ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
No Verdict Yet on Grape Seed Extract vs. Breast Cancer
Ginkgo No Shield Against Alzheimer's
Cranberries May Help Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Exercise Key Player in Knee Replacement Recovery
Occupational Therapy Plus Exercise Benefits Osteoarthritis
Most Kids With Type 1 Diabetes Lack Vitamin D
CANCER
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
Women Smokers Lose 14.5 Years Off Life Span
Green Tea May Help Prevent Oral Cancer
CAREGIVING
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome as Deadly as Ever
Newborn Screenings Now Required Across U.S.
Hospital Volume Imperfect Gauge of Cancer Surgery Outcomes
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
Migraines in Pregnancy Boost Vascular Risks
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Health Tip: After Liposuction
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
Gum Care Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes and Its Complications
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
DIABETES
Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Problems
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
Study Shows Turmeric May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Fasting on Alternate Days May Make Dieting Easier
Eating Free Range
Mediterranean Diet Plus Exercise Lowers Alzheimer's Risk
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Vest Monitors 'Individual' Air Pollution
Genetics, Environment Shape Sexual Behavior
Topical Drugs May Pollute Waterways
EYE CARE, VISION
Decorative Halloween Eye Lenses May Pose Serious Risks
Statin Drugs Cause Eye Disorders
Nutrient-Rich Diet Lowers Risk of Age-Related Eye Disease
FITNESS
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Go To Work But Skip The Car
Walking Golf Course Affects Swing, Performance
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
GENERAL HEALTH
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
Man Dies of Brain Inflammation Caused by Deer Tick Virus
Most Women Struggle With Rising Health Care Costs
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
How Weight Loss Can Help the Heart
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Pool Chemicals Raise Kids Allergy, Asthma Risk
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
Stomach Germ May Protect Against Asthma
MEN'S HEALTH
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
MENTAL HEALTH
Drink Away Dementia?
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
SENIORS
Boost In Elderly Population Will Be Felt Worldwide
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
Iodine in Prenatal Vitamins Varies Widely
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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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