Physiotherapy OA Knee

Posted by Helen Potter on 20 June 2017 | Filed under Chronic Pain, Physiotherapy, Tips

Physiotherapy for knee osteoarthritis

A chronic disease of the synovial joints, osteoarthritis eventually leads to a wearing away of the lining inside the knee. The condition often results in significant pain and disability. Obese patients have four times the risk of OA knee.A new physiotherapy-led multidisciplinary program targeting knee osteoarthritis patients on the elective surgery waiting list.
A new physiotherapy-led multidisciplinary program targeting knee osteoarthritis patients on the elective surgery waiting list.
The program aims to reduce pain, increase mobility and improve quality of life,
  • A physiotherapist prescribes a strength and aerobic-based program and hydrotherapy program.
  • A rheumatologist provided pain management options and
  • A dietitian provided a weight loss and diabetes management program.
Thanks to the program, function, pain and quality of life improve significantly. Clients tend to lose weight, reduce medication including diabetic medication, return to work and
Clients tend to lose weight, reduce medication including diabetic medication, return to work and hobbies and increase walking ability time.

The first treatment options for knee OA, is exercise and weight loss

New Clinical Care Standard for OA knee

Surgery should be a last resort for treating knee osteoarthritis.

The new Osteoarthritis of the Knee Clinical Care Standard, released by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care and endorsed by the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA), highlights

  • increased exercise, weight loss and using pain-relieving medicines as the less invasive, best-practice option 
  • weight loss and
  • using pain-relieving medicines

as the less invasive, best-practice option.

Surgery should only be considered when a patient’s symptoms fail to respond to more conservative management. Arthroscopy, is discouraged unless patients are experiencing a mechanical locking of the knee.

Senior physiotherapist Matthew Williams, an APA member who was part of the Clinical Care Standard working group, says the standard reinforces the crucial role physiotherapists play in the management of knee osteoarthritis.

Physios can alert GPs to alternatives to referring patients solely to an orthopaedic surgeon, and more opportunity to employ the evidence-based methods that patients can benefit.

APA calls for better funding for OA Knee

The APA fears patients may take the cheaper option of having surgery than following the recommended physiotherapy treatments for knee osteoarthritis, highlighted in the new Clinical Care Standard. “It is nonsensical that consumers who rightly opt to manage their OA symptoms via self-management with specific exercise programs provided by highly experienced and qualified physios, as well as other lifestyle modifications, should be worse off than those who choose surgery and all the potential risks that entail,” he says.

A physiotherapy-led program for OA Knee
works with each patient to establish a set of individual goals. engaged in the sorts of activities that they enjoy, and want to achieve –

The program dispels misconceptions that exercise is damaging to osteoarthritis, and delivers education to show that exercise is essential to managing the condition. It empowers patients, equipping them with the knowledge and tools to be able to self-manage their osteoarthritis. “The patients have transformed their lives – have transformed the way they approach their health, rather than being victims they see themselves as stronger, more confident, more adaptive, almost problem-solvers.

The Physiotherapist led program gives the power back to patients and instils confidence and self-belief. It also gives them realistic management options that are evidence based.

Helen Potter FACP , 

Make a booking with Helen

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.