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Can an online exercise program curb arthritis knee pain?

In a recent study, researchers randomly assigned 105 people with knee arthritis either to usual care or to use an online exercise app designed to boost leg strength, core stability, and balance—for example, with sit-to-stand and stair-climbing exercises. The app uses emails, phone notifications, or calls or chats with a physical therapist to keep participants challenged and engaged.

After six weeks, the exercise group reported less knee pain and stiffness and better function—and improved more on the sit-to-stand and timed up-and-go tests—than participants assigned to usual care.

What to do

To learn more about the app—it’s not currently available in all states—go to The app costs $89 per month (Joint Academy provided it for free to study participants), but Medicare and some insurance plans may cover some or all of the cost.