Research Articles – Arthritis / OA

Having physical therapy after hip surgery may
lead to better outcomes than normal care

In hip osteoarthritis, cartilage at the end of joints becomes thin to the point that bones eventually start rubbing against one another. This leads to pain, weakness and difficulty walking, which makes normal functioning a major chore. Non-surgical treatments like physical therapy are recommended at first, but many patients that don’t improve decide to have surgery instead. After surgery, some of these patients are referred to physical therapy to help them get back to full strength, but for some reason these rates are declining. Therefore, a study called a randomized-controlled trial was conducted to determine if having physical therapy after surgery was more effective than the usual, standard treatment. The findings of this trial were supportive of physical therapy: patients who received it improved significantly more in walking speed and overall daily function than patients who received usual treatment. This study should encourage the use of more physical therapy for patients recovering from surgery in order to help them regain their strength and functioning as efficiently as possible.

Patients with arthritis of the hip or knee
seem to benefit from water-based exercise

Osteoarthritis is a condition in which protective cartilage that normally prevents bones from rubbing against one another gradually wears away. It can occur in any joint of the body, but it’s most common in the hips and knees. One of the many treatments available for osteoarthritis is called aquatic exercise, in which patients perform a series of exercises while being immersed in water that’s between 90-97°F. The warmer water is believed to reduce pain and stiffness, and may offer some benefits over land-based exercise. To evaluate the extent of these benefits, a high-quality study called a Cochrane review was conducted on aquatic exercise for hip and knee osteoarthritis. Results showed that aquatic exercise does in fact lead to less pain, less disability and a better quality of life for patients. Based on this, aquatic exercise should be considered a safe and effective treatment for patients with hip or knee osteoarthritis, and in some cases it may be preferred to land-based exercise if patients get more out of it.

Having physical therapy after hip surgery may
lead to better outcomes than normal care

In hip osteoarthritis, cartilage at the end of joints becomes thin to the point that bones eventually start rubbing against one another. This leads to pain, weakness and difficulty walking, which makes normal functioning a major chore. Non-surgical treatments like physical therapy are recommended at first, but many patients that don’t improve decide to have surgery instead. After surgery, some of these patients are referred to physical therapy to help them get back to full strength, but for some reason these rates are declining. Therefore, a study called a randomized-controlled trial was conducted to determine if having physical therapy after surgery was more effective than the usual, standard treatment. The findings of this trial were supportive of physical therapy: patients who received it improved significantly more in walking speed and overall daily function than patients who received usual treatment. This study should encourage the use of more physical therapy for patients recovering from surgery in order to help them regain their strength and functioning as efficiently as possible.

Spreading therapy out over one time may
be more beneficial than doing it consecutively

Osteoarthritis, in which protective cartilage surrounding joints gradually wears away, most commonly affects the knees and hips. Manual therapy is a treatment in which a physical therapist performs manipulations and mobilizations with their hands, and it is commonly combined with exercise therapy to treat knee osteoarthritis. In some cases, these treatments are given with “booster sessions,” in which patients receive physical therapy every few months after their initial sessions to increase its effectiveness. It is not known how effective this type of approach is for patients with knee osteoarthritis, so a powerful study was conducted to investigate this. Results showed that adding either manual therapy or booster sessions to a regular exercise program can lead to greater improvements for patients with knee osteoarthritis. It may therefore be worth it to consider using booster sessions when prescribing treatment to these patients.

Patients with knee osteoarthritis can improve with
non-surgical treatment regardless of imaging tests results

Knee osteoarthritis is a condition in which protective cartilage gradually wears away over time, leading to bones rubbing against one another and resulting in pain. Doctors can often tell how much the knee osteoarthritis has progressed and how severe it is based on a patient’s symptoms, but in some cases, they order imaging tests like MRIs and CT scans. Some believe that using these tests will help predict how well a patient will respond to non-surgical treatment, but there’s not enough evidence to support this theory, and a study was conducted to investigate it. Based on questionnaires of more than 1,400 patients with knee osteoarthritis, no association was found between the severity of each patient’s condition on imaging tests and their pain levels after treatment. These results suggest that patients are just as likely to improve with non-surgical treatment regardless of what their imaging tests show, and means that these tests are often unnecessary and expensive steps that interfere with treatment getting started.

List of key messages for osteoarthritis patients highlights
importance of exercise, weight loss and education

Hip and knee osteoarthritis (OA) are conditions in which cartilage in the joint gradually wears away, eventually leading to long-term pain and disability. OA can negatively impact patients’ lives, and rising obesity rates and an aging population make it likely that more people will suffer from it in the future. Strategies that allow patients to self-manage their OA can significantly improve outcomes; however, there are some barriers to this approach and guidelines may not be clear enough for patients. Therefore, a study was conducted to compile a list of essential messages for patients with hip or knee OA in plain language that’s clear and easy to follow.

