Physiotherapy for Osteoarthritis

Physiotherapy for Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a condition that impacts an entire joint including bone, cartilage, ligaments and muscles.

In the past this condition was described as ‘wear and tear’, however we now know that OA is more likely the result of a joint working extra hard to repair itself.
OA may consist of various problems including inflammation, cartilage damage, bony spurs and ligament or tendon deterioration. Osteopathy is not an ‘old persons’ disease as it once was considered as it can develop at any age, although it is more likely to present in people over 40 years old and those who have had prior joint injury.
In the past many people with osteoarthritis in their hips and knees would rely heavily on pain medication, supplements and rest in an attempt to alleviate the painful symptoms. In many cases people underwent surgical replacements of their joints even prior to any exercise program!

Based on substantial evidence, it is now widely known that the right exercises, done at the right intensity and individualised can make a remarkable difference to the symptoms of osteoarthritis in hips and knees. It is important to be aware that even the most severe osteoarthritis on an X-ray does not necessarily mean an immediate trip to the surgeon. It is important not to focous on factors that can’t be changed – age, sexm hereditary – but instead focus on those that can – strength, mobility, weight, d

GLA:D – Good Life with osteoarthritis in Denmark, which was launched in 2013 for those suffering from hip or knee OA, is one of the amazing exercise and education programs offered here at Form and Practice. The recent 2017 study by Skou & Roos analysed the data from 9,825 participants from the GLA:D registry. It was demonstrated that GLA:D improved pain intensity and quality of life among other positive findings.
Within the GLA:D program some pain during exercise is allowed. We follow the thumb rule that you exercise within an acceptable range of pain which is done using a pain scale where 0 is no pain and 10 is the worst pain possible. Anything under 5/10 is considered acceptable, although for most people a score of around 4/10is the ‘acceptabe’ limit during exercise.

Education is a powerful tool to inform and empower you with your condition. Two education sessions are included as part of the GLA:D program

If osteoarthritis in your hips or knees is affecting your daily life or someone you know, come in for an assessment with our Physiotherapists and begin the 12 week, twice a week GLA:D exercise program.

Elisabeth Coffey
Physiotherapist, APAM