According to the CDC, over 54 million adults in the United States have arthritis, and the number may approach 78 million in 2040. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which affects over 32 million Americans.
A new study shows patients who received text messages encouraging them to exercise had better outcomes related to knee osteoarthritis.
Accountability Helps Joint Pain and Osteoarthritis
There are many reasons people don’t exercise, says Rachel Nelligan, a PhD candidate and physiotherapist at the Centre for Health, Exercise and Sports Medicine at the University of Melbourne in Australia. Exercise can be painful, and it is challenging to find quality treatment and remain motivated.
Nelligan conducted a randomized clinical trial on 180 patients with knee osteoarthritis to determine how motivation affects exercise and pain relief.
All participants had access to a free website that gave information about arthritis and emphasized the importance of being physically active. Half of the patients received a prescription for a 24-week exercise program, supplemented by automated text messages that encouraged them to keep exercising. The other half of the patients did not receive the same resources.
Not surprisingly, the patients who were in the intervention group showed improved mobility and decreased knee pain.
“People who had used the intervention group website and text message support told us the clear exercise instructions provided on the website enabled them to master the exercises without needing health professional input,” Nelligan said. “They also said the regular text message support was an important part of the program providing weekly exercise reminders and exercise motivation, as well as keeping them accountable to the program for the 24 weeks.”
Call Your Orthopedist to Manage Joint Pain
Are you looking forward to summer to spend more time outdoors? Warmer weather offers many opportunities to get moving, improve strength and reduce joint pain. If you have osteoarthritis or suffer from joint pain, it is essential to exercise regularly.
Your orthopedist can provide you with safe exercises to relieve joint pain and a fitness schedule that is compatible with your treatment plan. If you experience chronic pain in your knee, hip or shoulder, it may be time to talk to your doctor about a total joint replacement. These procedures are safe and successful with a surprisingly short recovery time.
Call today to schedule an appointment and discuss your options.