January 07, 2015

Physical Therapy for Osteoarthritis in Hips & Knees

Osteoarthritis is described as the progressive loss of hyaline cartilage in a joint along with the formation of bone spurs at the joint margins, which is the result of wear and tear stresses applied to the joints.  It is the most common joint disease causing disability, affecting more than 7 million people in the United States and an estimated 100 billion dollars of healthcare costs annually.  Osteoarthritis can affect any joint in the body with the hip and knee joints being the most common.  Symptoms of arthritis include pain that is usually worse in the morning, decreased range of motion, and pain when weight bearing on that leg.  Hip arthritis typically consists of groin/inner thigh pain whereas pain from knee arthritis is located in knee joint. 

The standard of care of treatment commonly associated with arthritis is use of medication and eventually joint replacement surgery, but recent research evidence shows surgery prevention or delay can be achieved with physical therapy.  In a recent article in the Journal of Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, it was found that patients who received physical therapy had a significant improvement in function and pain levels compared to patients who received standard care involving medication and advise from their General Practitioner.  A follow up with these patients showed improvements a year after the completion of the study.  Treatment consisted of manual physical therapy designed to improve joint range of motion through the use of joint/soft tissue mobilizations in addition to exercises to help improve joint flexibility and strength.   

Northern Rehab Physical Therapy Specialists is a physical therapist owned and operated physical therapy practice dedicated to providing clients with the very best customized care.  Once a physician orders physical therapy, individuals can choose where to go for their physical therapy care, and the staff at Northern Rehab works to assure that choosing Northern Rehab is the right choice. Call us at 815.756.8524 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Should I ask my doctor to refer me if I think I may need therapy?

Definitely. When you have a problem you think may be helped by physical therapy ask your doctor or give us a call and we will help you to determine if this is a problem that may be helped by physical therapy.

freedom to move

Your Right to Choose

The decision of where you go to receive treatment is
yours. If you have a specific therapist or practice you
would like to go to, you should let your doctor or
insurance company know this. Not all physical
therapists or practices are the same and the choice
of your provider is yours.