Walking, running, and recreational sports for knee osteoarthritis: An overview of the evidence

Eur J Rheumatol. 2022 Aug 9. doi: 10.5152/eurjrheum.2022.21046. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Objective: We provided an overview of narrative reviews, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses that summarize primary evidence of how physical activity (PA) relates to structural progression of knee osteoarthritis (OA). This overview can serve as a resource for healthcare providers when recommending PA to patients with, or at risk, for knee OA.

Methods: We searched the PubMED database for publications on "exercise" [MeSH Terms] and "knee osteoarthritis" [MeSH Terms]. We restricted our search to review articles, originally published in English, from 2005 to 2020. We then added several original studies to provide more detailed support of the findings of the review articles, based on the authors familiarity with the literature.

Results: We summarized the findings of 20 reviews and an additional 12 original studies. We found consistent evidence that common forms of PA (walking, running, and certain recreational sports) are not related to structural progression of knee OA, and can be safely recommended to patients with, or at risk, for knee OA.

Conclusion: Healthcare providers can refer to this overview of the evidence, as well as current PA guidelines, when recommending PA to their patients with, or at risk for, knee OA. Future studies can support PA guidelines that target preserving the structural integrity of the knees.