NICE draft guidance says that a healthier lifestyle including tailored exercise can help to ease osteoarthritis symptoms

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NICE’s draft guideline on the care and management of osteoarthritis recommends that healthcare professionals consider exercise, as well as providing evidence-based information, to help support people with osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is one of the leading causes of pain and disability worldwide. It is estimated there are approximately 7.4 million people in England over the age of 45 identified as having the condition.

NICE says healthcare professionals should support people who are living with osteoarthritis and are overweight by helping them to choose a weight loss goal to help manage symptoms. Losing weight can have a significant impact on health outcomes for a range of conditions, but it can also help to reduce joint pain for people with osteoarthritis.

An ‘improved quality of life’

Clinical evidence shows that when people with osteoarthritis are offered tailored exercises, such as muscle strengthening and aerobic exercise, they can achieve good health outcomes.

Dr Paul Chrisp, Director for the Centre for Guidelines at NICE, said: ‘Osteoarthritis can cause people discomfort and prevent them from undertaking some of their normal daily activities. However, there is evidence which shows muscle strengthening and aerobic exercise can have an impact on not just managing the condition, but also providing people with an improved quality of life. Beginning that journey can be uncomfortable for some people at first, and they should be supported and provided with enough information to help them to manage their condition over a long period of time.’

The draft guideline is now open for public consultation until 15th June 2022.

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