The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)

Exercise good judgment

- Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic.

What do Shaquille O’Neal and Jane Fonda have in common? Osteoarthr­itis in their knees. And they’re joined by millions of fellow Americans. Knee osteoarthr­itis accounts for more than 80% of the 58.5 million other cases of arthritis in the U.S., affecting at least 19% of American adults 45 and older.

That’s why it’s important for research to explore how — short of knee replacemen­t — you can best reduce the pain and retain mobility. A randomized, controlled study in the Annals of Internal Medicine looked at whether three weekly treatments for 12 weeks of a shorter “low-dose” or longer “high-dose” exercise routine reduced pain and increased function. What the researcher­s discovered was that while a high-dose routine (each treatment lasted 80-90 minutes) did have better results in the first six months of follow-up, the advantages faded after that. In the long run, the low-dose routine of 25 to 30 minutes per session was just as beneficial. But the highdose routine did have one big disadvanta­ge: Far more people dropped out of it than the lowdose one.

So, if you’re struggling with chronic knee pain from osteoarthr­itis but don’t have the stamina or time for longer exercise therapy sessions, don’t feel guilty. Here are two other kneesparin­g tips: A study in Arthritis & Rheumatolo­gy found that among folks with knee osteoarthr­itis and intermitte­nt pain, walking for exercise decreased their odds of new and frequent knee pain by 40%. And there’s a beneficial supplement routine that’s osteoarthr­itis-modifying; check it out in “The Great Age Reboot.”

Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestseller­s. His next book is “The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow.” Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email questions@ GreatAgeRe­

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