ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Insight on Herbals Eludes Doctors, Patients Alike
Fish Oil's Benefits Remain Elusive
Needling Away Your Headaches With Acupuncture
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
A Little Drink May Be Good for Your Bones
Yoga Can Ease Lower Back Pain
CANCER
Multiple Screening Strategy Boosts Cervical Cancer Detection
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Yoga May Bring Calm to Breast Cancer Treatment
CAREGIVING
Caregivers Face Multiple Strains Tending Older Parents
Late-Life Fatherhood May Lower Child's Intelligence
Babies Born in High Pollen Months at Wheezing Risk
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Smog Tougher on the Obese
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
COSMETIC
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
Laser Technology Spots Cavities Before They Start
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
DIABETES
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
'Standard' Glucose Test May Be Wrong One for Obese Children
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
DIET, NUTRITION
Blueberry Drink Protects Mice From Obesity, Diabetes
Teens Lose More Weight Using Healthy Strategies
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Global Warming Linked to Heightened Kidney Stone Risk
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Exposure to 9/11 Fumes Tied to Chronic Headaches
EYE CARE, VISION
Eye Disease, Cognitive Decline Linked in Study
Protein Might One Day Prevent Blindness
Nutrient-Rich Diet Lowers Risk of Age-Related Eye Disease
FITNESS
MRSA Infections Can Bug Fitness Buffs
Yoga Can Ease Lower Back Pain
When It Comes to Lifting, the Pros Have Your Back
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
Can You Talk Your Way to Happy?
Standard IQ Test May Underestimate People With Autism
Have Fun This Summer, But DO Be Careful
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
Fish Oil Supplements Help With Heart Failure
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Boosting Kids' Stroke IQ May Save Lives
Teens Lose More Weight Using Healthy Strategies
Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills
MEN'S HEALTH
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
MENTAL HEALTH
Love Hormone May Ease Discussion of Painful Topics
How to Attack Holiday Stress Head-On
Have a Goal in Life? You Might Live Longer
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
SENIORS
Any Old Cane Won't Do
Want Better Health in the New Year, Add Exercise to Your Day
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Natural Relief for Painful Menstrual Cramps
Heal Your Life® Tips for Living Well
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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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