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Knee bracing can 'significantly' reduce pain of kneecap osteoarthritis
Date:4/19/2013

Wearing a knee brace has been shown to "significantly improve the pain and symptoms" of a type of osteoarthritis affecting the kneecap, according to a new study.

Arthritis Research UK-funded researchers at The University of Manchester claim their findings, presented at the Osteoarthritis Research Society International meeting in Philadelphia tomorrow (Friday April 19) have enormous potential for treating this common joint condition effectively as well as providing a simple and cheap alternative to painkillers.

Osteoarthritis of the knee affects around six million people in the UK and is increasing as the population ages and becomes more obese. Current treatments are limited to pain relief and joint replacement.

Osteoarthritis of the knee affecting the kneecap (patellofemoral osteoarthritis) accounts for about 20% of patients with knee pain. They typically experience pain that is made worse by going up and down stairs, kneeling, squatting and prolonged sitting.

"There's a pressing need for non-surgical interventions for knee osteoarthritis, and little attention has been paid to treatments particularly aimed at the kneecap (the patellofemoral joint), a major source of knee pain," explained Dr Michael Callaghan, research associate in rehabilitation science at the University of Manchester.

"We've shown that something as simple as a lightweight knee brace can dramatically improve the symptoms and function for people with this particular type of knee osteoarthritis."

The research team conducted a randomised controlled trial of a lightweight lycra flexible knee brace fitted around the knee with a support strap for the kneecap. One hundred and 26 patients between the ages of 40 and 70 were treated over a 12-week period. All had suffered from arthritic knee pain for the previous three months.

They were randomly allocated to either immediate brace treatment or delayed treatment (i.e. after six weeks.) Both groups of patients eventually
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Contact: Alison Barbuti
alison.barbuti@manchester.ac.uk
44-016-127-58383
University of Manchester
Source:Eurekalert

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