Comprehensive Guide on Treating Osteoarthritis with Physical Therapy

Treating Osteoarthritis with Physical Therapy

Comprehensive Guide on Treating Osteoarthritis with Physical Therapy

Osteoarthritis is a major reason for musculoskeletal pain and disability. According to a research-based study, more than 27 million people in the US were suffering from osteoarthritis in 2008.

The demand for diagnosis of this disease in primary health care centres increases due to the increased number of patients with chronic pain and reduced ability to perform daily routine activities and functions because of this disease.

Physical therapy can be helpful for OA patients. The main goal of physical therapists while treating this disease is to improve function and reduce pain. Many treatments like manual therapy, strength training, electrical stimulation, balance training, and aquatic therapy can be used for treating OA.

Epidemiology of Osteoarthritis in People:

Osteoarthritis is the leading disease of the joints around the globe. Usually, people older than 45 years are affected by OA. Osteoarthritis can lead to disability function and pain in joints. But in most OA cases, not all patients with radiographic findings of the knee are sympathetic.

  • Osteoarthritis is a more frequent problem in females than men.
  • People aged more than 70 years are 40% more at risk of developing OA.
  • About 10% of men and 13% of women aged 60 years or more developed sympathetic osteoarthritis than other people.

Diagnosis of Osteoarthritis:

Diagnosis of Osteoarthritis

There are many diagnosis techniques for osteoarthritis. They include:

Physical Examination:

Doctors, during physical examination, check the symptoms and signs of OA like swelling, redness, tenderness, and flexibility of the affected joint.

Imaging Tests:

To get a clear idea and picture of the affected joint, doctors may recommend the following imaging tests:

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): MRI includes the use of a strong magnetic field and radio waves to make a clear image of bones, cartilage, and soft tissues around the joint. Normally, MRI is not used for osteoarthritis diagnosis, but in complex cases, it can provide a clear image of bones.

Treatments and Medication of Osteoarthritis:

Treatments and Medication of OsteoarthritisThe problem of osteoarthritis cannot be completely reversed, but treatments and medications can help patients to reduce pain in a better way.

Medications for Osteoarthritis:

Many medications can help to treat pain and symptoms of osteoarthritis include:

  • Acetaminophen: Acetaminophen is used for osteoarthritis pain treatment in many people who are suffering from moderate pain due to OA. But overdose and overuse of this drug can lead to liver damage.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): Common NSAIDs can be prescribed for treating osteoarthritis pain in recommended dosage. Stronger NSAIDs can be prescribed for relieving chronic osteoarthritis pain.

But long-term use of NSAIDs can lead to liver and kidney damage, bleeding, cardiovascular problems, stomach upset, and other problems. They are also available as a gel which when applied to the skin relieves pain, and has some side effects.

Therapy Treatments for Osteoarthritis:Therapy Treatments for Osteoarthritis


Following therapies can be used for relieving pain and symptoms of osteoarthritis:

  • Physical Therapy: A physical therapist can help osteoarthritis patients by teaching exercises to strengthen joint muscles, reduce pain, and improve flexibility and mobility. Moderate regular exercises like swimming, walking, running can also be effective.
  • Occupational therapy: Occupational therapy includes the ways and methods to perform everyday tasks without putting stress and extra pressure on the affected painful joint. For example, patients who have knee osteoarthritis can use a bench or chair to avoid standing while taking a shower.

Surgeries and Other Treatments for Osteoarthritis:

If typical treatment techniques like medication and therapy do not work, the patient might need to consider the following procedures:

  • Lubrication Injections: Hyaluronic acid injections can help in pain relief. Hyaluronic acid is nearly similar to a component that is found in the joint fluid that provides lubrication to avoid friction. It provides cushioning between muscles and joints to relieve pain. But some research shows that it is just a temporary solution for pain.
  • Cortisone injections: Corticosteroid injection can help to reduce joint pain for some weeks. Doctors insensate the joint area and place a needle between joint spaces to inject medicines. A patient can only get 3- 4 corticosteroid injections because, over the period, these pain relief injections can worsen the joint condition.
  • Joint Replacement Surgery: In joint replacement surgery, doctors remove the damaged joint area and replace it with metal or plastic parts. This surgery also involves some surgical risks that include infection in joints and blood clots formation in the affected area. The artificial joints or joint parts can become loose or deteriorate over the period and, as a result, can need to be replaced.
  • Realignment of Bones: The osteotomy technique can be useful if osteoarthritis only damages your one knee joint more than the other. In this method, the surgeon cuts out the joint from the top or bottom of the joint and removes or adds a piece of bone to shift the body weight and pressure from the damaged part of the joint.

