Targeted Smartphone Exercise Program Can Provide Pain Relief from Knee Arthritis What are the main findings?

Response: What we found was that delivering a well developed exercise programme via smartphone over 6 weeks which involved daily activities to improve symptoms of knee arthritis resulted in a very strong reduction in knee pain but also increased ability to walk fast, to sit down and get up from a chair, and increased muscle strength. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: That it is possible to obtain very reductions on knee pain without a need for drugs, by following carefully developed exercise programmes and that this can be done from the comfort and safety of their own home. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: The study involved an intervention of only 6 weeks, we would want to follow participants on a similar programme for much longer to see how much this reduces the need for total knee replacement surgeries and for pain killers known to have side effects such as opioids. We want to examine also what the cost savings would be for the NHS and other health providers if they were to adopt such a programme as part of regular care. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: The study was funded by the National Institutes for Health Research Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre and the Charity Versus Arthritis. but we also counted on support from the biotech company who developed the app Joint Academy, who  provided it for free,  and funds from a pharmaceutical company who gave us funds to measure markers of pain sensitivity.


Gohir SA, Eek F, Kelly A, Abhishek A, Valdes AM. Effectiveness of Internet-Based Exercises Aimed at Treating Knee Osteoarthritis: The iBEAT-OA Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(2):e210012. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.0012

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