The role of physiotherapy in the treatment of osteoarthritis

World Physiotherapy Day is being celebrated in Bangladesh today on September 8 like all over the world with the theme ‘Physiotherapy in the treatment of Osteoarthritis’. This day is being celebrated simultaneously in 121 countries of the world.

What is osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a disease of the joints. It can affect any movable joint including knees, hip joints, hands. It is also known as degenerative joint disease. This disease is more common in the elderly.


Osteoarthritis can be of two types—primary and secondary.

Primary osteoarthritis is the destruction of articular cartilage without any obvious cause. Secondary osteoarthritis is when there is abnormal density of force across the joint due to injury or abnormal articular cartilage, as in rheumatoid arthritis (RA).


Aging is the main cause of osteoarthritis. Apart from this, overweight, genetic and injury factors are also significant.

How to understand

Age 45 or older. joint pain Difficulty walking in the morning, pain or stiffness, which does not last long. X-ray can be used to diagnose the disease.

Introduction to Physiotherapy

A patient with osteoarthritis becomes increasingly difficult to walk or move. But being as active as possible improves the pain. Can reduce other symptoms and help the person stay healthy.

Type of therapeutic exercise required

  • Exercises to increase muscle strength.
  • Normal movement of the joint.
  • Aerobic exercise.
  • Stretching exercises.
  • Joint mobilization.

Neshar Uddin Saker, Head of Department, Physiotherapy, KC Hospital and Diagnostic Centre, Uttara

Can osteoarthritis be cured with physiotherapy?

In short, no, physiotherapy cannot cure arthritis as there is no cure for arthritis. However, physiotherapy can help to reduce the symptoms of arthritis and prevent it from getting worse.

What are the physical therapy treatment option in management of osteoarthritis?

Your treatment program may include:

  • Range-of-motion exercises. Abnormal motion of the knee joint can lead to a worsening of OA symptoms when there is additional stress on the joint. …
  • Muscle strengthening. …
  • Manual therapy. …
  • Bracing. …
  • Activity recommendations. …
  • Modalities.

Can a physiotherapist diagnose osteoarthritis?

In order to diagnose OA the physiotherapist will collect a detailed history of the symptoms and perform a physical examination of the affected joints2. The most common response from those who may suffer from OA is stiffness and pain in the morning, which eases up during the day.

Does arthritis benefit from physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy is an important part of treatment for most people with arthritis. Physiotherapists are part of a team of healthcare professionals who help you to resume or maintain an active and independent life both at home and work. They’re experts in assessing movement and can also show you how to protect your joints.

What is the most effective treatment for osteoarthritis?

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

NSAIDs are the most effective oral medicines for OA. They include ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) naproxen (Aleve) and diclofenac (Voltaren, others). All work by blocking enzymes that cause pain and swelling.

What is the newest treatment for osteoarthritis?

ACI has been shown to improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis, including pain and mobility. It can also slow or stop osteoarthritis developing, delaying or preventing the need for joint replacement surgery. This makes it particularly useful for younger people with early-stage osteoarthritis.

Does physiotherapy help osteoarthritis of the knee?

The first-line treatment for all patients with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis includes patient education and physiotherapy. A combination of supervised exercises and a home exercise program have been shown to have the best results.

What are the 4 stages of osteoarthritis?

The main stages of OA are:

  • Stage 0 (pre-osteoarthritis)
  • Stage 1 (early or doubtful)
  • Stage 2 (mild or minimal)
  • Stage 3 (moderate)
  • Stage 4 (severe)

What are the exercises for osteoarthritis?

Walking, biking, swimming, tai chi, yoga, and water aerobics are all good aerobic exercises for people with osteoarthritis. Water exercise is especially ideal because of water’s soothing warmth and buoyancy. It’s a gentle way to exercise joints and muscles — plus it acts as resistance to help build muscle strength.

How does physiotherapy reduce pain?

It helps in pain treatment by relaxing painful muscles, joints, and tendons. It also reduces stress and anxiety. In addition, massage stimulates nerve fibres and impedes pain messages between the brain and other parts of the body. This way, it helps to “close the pain gate.”

Does physiotherapy help osteoarthritis of the hip?

Physiotherapy plays in major role in the management of patients with hip osteoarthritis. The goal is to improve strength, mobility and increase range of motion. Physiotherapy also helps relieve pain and restores normal movement in the hip and legs and also addresses pain management and functional adaptions.

Does physiotherapy really work?

For most individuals, physiotherapy seems to be quite effective when they are treated by skilled and experienced physical therapy professionals. One can easily get relief from nagging pain or recurring aches through the course of course physiotherapy sessions.

What types of physiotherapy are there?

In this article, we explore the common types of physiotherapy and the conditions they treat.

  • Sports Physiotherapy. …
  • Geriatric Physiotherapy. …
  • Orthopedic Physiotherapy. …
  • Pediatric Physiotherapy. …
  • Neurological Physiotherapy. …
  • Cardiovascular Physiotherapy.

What is the main cause of osteoarthritis?

What causes osteoarthritis? Primary osteoarthritis is caused by the breakdown of cartilage, a rubbery material that eases the friction in your joints. It can happen in any joint but usually affects your fingers, thumbs, spine, hips, knees, or big toes. Osteoarthritis is more common in older people.

Read more from Real Health World

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