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Free Yoga for Hip/Knee Osteoarthritis


A new randomised clinical trial was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, "Effectiveness of an Unsupervised Online Yoga Program on Pain and Function in People With Knee Osteoarthritis." The program, called My Joint Yoga, is freely offered through Melbourne University, and you can access it here: https://myjointyoga.com.au/my-joint-yoga-program/.


This program is specifically designed for individuals with hip and knee osteoarthritis. There are also some great modules for education: https://myjointyoga.com.au/my-education/


The findings of the trial were, "Compared with online education, an unsupervised online yoga program improved physical function but not knee pain at 12 weeks in people with knee osteoarthritis, although the improvement did not reach the minimal clinically important difference and was not sustained at 24 weeks."


My interpretation of the trial is that function improved for the short term in many individuals who did the yoga, which is a good outcome. The more active we are, the healthier our overall heath is and the better our quality of life. Also, some individuals improved more than others...It's just the overall group effects were not significant in the long term (at 24 weeks). Like many forms of exercise, there are certain expectations that need to be kept in check...a panacea unfortunately does not exist, and, sometimes people fall out of habits that may be beneficial. Because it is both free and tested in a randomised trial, this is certainly an exercise program we can recommend. Plus, the educational modules can be trusted since they are from a reliable scientific source. So, if it interests you, and you have knee and hip osteoarthritis, why not give it a trial?


SOURCES : Bennell KL, Schwartz S, Teo PL, Hawkins S, Mackenzie D, McManus F, Lamb KE, Kimp AJ, Metcalf B, Hunter DJ, Hinman RS. Effectiveness of an Unsupervised Online Yoga Program on Pain and Function in People With Knee Osteoarthritis : A Randomized Clinical Trial. Ann Intern Med. 2022 Sep 20. doi: 10.7326/M22-1761. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36122378.

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