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Aquatic exercise for osteoarthritis of the knee or hip (PEDro synthesis)
  1. Jasan Dannaway1,
  2. Cameron C New2,
  3. Charles H New1,
  4. Chris G Maher3
  1. 1 Sydney Medical School Nepean, The University of Sydney, Kingswood, New South Wales, Australia
  2. 2 School of Physiotherapy, Health Sciences, Australian Catholic University, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  3. 3 The George Institute for Global Health, Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jasan Dannaway, Sydney Medical School Nepean, P.O. Box 63, Penrith, NSW 2751, Australia; jdan9820{at}

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This section features a recent systematic review that is indexed on PEDro, the Physiotherapy Evidence Database ( PEDro is a free, web-based database of evidence relevant to physiotherapy.

▸ Bartels EM, Juhl CB, Christensen R, et al. Aquatic exercise for the treatment of knee and hip osteoarthritis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2016;(3):CD005523.


Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic disease that is characterised by degeneration of synovial joint articular cartilage and subchondral bone. It typically results in joint pain and/or stiffness, which may be episodic, activity-related and eventually constant. It is the most common form of arthritis, and its prevalence is increasing such that 4% of all people globally are affected by hip and knee OA.1 It accounts for 2% of years lived with disability globally.1 Exercise therapy improves OA-related pain and function2 possibly secondary to positive effects on strength, joint mobility, balance and fitness. Aquatic exercise may have added benefits when warmer water is used as it may reduce pain, stiffness and lead to muscle relaxation.


To determine the effectiveness of …

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  • Contributors JD, CCN, CHN and CGM selected the systematic review, interpreted the data and wrote the manuscript.

  • Funding CGM is supported by a Principal Research Fellowship from the National Health and Medical Research Council Australia

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.