Message to Postmenopausal Women with Mild Knee OA: Jump!

A randomized study of 80 postmenopausal women with mild knee osteoarthritis found that those assigned to a supervised progressive-impact exercise program (including jumping and change-of-movement exercises) thrice weekly for a year experienced more biochemical improvements in their patellar cartilage, as determined by MRI T2 relaxation time, than those in a non-intervention control group. The exercise group also saw greater improvement in muscle strength and aerobic capacity, while patient-reported KOOS-score changes were similar in both groups.

Although many clinicians deem high-impact activity to be contraindicated in this population, this study suggests that postmenopausal women with mild knee OA can, under the supervision of a physical therapist, be encouraged to include high-impact exercises in their fitness regimen.

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