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How can Physiotherapy help Arthritis?

September is Arthritis Awareness Month and the perfect time to talk about the physiotherapist’s role in treatment.
Patients will often say to me, “I have arthritis and there is nothing that can be done”. They are right in one way, osteoarthritis is a chronic disease that once diagnosed, is not changed.
What can be changed is their pain, range of motion, strength and mobility. This is where physiotherapy comes in.
Osteoarthritis is associated with decreased muscle strength, decreased flexibility, weight gain decreased endurance.
Physiotherapist can provide manual therapy to improved joint mobility and individualized exercise programs to improved strength and endurance.
A 2005 article in the Journal of American Physical Therapy Association concluded, “a home exercise program for patients with osteoarthritis of the knee provides important benefit. Adding a small number of additional clinical visits for the application of manual therapy and supervised exercise adds greater symptomatic relief.”
So my response to patients is yes, physiotherapy can help.
by Carolyn Roosen, PT

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