Neurology Central

Comparable effects of exercise and analgesics for pain secondary to knee osteoarthritis: a meta-analysis of trials included in Cochrane systematic reviews


Aim: Evidence of comparative effectiveness of different treatment approaches is important for clinical decision making, yet absent for most recommended treatments of knee osteoarthritis pain. The objective of this study was to estimate the comparative effectiveness of exercise versus orally administered analgesics for pain in patients with knee osteoarthritis. Methods: The Cochrane Database of systematic reviews was searched for meta-analyses of randomized-controlled studies comparing exercise or analgesics with a control group (placebo or usual care) and with pain as an outcome. Individual study estimates were identified and effect sizes were calculated from group differences. We combined study-level effects on pain with a random effects meta-analysis and compared effect sizes between exercise trials and trials with analgesic interventions.

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