PHYSIOTHERAPY TREATMENT FOR HIP AND KNEE ARTHRITIS
• Ice packs. Applying ice packs regularly is recommended when the joint is feeling “hot “ and painful.
• The use of a compression bandage can help with pain and swelling in the knee
• Walking aids are sometimes recommended to reduce the load on the affected side.
• Orthotics or shoe inserts may be recommended to reduce the load on your joints.
• Advice regarding weight loss to reduce the load on the joint. Research has shown that the weight loss combined with exercise is more effective that exercise alone.
• Advice regarding pacing of activities. Research has shown that when the activities are graded or paced the participants gain higher activity levels, have better exercise adherence and have fewer hip replacements.
• Physiotherapy “hands on” techniques such as soft tissue massage, mobilization and traction of the joint to regain some of the lost movement.
• Tips on how to reduce the strain on your joints
RESTORING NORMAL JOINT MOVEMENT AND STRENGTH OF SURROUNDING MUSCLES
• Exercises to increase the range of motion at the osteo arthritic joint are important as a reduced range of joint motion is one of the risk factors for progression of osteoarthritis
• Strengthening of the muscles which support the joint is important for the stability of the joint, your balance and your gait. This will help you with your ability to do the normal activities of daily living and with your endurance doing these activities.
It is important to have some attainable goals. For example it may be to walk for thirty minutes instead of the current ten minutes. Your physiotherapist can help you with this by tailoring your exercise programme so that you have the strength, mobility and endurance to be able to attain your goal.
EDUCATION ABOUT OSTEOARTHRITIS
Education about osteoarthritis is a core component of the treatment as research has shown it helps with self management of symptoms, reduced anxiety and adherence to an exercise regime.