Research says yes! Various studies have shown that both exercise and manual therapy reduce the associated pain and disability of osteoarthritis and are recommended as first line treatments.(1-5) Dr. Alexis Wright and colleagues recently added to the body of research by completing a study that identifies five predictors of positive response to physiotherapy for hip osteoarthritis.
The five predictors are:
- one-sided hip pain,
- age 58 or younger,
- pain of 6 or greater on a 10-point scale,
- self-paced walk test of 40 meters in 25.9 seconds or less,
- and duration of symptoms of less than one year.
The researchers found that the presence of just one of these suggests an average response to physiotherapy. If two predictors are present, this doubles the likelihood of a positive response. The presence of three predictors suggests a 99% likelihood of therapy success.
To conduct the study, researchers recruited 91 patients from doctors’ offices and from an orthopaedic center where patients had been referred for surgery assessment and consultation. Patients were randomized into usual care from a doctor and other healthcare providers and three physiotherapy groups (manual therapy, exercise therapy, and combined therapy). Patients received nine, one-hour therapy sessions. Treatment success was defined as a three-point or greater improvement on an 11-point pain rating scale after one year.
In general, patients in the usual care arm only achieved important improvements in pain 2% of the time. Patients in the physiotherapy arm achieved important improvements in pain after one year in 32% of cases. Advanced Physiotherapy has solutions for many types of arthritis pain and disability – especially osteoarthritis. Call us today and give physiotherapy a try if arthritis is holding you back.