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Dance-based exercise improves functionality in obese women with knee OA

28 Jul 2017

An 8-week dance-based exercise programme may yield significant improvements in functionality, cardiorespiratory capacity, postexercise heart rate and fatigue in obese postmenopausal women with knee osteoarthritis (OA), with the improvements sustained for up to 3 months, according to a study.

A total of 34 obese women with knee OA were randomly assigned to either the experimental group (n=17) or the control group (n=17). Participants in the experimental group underwent an 8-week dance-based aquatic exercise programme conducted in community swimming pools, whereas those in the control group underwent a global aquatic exercise programme.

Functionality, as assessed using the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC), was the primary endpoint of the study. Secondary endpoints included cardiorespiratory capacity evaluated with the 6-minute walk test, and postexercise heart rate and fatigue assessed using a visual analogue scale. Variables were measured at baseline, after the intervention and at 3-month follow-up.

A significant postintervention between-group difference in functionality was observed, in favour of the experimental group (aggregate postintervention WOMAC score, 37.30 vs 41.83; p=0.048). Likewise, the experimental group demonstrated significant improvements after 8 weeks in cardiorespiratory capacity, postexercise heart rate and fatigue compared with the control group.

At 3-month follow-up, the improvements observed in the experimental group in function (aggregate WOMAC score of 38.60 vs 42.60; p=0.038), postexercise heart rate and fatigue remained significantly higher than those in the control group.

Given the high levels of participation, which indicates that dance-based exercise is a pleasant and stimulating way to exercise, the programme can thus be applied to everyday clinical practice, researchers said.

Additional studies including long-term follow-up with an estimation of body composition using bioelectrical impedance are warranted.

A common joint disease and a leading cause of musculoskeletal pain and disability, decreased joint proprioception, decreased quality of life, reduction of activity levels and increased dependence, OA is characterized by changes in the subchondral bone, cartilage fibrillation, osteophyte formation and thickening of the synovial membrane. Obesity has been reported to be a primary risk factor for knee OA, increasing the risk of OA threefold and accelerating the progression and symptomatology of the disease. [Bone 2012;51:204-211; Arthritis Rheum 2006;55:779-785; BMC Public Health 2006;6:258]

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