Importance of Physiotherapy in Osteoarthritis

Physiotherapy is an essential component in the osteoarthritic treatment regimen. Physiotherapy is done by physiotherapists, who are experts in helping patients suffering from osteoarthritis maintain an active lifestyle. 

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There is a high importance of physiotherapy in managing the symptoms of osteoarthritis due to the following reasons:

Relieves pain

Physiotherapy helps the patient in alleviating osteoarthritis symptoms. It reduces pain intensity and joint swelling. A study conducted on 60 patients of osteoarthritis with different pain intensities indicates that there was a significant difference in the pain intensity due to physiotherapy and the score changes were seen more in the patients suffering from mild or severe osteoarthritis pain. 

Improves joint function

Joint stiffness is one of the common symptoms of osteoarthritis. Physiotherapy helps in improving joint function by increasing joint flexibility and reducing swelling. A review conducted by Page CJ et.al. concluded that although the treatment is not influenced by the type of exercise performed, there is strong evidence that pain is relieved and the functions are improved by physiotherapy intervention in patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis.

Increased range of motion

Along with improving the joint function in patients with osteoarthritis, physiotherapy intervention also increases the range of motion. Osteoarthritis dramatically reduces the range of motion due to muscle stiffness and the body only moves in the direction that causes less or no pain. It has been shown in a short communication that aquatic physical therapy increases the range of motion and reduces pain in patients with knee osteoarthritis.

Building muscle strength

Enough muscle strength is required for proper joint movement. Physiotherapy helps to enhance the muscular strength leading to improved mobility and reduced stiffness. A review by Neelapala YVR et al are done in this regard concludes that there is a benefit of hip muscle strengthening on knee pain and physical function. 

Improves quality of life

Physiotherapy provides a lot of benefits to patients with osteoarthritis and alleviates the symptoms which result in improved quality of life. The patient gets less dependent on others.

Helps to slow down joint damage

Physiotherapy slows the progression of osteoarthritis and reduces the rate of joint damage.

Regular physiotherapy practised correctly under the right expert supervision can go a long way in the management of osteoarthritis. Consult your physician before starting these exercises to ensure the safety of your joints.  

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