Muscle strengthening exercises lead to various
improvements in women with knee osteoarthritis

Approximately 20% of the global population suffers from osteoarthritis (OA), and for some reason, women are more affected by it than men. The wearing away of cartilage in knee OA can lead to muscle weakness and poor hip performance, making normal physical functioning very difficult. Therefore, it’s possible that progressive resistance exercises – in which a weight load gradually increases – may address these weaknesses and improve overall function in these patients. The effect of these exercises was tested out with a study on women with knee OA, and it was found that they led to significant improvements in pain, function and strength, and they may therefore be a worthwhile strategy for these patients.

Thigh-strengthening exercises found to be>br ?
helpful for patients with knee OA

Patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA), in which the protective cartilage surrounding the joints wears away, often experience pain, stiffness and decreased strength in the thigh muscle, or quadriceps. As a result, it’s believed that strengthening the quadriceps can actually treat knee OA and reduce pain, but this has not yet been confirmed with evidence. To test out this theory, a high-quality study called a randomized-controlled trial was conducted on patients with knee OA using isometrics, a basic type of exercise that can easily be performed at home. The results showed that patients who followed the exercises experienced reductions in knee pain and improvements in knee function, and these exercises can be effective way to improve the status of patients with knee OA.

Exercise, education among most strongly recommended
interventions for osteoarthritis

One of the leading issues in the healthcare industry is osteoarthritis (OA), a condition that results from the wearing away of cartilage in the joints and usually affects the hips or knees. Unfortunately, rates for OA are only increasing and it’s expected to double in prevalence by 2020, which means better strategies are needed to treat it. In an attempt to define which guidelines are most highly recommended for OA, a review was conducted using numerous studies that presented guidelines for treatment. While a number of these guidelines were found to be somewhat common, various forms of exercise and education were considered the most widely supported of all interventions. As a result, these types of treatments as administered by a physical therapist should be the most highly recommended for managing OA.

Adding a creatine supplement to a strengthening exercise
program can be beneficial for patients with knee osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA), a result of the wearing away of a protective substance known as articular cartilage, is a prevalent and burdensome condition, and it tends to occur frequently in the knees and in more women than men. Already disabling on its own, those with knee OA who also have weak quadriceps (thigh muscles) are at an additional disadvantage, as it leads to further functional impairments and difficulties in everyday life. On the other hand, a stronger quadriceps could halt the progression of knee OA, which would in turn reduce pain and improve function. For this reason, programs that strengthen the knee have been recommended for OA patients, and one recent development has been supplementing these programs with creatine, a natural organic compound that encourages rapid muscle growth. Based on these components, a study investigated if adding creatine to a strengthening exercise program could lead to additional benefits than the program alone, and results showed the supplement to be extremely helpful in a number of ways.

For those going to physical therapy for hip osteoarthritis, certain
factors predict a better recovery

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common condition that becomes more likely to occur with age, and of which there is still no definitive treatment that completely rids patients of pain. One approach to OA that has been garnering attention is to identify certain factors that predict which patients are more likely to respond well to treatments like physical therapy (PT), and taking note of this, a study sought to discover these factors for hip OA. Results from the study identified being aged 58 or younger and suffering from hip OA for one year or less to be amongst five predictive factors that should be used by physical therapists and known by patients to help facilitate recovery from hip OA.

Knuckle crackers can breathe easily: no associations
found to osteoarthritis

When you think about knuckle cracking, whether you do it yourself or not, chances are more than likely that the rumor of it causing arthritis will also pop up in your head in some form or another. Most people are at least aware of this urban legend, but some are uncertain of its validity and if there’s any actual medical backing to it. Responding to this prevailing sentiment, a study looked into the relationship between knuckle cracking and hand osteoarthritis in depth, trying to determine if there was in fact any connection. Fortunately for knuckle crackers, no evidence was found of any association between the two, which doesn’t guarantee it’s safe, but does plenty to dispel the common rumor with great support.

Losing weight, engaging in prevention programs among
ways to avoid knee osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA), which is defined by the breakdown of protective articular cartilage in a joint and leads to pain and limitation of movement, is the most common musculoskeletal disease and occurs most frequently in the knee. Though knee OA usually affects athletes involved in high-risk sports, it may also claim the knees of those over the age of 60. In an attempt to reduce its occurrence rates, a review was organized with some helpful tips for athletes and others at risk. Aside from the increasing risk for knee OA that comes as age increases, the review named the three most important risk factors high body mass index (BMI), excessive stress to the knee and previous knee injury. Based on those risk factors, the review suggested weight loss and prevention programs targeted at patients with previous knee injuries as effective strategies to reduce knee OA occurrence. The review also suggested that athletes involved in high-risk sports (soccer, football, basketball) take extra care and educate themselves on how to avoid OA.

