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Infographic. Therapeutic exercise relieves pain and does not harm knee cartilage nor trigger inflammation
  1. Alessio Bricca1,2,
  2. Ewa M Roos2,
  3. Carsten B Juhl2,3,
  4. Søren T Skou2,4,
  5. Danilo Oliveira Silva5,6,
  6. Christian J Barton6,7
  1. 1 Aberdeen Health Psychology Group, Institute of Applied Health Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK
  2. 2 Research Unit for Musculoskeletal Function and Physiotherapy, Institute of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
  3. 3 Department of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy, Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
  4. 4 Department of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy, Næstved-Slagelse-Ringsted Hospitals, Slagelse, Denmark
  5. 5 Physiotherapy, Sao Paulo State University, Presidente Prudente, Brazil
  6. 6 La Trobe Sport and Exercise Medicine ResearchCentre (LASEM), La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  7. 7 Department of Surgery, St Vincent's Hospital, Universityof Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Alessio Bricca, Aberdeen Health Psychology Group, University of Aberdeen Institute of Applied Health Sciences, Aberdeen AB25 2ZD, UK; alessio.bricca{at}

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Exercise and cartilage health: a common belief and evidence from randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in people at risk of, or with knee osteoarthritis (OA)

OA is a leading cause of disability worldwide and associated with pain, impaired mobility and quality of life.1 Physical activity, including therapeutic exercise, patient education and weight control are recommended in key OA treatment guidelines.2 Nevertheless, the belief that therapeutic exercise may harm knee joint cartilage remains common among people with knee OA, and health professionals treating the condition, creating a prevailing barrier to implementing evidence-based care.3–5 The current discord between evidence and persistent beliefs highlights the need for better education. Providing a clear and engaging summary of the evidence to communicate the positive impact of therapeutic exercise and physical activity on the knee joint is crucial to encourage greater acceptance of, and participation in exercise and physical activity to …

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  • Twitter @a_bricca @ewa_roos @BoghJuhl @STSkou @danilo110190 @DrChrisBarton

  • Contributors AB wrote the first draft of the manuscript and designed the first draft of the infographic. DOS and CB designed the first draft of the video. All the authors contributed to revise the final manuscript, infographic and video.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

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