Here at ARS Hand & Physical Therapy, we understand that when it comes to deciding the best course of action for your injury or condition, there are many options available. However, based on our own experience within the clinic and the evidence found in research studies, we firmly believe that physical and occupational therapy is the best possible choice you can make. To help you better understand the advantages of the treatments we provide, our physical and occupational therapists bring you examples of some of the most recent studies that highlight the many benefits of our services.
This month, we’d like to discuss a recent study that investigates the use of resistance-based exercises for treating patients with osteoarthritis of the knee.
Osteoarthritis is a painful condition in which cartilage that normally protects joints wears away gradually over time. Eventually, this causes bones to rub against one another, which results in pain, disability and difficulty functioning normally. Osteoarthritis can occur in any joint, but it’s most commonly seen in the knees and the hips.
Patients with knee osteoarthritis who seek out treatment are often referred to a physical therapist, who will use a variety of exercises and other interventions to address symptoms. One component of treatment programs is called resistance exercise, which utilizes some form of resistance—such as body weight, elastic bands or machines—to force muscles to contract. Studies have shown that resistance exercises can reduce pain in individuals with knee osteoarthritis, but some of the research is incomplete, and further investigation is necessary.
For this reason, a powerful pair of studies called a systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted. The goal of this research is to identify the highest-quality studies available on resistance exercise for knee osteoarthritis and compare their findings with the intent of reaching a stronger conclusion. Their search led to 17 studies, which included information on 1,705 patients, to be used for the review.
Results showed that resistance exercise did in fact lead to a number of significant benefits. In particular, the exercises were found to reduce pain, relieve stiffness and improve overall function for patients with knee osteoarthritis. Further analysis showed that exercises with a higher intensity led to greater improvements in pain and function than those that were performed at a lower intensity.
Resistance exercise a common component of Springfield physical therapy
Based on these findings, it appears that utilizing resistance exercises can be beneficial in several ways for patients with knee osteoarthritis. At ARS Hand & Physical Therapy, resistance exercises are typical components of our Springfield physical therapy treatment programs for a wide range of painful conditions, including knee osteoarthritis.
In particular, we commonly prescribe seated leg presses, leg extensions, closed chain leg curls and hip adduction and abduction exercises to target the muscles in around the knee to reduce pain and improve the overall functioning of patients.
So if you’re dealing with knee osteoarthritis or any other condition that’s causing you pain and interfering with your life, we strongly recommend coming in to see us for a comprehensive treatment program that includes resistance exercises. Contact us at 973-379-7006 to schedule an appointment today, or click here to read the abstract (summary) of the featured study.