The approach towards osteoarthritis treatment
in the medical world needs to change drastically

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a growing problem on an international scale that is receiving growing recognition for the potential dangers and costs it presents if not dealt with properly, but for some reason there are still no significant improvements in the management of the disease. One of the most important issues with current treatment is that it only seeks to alleviate symptoms and reduce the severity of the disease rather than actually cure it. In a call to action, an article was written that urges medical professionals to come together and establish a definitive model for treating OA that doesn’t stop short at mere symptom reduction, but actually focuses on completely eliminating symptoms and halting the progression of the disease. With a new paradigm and unified approach to the disease, OA rates can be reduced significantly and provide millions with safer and healthier lives.

NSNSAIDs proven to be much safer than opioids
for older adults with arthritis

Analgesics such as opioids, nonselective non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSNSAIDs) and coxibs are popular prescriptions these days for older adults, especially those with arthritis. Yet despite their common usage, the comparative safety of these drugs, particularly opioids, is not well understood. Prescribers of these medications should have access to better information regarding these important safety levels in order to make the best decisions for choosing which drugs to prescribe. In order to rectify this problem, data pertaining to each medication group was compared side-by-side, and opioids were proven to be the most dangerous of the three, while NSNSAIDs were shown to be the safest. Opioid use should therefore be approached with caution and NSNSAIDs should be prescribed more often.

Full-scale evaluation of various
treatments for knee osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is an extremely prevalent and hampering condition defined by the breakdown of joint articular cartilage that causes pain and discomfort and occurs in the knee more than any other bodily location. It’s estimated that more than 30% of adults over the age of 60 experience functional limitations due to knee OA today, which detracts majorly from their quality of life (QoL) and costs the health care system billions of dollars annually. For this reason and more, it’s essential that all available treatments are analyzed for their effectiveness and that physical therapists stay current on how to administer optimal care for the droves who suffer from knee OA. Noting this, a systematic review was created that evaluated various interventions for knee OA with the intention of determining which is most effective and if there are any other variables that need to be considered in constructing a treatment plan for knee OA.

Stem cells used in new treatment for damaged
cartilage to prevent osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis, the wearing away of cartilage in a joint, is the most common form of arthritis in the country, and is often caused by weakened or damaged cartilage as a result of injury. Damaged cartilage is usually treated with a procedure known as microfracture, which is only semi-effective and of which the long-term benefits are not known. With a new approach in mind, Dr. Constance Chu of the University of Pittsburgh has been working for the past 20 years on new forms of treatment that use stem cells to regenerate new, improved cartilage.

Cod liver oil supplements capable of reducing Non-steroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs for patients with rheumatoid arthritis who are forced to limit their usage of NSAIDs

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are essential for patients with rheumatoid arthritis, yet certain people have to limit their usage of NSAIDs due to unwanted gastrointestinal and cardiovascular side effects. A Scottish study found that cod liver oil supplements were able to lower the amount of NSAIDs taken on a regular basis by a significant degree.

Joint team takes modified
approach to preventing PTOA

Orthopedics from the University of Iowa and biomaterials specialists from Iowa State University are in the process of working together to create an improved treatment for post-traumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA), a condition that usually comes as a result of serious joint injuries.

A call for more conclusive evidence on treatments
for osteoarthritis of the knee

Osteoarthritis of the knee remains one of the leading causes of debilitation and disability throughout the country, affecting one out of every 10 Americans over the age of 64 and costing more than $81 billion in medical care, lost wages and other expenses While a great many treatments have made their way into common prescriptive methods, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has determined that these forms of treatment are insufficient and under proven, and that more dedicated efforts need to be made towards finding a working remedy for the disease.

Arthroscopic surgery vs. physical therapy for
treatment of Osteoarthritis of the knee

Osteoarthritis of the knee (OA knee) is a condition that can be treated with extensive physical and medical therapy or with arthroscopic surgery in other situations. While arthroscopy has risen in popularity, whether or not it is actually more effective than therapy alone is a matter of debate. An investigation sent nearly 200 eligible patients to both forms of treatment and evaluated which was a more beneficial means of alleviating pain.

Osteoarthritis-relieving “device” may
supersede Cortisone injections

Cortisone injections have long been a preferred form of treatment for osteoarthritis, the degeneration of articular cartilage in and around joints. With an influx of studies that have actually proven Cortisone injections to be harmful after repeated use, however, a newer treatment classified as a “device,” visco supplementation is on the rise.