Author(s): Rogers MW, Wilder FV
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Abstract STUDY DESIGN: Randomized Clinical Trial. INTRODUCTION: Hand exercises have been recommended as treatment for hand osteoarthritis (OA) but research evidence is sparse. PURPOSE OF THE STUDY: To investigate effects of daily 16-week home-based hand exercise among persons with hand OA. METHODS: Forty-six older adults completed a crossover trial with washout between exercise and sham treatments. The AUSCAN physical function sub-scale served as the primary outcome measure. Other outcomes included pain and stiffness sub-scales, dexterity, and grip & pinch strengths. RESULTS: Changes in AUSCAN sub-scales did not differ between exercise and sham treatments. No changes in dexterity were seen. Grip and pinch measures modestly improved after exercise but not sham. CONCLUSIONS: It is possible that our exercise protocol may have been too ambitious for this age group. Future research will further the understanding of the role of hand exercise in hand OA symptomatology. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 2b.
This article was published in J Hand Ther
and referenced in Journal of Arthritis