Knee Osteoarthritis Study

Women practicing yoga

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a slowly progressing, chronic degenerative condition characterized by the breakdown of the joint’s cartilage. The breakdown of cartilage causes the bones to rub against each other, causing stiffness, pain, limited range of motion, and loss of movement in the joint. It is a greater factor in limiting activity than heart disease, hypertension, blindness, or diabetes. OA most often affects people over the age of 60, who are most prone to drug toxicity.

Current guidelines recognize that different exercise programs are important elements of any OA treatment programs. Yoga, a popular exercise modality, uses poses, meditation, and breath-control techniques that help promote joint flexibility, muscle strength, balance, and relaxation. The purpose of this study is to compare the effects of participation in an 8-week yoga program with general aerobic and muscle strengthening exercises in older adults with knee OA. Participants will be randomized into one of the three groups: 1) yoga group, 2) aerobic and strengthening exercises group, and 3) education control group. Data on knee pain, stiffness, function of the legs, mood, spiritual health, and quality of life will be collected at the beginning, mid-point and end of the program.

Participant Eligibility Requirements

Inclusion criteria:

  1. Community-dwelling women aged 60 – 90 years of age.
  2. Have been diagnosed with symptomatic OA of knee for at least 6 months
  3. Have not practiced any form of yoga for at least 2 months; and
  4. Not currently participating in a supervised exercise program.

Participants will be randomized into one of the three groups

  • Yoga Group
  • Aerobic and Strengthening Exercises Group
  • Education Group

Benefits to Participants

Participating in this research project will allow you to participate in either yoga or aerobic/strengthening exercises class, or receive information on OA free of charge. Research incentives of $10 will be given at each data collection point. Participants will be compensated up to a total of $70 in gift cards in all three groups.