Lifestyle Change for treatment of osteoarthritis:

Change in daily routine lifestyle and adopting a lifestyle that can help to treat your symptoms can be effective. Maintaining proper weight and regular exercise can help to reduce stiffness and inflammation around the joint by providing it strength.

Weight loss: Weight loss can help to remove extra pressure from joints and relieve pain and inflammation.

Exercise: Low-impact aerobics and exercise can help to increase the strength, flexibility, and endurance of bones. Exercises like walking, bicycling can help to make joints more stable. If a person experiences pain when he exercises, he should stop it and visit the doctor for a check-up of bone condition.

Movement Therapies: Stress and pressure relieve movement therapies like yoga, meditation. Stretching and tai chi can help to reduce pressure from the joint, which can help to reduce pain. Patients should select gentle movements and yoga techniques to practice at home.

How Does Physical Therapist Help in Treating Osteoarthritis?

In case you have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis in your knee, hip, shoulder, or other joint, you presumably need to realize how to secure your joint aggravation. You need to overcome the painful movement. Physical therapy can assist you with doing both. If you want to fulfill these objectives, a physical therapist might utilize a blend of methodologies. An expert physical therapist can show you how you can follow medical care terms include:

1. Keep Up with or Increase Joint Range of Motion:

Osteoarthritis can make a joint hardened. Non-intrusive treatment can work on your capacity to twist and fix a joint. Indeed, even gradual upgrades in a joint’s scope of movement can have a huge effect on joint capacity. For instance, getting a joint knee to twist only ten more may permit you to serenely get in and out of low seats.

2. Prevent the Muscles that Promote Arthritis:

At the point when osteoarthritis makes defensive ligament erode in a joint, there can be agonizing grating between the joint’s bones. You can diminish this grinding by reinforcing the encompassing muscles that help the joint. They can show you how to address these hindrances with useful terms. They will assist you with further developing strength and steadiness in your joints.

3. Further, Develop Body Balance:

People with osteoarthritis frequently have hindered balance coming about because of muscle loss, lower joint capacity, poor body versatility, and different elements. Also, expert physical therapists may likewise consolidate balance segments into your treatment plan. You will remember changes for surface, strolling distances, and rise to mimic everyday practical assignments in work. In this way, you can further develop body adjustment and decrease your danger of falling.

4. Change Body Posture:

A great stance can take pressure off ligament joints. Your physical specialist can instruct you about approaches to change your stance and put less weight on joints as you sit, stand, and walk.

The physical therapy guidance might include the basic ideas to alter your current circumstance at home and work and also in your vehicle. In some cases, simple changes in routine work, for example, changing the situation of your vehicle seat, can put less weight on your ligament joint. The activity will make your day-by-day schedule simpler.

Final Verdict:

Osteoarthritis is a common bone deterioration disease of joint cartilage that involves hypertrophic changes in bone or joint. The common causes of osteoarthritis involve obesity, genetics, gender, previous injury or trauma, and increasing age. This diagnosis of this disease involves the check-up of movement that causes pain and a history of any joint injury. OA can lead to pain or inflammation in joints that can affect function ability.

Radiography and imaging testing can help in the diagnosis of OA. The medical treatment should be started with mild pain relievers like acetaminophen and should be set up for NSAIDs. People of more than 45 years are at a high risk of developing osteoarthritis with increased age. Proper treatment and medications can be useful for managing pain and other problems associated with osteoarthritis.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

How do expert physical specialists treat osteoarthritis?

If you want to treat the issue of osteoarthritis, then you should diminish the blood flow. The cold treatment can assist with overcoming the growth of blood level. For instance, your physical specialist might put a virus pack on your knee joint. Also, the heat treatment builds the bloodstream to overcome firmness in the knee joints and muscles reaching the knee.

How powerful is physical therapy for joint inflammation?

Physical therapy is one of the greatest appraised medicines for joint inflammation issues. At the same time, countless people consider physical therapy treatment for following a physical issue or after an overwhelming medical issue like respiratory failure or stroke. Also, using non-intrusive treatment treating the joint inflammation issue is both powerful and suggested.

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