Is it possible to improve one part of the body by exercising a different part? The idea is gaining currency among scientists looking for new ways to manage the effects of chronic disease, stroke and even breast cancer surgery, according to a study.
USAResearchers at the University of Texas in Texas are working on a new study showing that it may be possible for people with osteoarthritis to eliminate pain in their knees by exercising their arms.
Last week, researchers launched a new clinical trial involving 60 men and women with frequent pain due to wear and tear on their knees, using different exercises to see which provided the most relief.
The study, which will end in 2025, will test whether 20 minutes of regular arm exercises is better than cycling for relieving knee pain and improving mobility.
The scientists’ goal is to confirm findings from previous small studies that suggested arm exercises were better than walking on a treadmill for relieving knee pain.
THERE ARE ALSO THOSE OPPOSING
Regular, moderate exercise is one of the best ways to manage arthritic knee pain because it strengthens the muscles around the joint and takes pressure off the damaged area.
But walking or running can increase the load on the knee, so it is difficult for some people to move. Commenting on this approach, Uzo Ehiogu, consultant physiotherapist at the Royal Orthopedic Hospital in Birmingham, says: “There is no clear mechanism by which exercising the arms could target pain in the knees.”
“What probably happens is that patients feel fitter, more confident and more mobile after a 20-minute arm exercise, which can reduce the feeling of pain in the knees.” said.