Physical Therapy Treatment Effectiveness for Osteoarthritis of the Knee

This weeks article looks at how physical therapy treatment effects pain and function in patients with knee osteoarthritis.  In this study, 134 subjects are randomly assigned to a treatment group or home exercise group.  Results are then tracked at several different time intervals in order to determine which group shows the most improvement overall.  Read here to see which groups showed the most improvement!


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  1. colinwaldock says:

    I found this to be a well written study so thank you for added evidence. I was still left with the feeling that the benefit reported within the manual therapy group may have been in part due to placebo responses as 1 year post intervention there was no significant between group difference. This does not mean that intervention is not beneficial to the patient but I am not yet convinced that we can claim benefit for manual therapy

  2. Corey says:

    I was also interested to read that the 1 year mark showed no significant difference. After spending more time thinking about it, could it be that at the one year mark, both groups were “HEP only”? The time the patients spent in therapy helped give that group a jump start, but they reverted back after the therapy was over and they were sent home to do the exercises on their own? This raises a question and a big issue that Im sure we all deal with, how do we get patients to be compliant with their home exercise programs???

    • colinwaldock says:

      Corey, I guess a question to that might be what would make you or I follow an exercise programme? What sort of influences might act on our future decision making? What time constraints and responsibilities might preclude us being fully compliant? In the end, when it comes to exercise, perhaps we as professionals may have over complicated things a bit and perhaps we need to try and keep things more simple

  3. Corey says:

    Colin, I see what you are saying and perhaps the answer is both. We need to over complicate on the back end to help make things as simple as possible for the patient on the front. We need to think of all the variables for each individual patient to help make sure they are in a position that will facilitate them being able to successfully complete their HEP with as few barriers as possible.

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