Versus Arthritis Centre for Sport, Exercise and Osteoarthritis
University of Nottingham

The relationship between lower limb joint pain and physical activity recorded via smartphone in people with osteoarthritis


Even though the reasons and the progression of osteoarthritis (OA) are not entirely understood, moderate exercise is recommended for people with degenerative joint disease to prevent muscle weakening and stiffness. In contrast to the beneficial effects of moderate activity, known risk factors of OA are excessive mechanical load in high levels of sport and obesity. For people with OA knowing the level of loading during their activity is important to balance their joint loading and maintain an active lifestyle. Until now loading on the lower limbs were estimated by expensive equipment in sophisticated biomedical laboratories. In contrast to previous research this project uses a cost effective and easy tool to estimate impact loading: the smartphone. This project includes computational engineers and clinicians to developing a smartphone app to estimate impact loading on the lower limb joints during everyday activities.   

What the research hopes to achieve

  • Illustrate that wearables are able and suitable tools to estimate impact loading
  • Develop a smartphone app to support people with OA to maintain an active lifestyle and to balance the loading on their joints
  • To bring forward research in self-management of OA symptoms 
Work Package  Biomarkers (WP2) 
Mechanisms of Movement Dysfunction and Interventions (WP3)
Principal Investigator  Dr Alex Forrester (University of Southampton) and University of Oxford
Investigator  Susan Nazirizadeh