Hospital-Based Exercise Program Improves Quality of Life for Adults with Arthritis

Medical Xpress—December 16, 2014

It may seem counterintuitive, but exercise can be beneficial for people suffering from arthritis and other muscle and joint conditions. A new study at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) finds that older adults experienced less pain, reduced stiffness and less fatigue after participating in a hospital-based exercise program. "The study adds to the growing body of evidence that exercise can help people with muscle and joint conditions," said Sandra Goldsmith, MA, MS, RD, director of Public and Patient Education at Hospital for Special Surgery.

Up to 50 million adults in the United States have some type of musculoskeletal condition, affecting mobility and quality of life. Ms. Goldsmith and colleagues set out to assess the impact of HSS exercise classes on pain, stiffness, fatigue, balance, falls and physical activity.

The study found that after taking the classes, fewer participants reported experiencing a high level of muscle/joint pain from their condition (56 percent before the program started vs. 47 percent after completing the program).  "The survey results indicate that the hospital's exercise programs have a positive impact on the musculoskeletal health of participants," said Ms. Goldsmith. "Hospital for Special Surgery will continue to offer these programs to this community to help them stay active, decrease pain and improve their overall health."

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