If we live long enough we will most likely develop osteoarthritis in our joints. We often see OA in larger joints, such as hips and knees. This is a one of the most common things we see as physical therapists and are very experienced in treating OA. The only cure for osteoarthritis is a joint replacement. However, joint replacements are saved as a last resort, so what are the other options do you have? Before jumping to a joint replacement physical therapy along with medication and or injections can be a tool to treat OA. Conservative treatment of OA will often delay surgery for months or years.
Exercise is a very important aspect of treating joint pain associated with osteoarthritis. The saying “motion is lotion” is frequently used in my PT clinic when talking with someone dealing with OA. Movement in the effected joint with secrete synovial fluid which acts as a joint lubricant. Now, this is not the cure for OA, but it does help. Having strong hips, quads, and core also helps decrease joint pain and improve function. Additionally, maintaining as much range of motion as possible will also decrease pain and improve function. This is why PT for those with OA is so vital.
Of course PT is not the only solution. It is also very important to have a good orthopedist on your team to help with medications and injections if indicated. Having a good team prior to a joint replacement is crucial to having good outcomes after a joint replacement. Our goal with providing PT is to put off surgery as long as possible and ensure good outcomes after surgery.
Please contact Fortify Physical Therapy with any specific questions or concerns. If you have OA feel free to schedule a free consultation to see if PT may be an option for you.
For more about OA and physical therapy check out this article https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26973326/