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Curr Rheumatol Rev. 2009 Nov 1;5(4):204-211.

Mind-Body Therapies and Osteoarthritis of the Knee.

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1
Department of Community Health, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, WV, USA.

Abstract

Osteoarthritis of the knee is a major cause of disability among adults worldwide. Important treatment options include nonpharmacologic therapies, and especially symptom management strategies in which patients take an active role. Among these, mind-body therapies may have particular promise for alleviating the distressful symptoms associated with osteoarthritis of the knee. However, systematic reviews are lacking. The objective of this paper is to review English-language articles describing clinical studies evaluating the effects of patient-driven mind-body therapies on symptoms of knee osteoarthritis. Eight studies, representing a total of 267 participants, met the inclusion criteria. Interventions included tai chi, qigong, and yoga. Collectively, these studies suggest that specific mind-body practices may help alleviate pain and enhance physical function in adults suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee. However, sample sizes are small, rigorous investigations are few, and the potential benefits of several mind-body therapies have not yet been systematically tested. Additional high-quality studies are needed to clarify the effects of specific mind-body therapies on standardized measures of pain, physical function, and related indices in persons with osteoarthritis of the knee, and to investigate possible underlying mechanisms.

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