Monday, January 24, 2022

Diet and Exercise for Osteoarthritis Delivered Via Telehealth

Exercise and diet intervention delivered via telehealth can be an effective treatment for osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis can result from wear and tear on your joints, and the wear and tear may be a consequence of a number of  conditions, including injuries, age or obesity. Weight loss, resulting from diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes, may improve osteoarthritis symptoms. And the intervention can be delivered online.

In one study, the researchers concluded that "Telehealth-delivered exercise and diet programs improved pain and function in people with knee osteoarthritis and overweight or obesity." Being able to treat osteoarthritis via telehealth may give more people access to treatment. This is significant, since osteoarthritis is such a serious condition, especially for persons who are obese.

A past study concluded that "obese individuals have significantly more severe joint degeneration in the knees compared with normal weight or underweight individuals." Furthermore, the investigators indicated that "Weight loss can prevent onset of osteoarthritis, relieve symptoms, improve function and increase quality of life."

In another study, the effectiveness of weight loss in the treatment of osteoarthritis was further confirmed. In the study, where 380 overweight men and women were investigated in a ninety-six month analysis, the researchers determined that "cartilage degeneration was significantly lower among people who lost weight through diet and exercise or diet alone." It should be noted, however, that "weight loss through exercise alone showed no significant difference in cartilage degeneration..."

There is evidence that  obesity is a risk factor for  total knee replacement (TKR) caused by osteoarthritis. And in one study, investigators looked at the effects of intentional weight loss on total knee replacement caused by osteoarthritis. Using intensive lifestyle intervention (ILI) methods, the investigators concluded that engaging in "physical activity, dietary restrictions and behavior to lose weight may be "effective in preventing TKR prior to the development of knee pain."

So, weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight can be beneficial in the treatment of osteoarthritis. Healthcare providers should use this evidence-based information in counseling sessions. The providers can advise patients that weight loss through diet, exercise and lifestyle changes can improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis. The providers should also emphasize that the intervention can be delivered via telehealth.




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