22 August 2006

Researchers in the School of Human Movement Studies at The University of Queensland are seeking volunteers to trial a novel treatment for symptoms of osteoarthritis (OA).

The trial is testing the benefits of combining two therapies known to offer some relief by themselves: walking and glucosamine sulphate.

OA is the most common form of arthritis, a musculoskeletal condition marked by inflammation of the joints. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage between the bones wears away, leaving bone exposed. The result is irreversible damage to cartilage, bone, and the joint capsule.

Senior Researcher Professor Wendy Brown said previous studies of individuals with OA have focused on one type of treatment, such as supplements or an exercise program.

“This is the first to evaluate whether combining two types of treatments is more effective at reducing OA symptoms than either by itself,” Professor Brown said.

The results are expected to be used to develop specific exercise guidelines for OA sufferers with intake of glucosamine sulphate.

All participants will receive an 18-week supply of glucosamine sulphate to take during the study.

The study features a self-guided 18-week walking regime, as well as counselling on getting started and continuing with the walking program.

Participants need to attend five, one-hour appointments at times and locations convenient to them.

Participation is open to people 40 to 75 years of age, with mild to moderate symptoms of OA of the hip or knee.

Participants must be able to walk 15 minutes without stopping. Individuals requiring daily medication for their OA are not eligible.

Interested individuals can contact Norman Ng on 3365 6463 or email oaqueensland@hms.uq.edu.au

Media inquiries: Norman Ng (3365 6463) or Dr Kristi Heesch (3346 9898).