A study published in the August 2014 Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research finds that high intensity interval training is an effective treatment method for patients with osteoarthritis. The crossover study was conducted with 18 OA sufferers between the ages of 54 and 74 and consisted of high intensity workouts on an aquatic treadmill. The training regimen lasted for six weeks and measurements were taken for pain, balance, function, and mobility. The results were impressive, with an average of 31% reduction in pain measures and 10% increase in balance.
So, does this mean you need to buy an aquatic treadmill? Not exactly. The aquatic treadmill was used in the study to ensure consistency of workout for measurement purposes. The benefit is actually gained from the interval training, where exercise levels are varied between high and mid-levels. This type of training has been widely acknowledged to have health benefits superior to static training (exercising at the same level) including increased cardiovascular health, lower blood sugar levels and more fat burning potential, but this is the first study that has successfully demonstrated the effectiveness of interval training for OA symptoms.
Ready to try out aquatic interval training for yourself? Here’s a good start.
Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, Bressel, Eadric; Wing, Jessica E.; Miller, Andrew I.; Dolny, Dennis G., August 2014 – Volume 28 – Issue 8 – p 2088–2096,
Aerobic Interval Training Versus Continuous Moderate Exercise as a Treatment for the Metabolic Syndrome, Arnt Erik Tjønna, MSc, Sang Jun Lee, PhD, […], and Ulrik Wisløff, PhD, Circulation. 2008; 118: 346-354
Two weeks of high-intensity aerobic interval training increases the capacity for fat oxidation during exercise in women, Jason L. Talanian, Stuart D. R. Galloway, George J. F. Heigenhauser, Arend Bonen, Lawrence L. Spriet, Journal of Applied PhysiologyApr 2007,102(4)1439-1447
High Intensity Interval Training in a Real World Setting: A Randomized Controlled Feasibility Study in Overweight Inactive Adults, Measuring Change in Maximal Oxygen Uptake. PLoS ONE 9(3): e92651