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Physiotherapy does not reduce arthritis pain

A multifaceted physiotherapy program no better than regular visits to a therapist at reducing pain and disability associated with osteoarthritis of the knee.

Physiotherapy does not reduce arthritis pain

A multifaceted physiotherapy program involving functional exercises, massage, and knee taping is no better than regular visits to a therapist at reducing pain and disability associated with osteoarthritis of the knee. Previous studies have yielded mixed results regarding the benefit of physiotherapy for knee osteoarthritis, a prevalent musculoskeletal condition affecting older adults. To find out, researchers from the University of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia randomly assigned 119 people with knee osteoarthritis to 12 weeks of physiotherapy consisting of knee taping, exercises to retrain the quadriceps, hip, and back muscles, balance exercises, spine support, and massage therapy or to a placebo intervention consisting of sham ultrasound and light application of an inactive gel. After the 12-week treatment phase, a 12-week self-management phase began. Pain relief was similar in both groups at 12 weeks and 24 weeks. The percentage of subjects reporting global improvements was also comparable in the two groups, roughly 71 percent at 12 weeks and around 55 percent at 24 weeks. The physiotherapy package investigated in this trial offered no greater benefits at reducing pain and disability than regular contact with a therapist.
Annals of Rheumatic Diseases,
May 2005
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