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Questions raised about physio for hip osteoarthritis

Date:
May 21, 2014
Source:
University of Melbourne
Summary:
Physiotherapy for hip osteoarthritis does not appear to relieve pain or increase function any more than 'sham' treatments, research has determined. Hip osteoarthritis is a prevalent and costly chronic musculoskeletal condition. Clinical guidelines recommend physiotherapy as treatment, although its effectiveness has never been proven.

Physiotherapy proved ineffective for some patients.
Credit: Holly Satine

Physiotherapy for hip osteoarthritis does not appear to relieve pain or increase function any more than 'sham' treatments, University of Melbourne research has determined.

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Hip osteoarthritis is a prevalent and costly chronic musculoskeletal condition. Clinical guidelines recommend physiotherapy as treatment, although its effectiveness has never been proven.

Now, a study led by the University's Professor Kim Bennell has found that among adults with painful hip osteoarthritis, physical therapy does not produce greater improvements in pain or function compared with a placebo treatment.

In an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Professor Bennell and her colleagues randomly assigned patients with hip osteoarthritis to attend 10 sessions of either active physiotherapy treatment (which included education and advice, manual therapy, home exercise and walking with an aid, if needed) or placebo treatments (which included inactive ultrasounds and gel).

"For 24 weeks after treatment, the physio group continued unsupervised home exercise while the placebo group self-applied gel three times a week," said Professor Bennell.

"To our surprise, patient outcomes were roughly the same the 13 and 36 week intervals."

The treatment group actually reported a greater number of adverse events, although they were relatively mild.

"These results question the benefits of the specific physiotherapy components for this patient population," according to Professor Bennell.

"We are currently conducting other trials to further examine the effects of other non-drug treatments for people with osteoarthritis to see whether benefits can be improved," she said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Melbourne. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kim L. Bennell, Thorlene Egerton, Joel Martin, J. Haxby Abbott, Ben Metcalf, Fiona McManus, Kevin Sims, Yong-Hao Pua, Tim V. Wrigley, Andrew Forbes, Catherine Smith, Anthony Harris, Rachelle Buchbinder. Effect of Physical Therapy on Pain and Function in Patients With Hip Osteoarthritis. JAMA, 2014; 311 (19): 1987 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2014.4591

Cite This Page:

University of Melbourne. "Questions raised about physio for hip osteoarthritis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140521094954.htm>.
University of Melbourne. (2014, May 21). Questions raised about physio for hip osteoarthritis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140521094954.htm
University of Melbourne. "Questions raised about physio for hip osteoarthritis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140521094954.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

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