Here at ARS Hand & Physical Therapy, we understand that when it comes to deciding the best course of action for your injury or painful 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 do our best to bring you examples of some of the most important recent studies that highlight the many benefits of our services.
This month, we’d like to discuss a recent study that evaluates a hands-on treatment used by physical and occupational therapists called manual therapy for individuals with knee osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and the leading cause of disability and pain in middle-aged and elderly people throughout the world. It can occur in any joint in the body, but is most common in the knees and hips. In knee osteoarthritis, cartilage that normally protects the ends of bones slowly disappears, which results in knee pain in Springfield, along with difficulty walking and running.
There are many treatments available for knee osteoarthritis, and manual therapy is one of the more popular approaches used today. In manual therapy, a physical or occupational therapist uses only their hands to move, massage and manipulate the injured joint in various ways to reduce pain and other symptoms. Although manual therapy is frequently used for treating knee osteoarthritis, it’s not completely clear just how effective it is for reducing patients’ symptoms. For this reason, a powerful pair of studies called a systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted on all the available research on this topic.
To conduct the review and analysis, researchers performed a search and identified 14 randomized-controlled trials, which are high-quality studies considered to be the gold standard for evaluating if a treatment is effective or not. The findings of these studies were then evaluated and compared to one another to determine if manual therapy is in fact beneficial for patients with knee osteoarthritis.
Results showed that manual therapy significantly reduced pain, alleviated stiffness and improved the physical function of knee osteoarthritis patients. These positive effects occurred with less than four weeks of treatment, but a treatment course that lasted longer than four weeks led to even greater benefits. In addition, only one patient experienced increased discomfort from manual therapy in all of the studies reviewed, which shows that the treatment is extremely safe and negative effects are quite rare.
Our physical therapists commonly use manual therapy to address your knee pain in Springfield
This study serves as yet another example of how a treatment commonly used by our physical and occupational therapists can lead to several benefits for injured patients. So if you’re dealing with knee pain in Springfield that may be due to osteoarthritis, manual therapy could be the ideal intervention to address your pain and improve your quality of life in the process. Contact us at 973-379-7006 to schedule an appointment for any painful conditions you may be experiencing, or click here to read the abstract (summary) of the featured study.