Arthritis pain can often keep seniors from being as active as they would like, and sometimes it can necessitate joint replacement surgery or other invasive treatments. However, new research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison suggests that a common injection may be able to alleviate some of the considerable pain and discomfort, helping older adults add some activity to senior living.
The study was based on an analysis of 90 patients with knee arthritis pain. Study subjects had tried other methods to relieve the discomfort, including physical therapy. To help treat the pain, researchers broke the participants into three groups: one received injections of a saline solution, another was given injections of a sugar known as dextrose - known as prolotherapy - , and the third was instructed to follow a home exercise regimen. Each group showed improvement, but the one that received dextrose injections saw about twice the improvement as the others.
"This study really suggests that prolotherapy is a safe and appropriate therapy for people with mild to moderate knee arthritis that haven't already responded to other therapies," study leader David Rabago told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
While more research is necessary, the findings could have an impact on the lives of millions of seniors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated one in two people will develop arthritis of the knee by the time they reach 85.