Applying the Evidence for Exercise Prescription in Older Adults with Knee Osteoarthritis

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Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is prevalent and disabling condition in older adults. Pain, weakness, instability, stiffness, and loss of mobility result in a reduction of physical, recreational, and social activities that impact an individual’s health, lifestyle, and societal role. Exercise is highly beneficial for the many body systems that are impacted indirectly by this disease as well as for improving quality of life. The purpose of this narrative review is to identify exercise options and dosage parameters to aid the clinician in assisting individuals with knee OA. These exercise options include cardiovascular training, resistance training, and balance or neuromuscular control training, which work to improve the cardiovascular and neuromuscular systems to improve function. The application of exercise by health care professionals is often dosed at levels which may not achieve optimal gains for the individual desiring to restore functional activities and improve recreational and social participation. Understanding the current literature on prescribing exercise for individuals with knee OA aids clinicians in obtaining better patient outcomes.

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