The effects of strength training among persons with hand osteoarthritis: a two-year follow-up study

J Hand Ther. 2007 Jul-Sep;20(3):244-9; quiz 250. doi: 10.1197/j.jht.2007.04.005.


Hand exercise is recommended for hand osteoarthritis (OA) management, but few efficacy studies have been published. The purpose of the study was to determine the effects of two years of whole body strength training and gripper exercise on hand strength, pain, and function in adults with radiographic evidence of hand OA. Older adults (N=55; 71.5+/-6.5 years; 80% female) participated in a two-year, three times per week strength training regimen. Bilateral gripper exercise weight (i.e., isotonic grip strength), isometric grip strength, pain, and self-reported hand, and finger function were recorded at baseline and 24 months. Isotonic grip strength increased 1.94 kg (20.14 kg baseline, 22.09 kg follow-up; p<0.0003). Right and left isometric grip increased 3.62 kg (25.83 kg baseline, 29.45 kg follow-up; p<0.002) and 2.95 kg (22.73 kg baseline, 25.65 kg follow-up; p<0.0005), respectively. Hand pain decreased from 4.77 to 2.62 (p<0.006). Hand and finger function scores showed minimal dysfunction at baseline and follow-up. Results suggest strength training safely increases dynamic and static grip strength and reduces pain in older persons with hand OA.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Exercise*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hand / physiopathology*
  • Hand Strength / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Isometric Contraction / physiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis / physiopathology
  • Osteoarthritis / rehabilitation*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight Lifting