World Physiotherapy Day: Role Of Physiotherapy In Osteoarthritis

World Physiotherapy Day: Role Of Physiotherapy In Osteoarthritis

Sep 08 , 2022


Essa lab

Every year on September 8th, World Physical Therapy Day is observed. The day provides an opportunity for physiotherapists from around the world to raise awareness about the vital role that their profession plays in keeping people healthy, mobile, and independent.


The World Confederation of Physical Therapy (WCPT), now known as World Physiotherapy, declared September 8th as World Physical Therapy Day in 1996. World Physiotherapy was founded on this date in 1951.

The day celebrates the global physiotherapy community's unity and solidarity. It is a chance to recognise the work that physiotherapists do for their patients and the community. World Physiotherapy aims to support member organisations in their efforts to promote the profession and advance their expertise by focusing on World PT Day.


Theme for this year's World Physiotherapy Day is Role of Physiotherapy in Prevention and Management of Osteoarthritis.

What Is Osteoarthritis (OA)?

Osteoarthritis Is the most common type of arthritis which is inflammation or swelling of joints. It is also referred to as "wear and tear" arthritis or degenerative joint disease. It most commonly occurs in the hands, hips, and knees.

With OA, the cartilage of the joint begins to deteriorate and the underlying bone changes. These changes usually occur gradually and worsen over time. In some cases, it also results in decreased function and disability; some people are unable to perform daily tasks or work.

It is most common in elderly people and categorized into two types, primary and secondary:

Primary osteoarthritis is articular degeneration that has no obvious underlying cause.

Secondary osteoarthritis is caused by either an abnormal distribution of force across the joint, as in post-traumatic causes, or abnormal articular cartilage, as in rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Osteoarthritis is a painful, chronic joint disorder that primarily affects the knees as well as the hands, hips, and spine. The severity of the symptoms varies from person to person and usually progresses slowly.



Common clinical symptoms include:

  • Knee pain that is gradual in onset and worsens with activity
  • Knee stiffness and swelling
  • Pain after prolonged sitting or resting
  • Crepitus or a 

Treatment and Management

Conservative and surgical treatment options are available for knee OA.

Conservative treatment is always used first, and surgical treatment is used only after all other options have been exhausted. There are numerous conservative treatment options available for knee OA. These interventions have no effect on the underlying disease process, but their goal is to alleviate pain and maximise function for as long as possible.

Conservative Treatment Options

Exercise therapy within physiotherapy is the primary conservative treatment for OA knee. Physiotherapy usually entails

Patient education is essential.

Therapy through exercise

Changes in activity

Weight loss advice

Knee braces

Patient education and physiotherapy are the first-line treatments for all patients with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis. The best results have been demonstrated with a combination of supervised exercises and a home exercise programme. If the exercises are stopped after 6 months, the benefits are lost.

Weight loss is crucial in all stages of OA especially in people with a body mass index greater than 25. The best recommendation to achieve weight loss is to make lifestyle changes with diet control and low-impact aerobic exercise.

Knee bracing in OA can be used. Offloading-type braces which shift the load away from the involved knee compartment.

Other non-physiotherapy based interventions include pharmacological management.


Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

COX-2 inhibitors

Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate

Corticosteroid injections

Hyaluronic acid (HA)

Drug therapy together with physiotherapy should be the first-line treatment for patients with symptomatic OA.


Physiotherapy plays an important role in management of many joint disorders, hence one must seek treatment when necessary. Dr. Essa Laboratory & Diagnostic Centre has a number of professional certified physiotherapists working at various branches. For more information call or WhatsApp at UAN +92 21 111 786 986.

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