Arthritis: Knee Pain Improved by Cane Use
People struggling with arthritis could experience pain relief by using a cane, a new study from Brazil suggests. According to MedPage Today, researchers at Sao Paulo’s Universidade Federal found that knee pain was significantly lessened in patients who used a cane for two months, and that some function in the joint was actually restored.
Specifically, patients who used a cane scored an average of 3.84 on a 10-point scale of pain measurement, compared to the 5.95 average scored in non-cane users.
Study leader Jamil Natour said cane use improves pain because it helps shift weight away from the kee joint.
“Patients with knee osteoarthritis generally shift their weight nearly completely to the medial compartment during gain,” Natour said in the study. “Therefore, decreasing the load on the medial compartment should be one of the treatment objectives for such patients.”
For the study, Natour’s team followed 64 patients with a mean age of 62 who reported having knee osteoarthritis for about six years. The patients were first measured on the 10-point pain scale, and then divided into two groups. One half of the patients were given an individually sized cane and taught how to use it, while the other half continued as normal. Pain scores were measured again at the end of two months.