Smoke & Mirrors? Tai Chi vs. Physiotherapy for Knee Osteoarthritis & Symptoms in Smokers with Preserved Pulmonary Function


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Dr. Fraser Pollard, Family Physician in Trenton ON, discusses his frustration with the lack of effective treatments for osteoarthritis for long-term pain and disability in his patients. But there is hope! Fraser dips his toes into critically examining alternative medicine in leading listeners through a single blinded comparative effectiveness trial of Tai Chi versus physiotherapy for knee osteoarthritis.

Next, Kieran throws it back to re-review a study discussed in a June 2016 episode to take another look at the clinical significance of respiratory symptoms in smokers with preserved pulmonary function, and discuss updates in the literature that have followed (see links below). Are these patients somehow a different clinical entity requiring different treatments than those with COPD, or are we somehow limited by the way in which we traditionally diagnose COPD?

Last but definitely not least – the Good Stuff segment! Fraser discusses the use of mesenchymal stem cells for regeneration and pain management of knee OA. Then, Kieran looks at how the disease-carrying rats that inhabit New York city subways came to be!

Like what you hear? Don’t forget to rate us on iTunes! Follow us on Twitter @roundstable. Tweet at Kieran directly @kieranlquinn.

The Papers

1. Tai Chi & PT for Knee OA: http://annals.org/aim/article/2522435/comparative-effectiveness-tai-chi-versus-physical-therapy-knee-osteoarthritis-randomized

2. Symptoms in Smokers: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1505971#t=article

Additional literature on symptoms in smokers:

  1. http://thorax.bmj.com/content/71/9/781
  2. http://www.atsjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1164/rccm.201605-1014OC

Good Stuff

1. Stem Cells: http://stemcellstm.alphamedpress.org/content/early/2016/05/22/sctm.2015-0245.abstract

2. “The Rat Brigade”: http://www.popsci.com/how-rats-got-from-mongolia-to-new-york-city-subway-tunnels

Music Credits (Creative Commons)

In your Robotic Heart – Nicolai Heidlas https://soundcloud.com/nicolai-heidlas/in-your-robotic-heart

Drive – Nicolai Heidlas https://soundcloud.com/nicolai-heidlas/drive-fresh-upbeat-pop-background-music

Vintage Dream – Nicolai Heidlas https://soundcloud.com/nicolai-heidlas/vintage-dream-loungejazzy-background-music

All tracks have been modified for the purposes of this podcast.

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