercise program, but received health education in place of the occupational therapy.

Only the group that engaged in occupational therapy increased the intensity of physical activity at the end of the study.

"Occupational therapy is really the missing link in promoting wellness of people with hip and knee osteoarthritis," study author Susan L. Murphy, an assistant professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Michigan Medical School and Research Health Science Specialist at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, said in a university news release.

Murphy points out that more research is necessary to study the effects of occupational therapy in larger groups of people with osteoarthritis and to determine the long-term effects of the therapy.

But Murphy says that people with osteoarthritis should strive to expand their daily physical activity and improve their overall health behaviors.

"People with osteoarthritis tend to know more about surgical options, and less about how they can take an active role in promoting their own health and well-being," she said. "People with osteoarthritis need to be their own agents of change. They can do so much to manage symptoms and stave off functional decline caused by osteoarthritis just by being physically active. The bottom line is to find out ways to help people create and maintain these healthy habits."

More information

The American Occupational Therapy Association has more about occupational therapy and arthritis.



-- Krisha McCoy



SOURCE: University of Michigan Health System, news release, Sept. 29, 2008

Last Updated: Sept. 30, 2008

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