Two Year Follow Up Study of Exercise and Hand Osteoarthritis


A study was carried out and reported in the Journal of Hand Therapy in 2007 on the effects of strength training among people with hand osteoarthritis. In this 2 year study whole body strength training and gripper exercise were evaluated in terms of hand strength, pain and functioning in adults with radiographic evidence of hand osteoarthritis. Fifty five adults age 65 to 78 and 80% women participated in two years of strength training three times a week. Bilateral gripper exercises (isotonic grip strength) isometric grip strength, pain, and self reported hand and finger functioning were reported at the beginning and the end of the 2 year period. Isotonic grip strength increased by 1.94 kg over the two year period which was significant at the p<0.0003 level; the right and left isometric grip increased 3.62 kg that was significant at the p<0.002 level and p<0.0005 level respectively, and hand pain decreased from 4.77 to 2.62 significant at the p<0.006 level. Hand and finger function scores showed minimal dysfunction at the beginning and at the end. Results suggest that strength train may safely increase grip strength and reduce the pain in older people with hand osteoarthritis.

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