Researchers evaluated the impact of daily cane use on pain, function, general health and energy expenditure among people with knee osteoarthritis. The study participants were randomly assigned to serve as part of the experimental group or the control group. The experimental group used a cane every day for 2 months. The control group did not use a cane during that time frame.
Results published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases revealed that people who used a cane had significant improvement in pain level compared to those who did not use a cane. Also, by the end of the 2-month period, cane users covered more distance during a 6-minute walk and had less energy expenditure. Since the improvements were observed over time and not necessarily after just one month, it was concluded that patients had to adapt to using a cane. By adapting to the cane and reducing joint load on the affected knee, pain, function and certain aspects of quality of life did improve.
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