Recent research (1) has shown that strengthening exercises, general exercises (strengthening, flexibility and aerobic exercise), and manual therapy plus general exercises can all significantly improve pain and disability from osteoarthritis of the knee compared with no treatment/placebo. The group with both manual therapy and general exercise had nearly twice the pain relief of the exercise only groups. Therefore, just going to the gym may not be enough—you may benefit from the addition of specific mobilisations that we perform at Dalkeith Physiotherapy.
In another publication (2), 16 experts from 6 countries reviewed existing guidelines and evidence for the treatment of hip and knee osteoarthritis patients. They made 25 recommendations based on the quality of evidence, effect size, cost, and other variables.
Physiotherapy can help with 11 of these recommendations, including the teaching of lifestyle modifications; the provision of gait aids, knee braces, appropriate footwear and insoles; instruction of strength, range of motion and aerobic exercise, advice on weight loss in overweight patients, and the provision of pain relieving techniques such as thermal modalities, TNS, acupuncture, and joint mobilisations. In fact 100% of the experts recommended that patients with hip and knee osteoarthritis should be referred to a physiotherapist.
At Dalkeith Physiotherapy, we can help you to maximise the use of your knees and hips.
(1)Jansen M, Viechtbauer W, Lenssen A, Hendriks E, and Ade Bie R (2011) Strength training alone, exercise therapy alone, and exercise therapy with passive manual mobilisation each reduce pain and disability in people with knee osteoarthritis: a systematic review. Journal of Physiotherapy 57: 11-20.
(2) Zhang et al (2008) OARSI recommendations for management of hip and knee osteoarthritis, Part II: OARSI evidence-based, expert consensus guidelines. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 16, 137-162.