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Exercise and Osteoarthritis

If your knees hurt walking up the stairs, you could be one of the 30 million Americans who suffers from wear and tear arthritis - osteoarthritis. And just about the last thing you want to do is exercise, because it hurts. But research suggests that exercise may help reduce symptoms of arthritis. The problem is, there's no data that shows which type of exercise helps. That's what doctors at Mayo Clinic are trying to find out.

Using a motion analysis test, infrared cameras take pictures of markers taped to the skin. Walking into the camera's view generates an image on a computer. That image shows whether the arthritis has any impact on how the patient walks. All this information about you knee joint may help develop guidelines for doctors to use in the office so they can tell their patients which type of exercise would be best for them.

Some patients in the study are hesitant to start exercising because they're afraid it might hurt too much. But all participants start slowly and work up to 30 minutes a day.

Only people with early stage arthritis in their knees are eligible for this study. If you'd like more information, call Chris Hughes at Mayo Clinic at 507-266-0985 or log onto www.mayo.edu. Select volunteer for a clinical trial and type "osteoarthritis" in a search box.

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