Stairway To Prevention

After following thousands of people who were considered at high risk for arthritis for seven years, researchers discovered the earliest indicator for knee osteoarthritis was how the subjects felt going up stairs. Part of the impetus behind the study, published in the journal Arthritis Care & Research, was the hope that patients might have a way of discovering osteoarthritis earlier and approaching their physician before they experienced frequent, significant pain or loss of function. 

The study’s investigators found that using stairs was the first weight-bearing activity in which the subjects noticed any kind of pain. Later in the study, the subjects noticed pain more frequently and in non-weight-bearing activities, even while resting in a chair or bed. Researchers hope the early warning sign of knee pain on stairways can lead to quicker intervention by physicians and perhaps more effective treatment.  

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