THE ARTHRITIS EPIDEMIC – PT CAN HELP
Osteoarthritis is a “wear-and-tear” disease that results in the degeneration of joint cartilage. In simple terms, the cartilage pads that protect, nourish and cushion your joints wear out over time. This disease process can result in extremely painful and disabling consequences. A number of factors can result in osteoarthritis. Age, obesity, overuse, joint trauma, genetics, and muscle weakness are all risk factors for osteoarthritis according to the Arthritis Foundation. Projections of the US Census data suggest there will be 70 million people over the age of 65 by the year 2030 and a large percentage of these citizens will suffer from arthritis. The good news is that if you are reading this newsletter, you already know of a profession that has a number of solutions for osteoarthritis.
WHAT THE MEDICAL EVIDENCE SUGGESTS
Is there a pill that you can take to cure osteoarthritis? The simple answer is, no. Common sense would say that you can’t cure 60 years of wear-and-tear, in a specific joint, with a pill. While a number of cures are sold to the public that is nothing but snake oil and false hope (who can forget shark cartilage – the answer for all joint pains), several treatments have been proven effective through high quality, random controlled clinical trials. For example:
- Mobilization has been proven effective for hip arthritis.
- Knee mobilization and strengthening work for knee osteoarthritis.
- Gravity eliminated walking and manual therapy techniques help with spinal stenosis – a degenerative arthritis-like condition often found in seniors with low back pain.
THE RECOMMENDATIONS POINT TO PHYSICAL THERAPY
Several medical panels, such as the Ottawa Panel and Philadelphia Panel for evidence-based clinical practice, recommend treatments that are best provided by physical therapists. For more information on these research groups, do a Google search and you will find a number of excellent resources about appropriate clinical guidelines. None of us can afford to waste precious time and financial resources on arthritis treatments that are ineffective. The good news is that we can provide you with appropriate care that will decrease your arthritis pain and improve your quality of life. Call us today if you or someone you know is suffering from osteoarthritis. You’ll be glad you did.