Can Physiotherapy Help Osteoarthritis?

Obtaining a diagnosis of osteoarthritis (OA) for joint pain can be a great cause of distress. Contrary to the popular belief that without a joint replacement, having arthritis only involves deterioration and constant pain, the body has an incredible ability to adapt its functionality to suit its changing needs.

Physiotherapists have always known that with an individualized and targeted exercise program, the pain and disability that comes with arthritis can be reduced. In some cases, the pain that is attributed to OA is actually due to a different, entirely treatable cause. In other cases, simply strengthening the muscles around the painful joint can enable extra support of the joint, creating significant relief and increased mobility.

Often, the way we move our bodies when in pain involves altering important biomechanical mechanisms of movement that then further contributes to pain.  In many cases, the recommended treatment is surgical intervention and can produce incredible results. However, there is a strong case for seeking physiotherapy treatment first to see if it’s possible for you to achieve the same results without surgery. Regardless of surgical intervention, working with a physiotherapist prior, is likely to encourage better outcomes.

Physiotherapists are trained to identify exactly what is causing your pain and come up with the best intervention for you, to help you reach your potential. While exercise is a very powerful treatment, not any particular exercise will alleviate your pain.

For exercise intervention to be effective, you will require a full assessment and a personalized treatment program created by your physiotherapist. It may involve identifying weak muscles, limitations in flexibility, finding painful trigger points, restoring movement to stiff joints and providing biomechanical assessment to make a combination of changes that can make a large difference to your pain and activity levels.

As well as physical, your physiotherapist can also identify any external factors that may be contributing to your pain. Such as unsupportive footwear, workplace set up and other lifestyle factors.

At Health Dynamix we offer a specified education and exercise program for patients with osteoarthritis called GLA:D. With the help of our GLA:D trained Physiotherapist, the program will work towards strengthening your body and teaching ways to manage symptoms and move effectively pain free.
For more information or to book an appointment give us a call on 8822 3020 or visit our website at

None of the information in this article is a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a medical professional for advice on your individual condition.

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