Resistance Training Program Beneficial in Hand Osteoarthritis

HealthDay News — A progressive resistance strength training program can improve some aspects of hand osteoarthritis (OA), such as pain, function, and treatment satisfaction, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, held from Nov. 6 to 11 in San Francisco.

Michele Nery, PT, from the Universidade Federal de São Paulo in Brazil, and colleagues examined the effectiveness of progressive resistance training on pain, function, and strength in 60 hand OA patients (aged over 55 years). Participants who met eligibility criteria were randomized into an exercise group (EG) and a control group. Before randomization, both groups performed a session regarding joint protection and energy conservation. A progressive resistance strength training program for intrinsic muscles of the hand was performed in the EG for 12 weeks.

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The researchers found that except for key pinch strength for the non-dominant hand and palmar pinch strength for both hands, the groups were homogenous at baseline. There was a statistically significant difference between the groups in the Australian/Canadian Hand Osteoarthritis Index, the Cochin Hand Functional Scale for hand function, and for treatment satisfaction with a Likert scale, with better results seen for the EG.

“We believe this can be an option for the treatment of hand OA patients, and they should talk to their physicians about it,” Nery said in a statement.

Reference Talk: Effectiveness of a Progressive Resistence Strength Programme on Hand Osteoarthritis: A Randomized Crontrolled Trial (2015 ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting). 2015. Available at: Accessed November 10, 2015.