ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Traditional Chinese Therapy May Help Ease Eczema
Soybean Chemicals May Reduce Effects of Menopause
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Majority of College Students Report Backpack-Related Pain
Backpack Safety Should Be on Back-to-School Lists
Study Examines How Rheumatoid Arthritis Destroys Bone
CANCER
Poor Women Seem to Be Skipping Breast Cancer Drugs
Smoking Ups Risk of Second Breast Cancer
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
CAREGIVING
Diabetes Epidemic Now Poses Challenges for Nursing Homes
Tainted China Formula Caused High Rate of Kidney Stones in Kids
Transition From Home to Hospital Rarely Seamless
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
Night Shift Work Hard on the Heart
COSMETIC
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
DENTAL, ORAL
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
DIABETES
Whole Grains Take a Bite Out of Type 2 Diabetes Risk
'Standard' Glucose Test May Be Wrong One for Obese Children
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
DIET, NUTRITION
Eat Up, But Eat Healthy This Holiday Season
The Raw Food Diet
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Clear Skies Have Become Less So Over Time, Data Show
Gas Stove Emissions Boost Asthma in Inner-City Kids
Main Ingredients in Household Dust Come From Outdoors
EYE CARE, VISION
Eye Care Checkups Tied to Insurance Status
Omega-3 Foods May Lower Eye Disease Risk
'Blind' Man Navigates Obstacle Course Without Error
FITNESS
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Vigorous Treadmill Workout Curbs Appetite Hormones
Barefoot Best for Running?
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Hoping for a Happy Family Holiday? Here's How
Asparagus May Ease Hangover
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
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
Ingredient in Dark Chocolate Could Guard Against Stroke
Chinese Red Yeast Rice May Prevent Heart Attack
Omega-3, Some Omega-6 Fatty Acids Boost Cardiovascular Health
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Health Tip: Back Pain in Children
Safety Should Be Priority for Those Involved in Kids' Sports
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
MEN'S HEALTH
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Reminiscing Helps Build Emotional Strength
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
SENIORS
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Want Better Health in the New Year, Add Exercise to Your Day
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Supportive Weigh-In Program Keeps Pounds Off
Simple Carbs Pose Heart Risk for Women
Add your Article

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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