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Arthritis
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 364319, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/364319
Review Article

Complementary and Alternative Exercises for Management of Osteoarthritis

1Graduate Healthcare Engineering, Whitacre College of Engineering, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409, USA
2Department of Mechanical Engineering, Whitacre College of Engineering, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409, USA
3Department of Health, Exercise, and Sport Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409, USA
4Department of Pathology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, BB 198, 3601 4th street, Lubbock, TX 79430-9097, USA
5Center for Rehabilitation Research, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX 79430, USA
6Community and Family Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX 79430, USA
7Laura W. Bush Institute for Women's Health, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX 79430, USA
8Applied Core Laboratory, Winthrop-University Hospital, New York, Mineola, NY 11501, USA

Received 25 January 2011; Revised 28 March 2011; Accepted 3 May 2011

Academic Editor: Rana Hinman

Copyright © 2011 Ming-Chien Chyu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic condition characterized by degeneration of cartilage and its underlying bone within a joint. With no cure currently available, the goals of treating OA are to alleviate pain, maintain, or improve joint mobility, increase the muscle strength of the joints, and minimize the disabling effects of the disease. Recent research has suggested that complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) exercises may improve OA symptoms. This paper covers CAM mind-body exercises—Tai Chi, qigong, and yoga—for OA management and evaluates their benefits in pain reduction, muscle strength, physical function, stiffness, balance, fear of falling, self-efficacy, quality of life, and psychological outcomes in patients with OA, based on randomized controlled trials published. Findings from the literature suggest that CAM exercises demonstrate considerable promise in the management of OA. Future studies require rigorous randomized controlled trials with larger sample sizes.