The Basics of Osteoarthritis – How Physiotherapy Improves Hip & Knee Pain

Thursday, December 03, 2015

One of the most valuable treatments for Osteoarthritis (OA) is exercise, because it reduces your pain and helps you maintain a healthy weight.  However, it’s important to see a qualified physiotherapist who can assess your condition and then develop the most suitable exercise treatment for you.


Physiotherapists are medically trained experts who specialise in treating musculo-skeletal injuries and diseases. Whilst you may have heard that low impact exercise is good for OA, you may not know what’s the right activity for you.

Unfortunately, there isn’t just one exercise or activity that can be done by all people with OA.  Your age and level of general fitness need to be taken into account, as well as your current state of health and any other diseases you may have.


That’s why a medically trained physio who’s expert in musculo-skeletal treatments can improve your condition with massage, manipulation, stretching and exercise. The aim of these treatments is to reduce pain and stiffness – cutting down the need for powerful pain medication – and to increase your range of movement.  


  • Flexibility - Manipulation and muscle stretches to improve and maintain joint movement
  • Muscles – Building-up strong muscles to support sore joints and remove painful pressure
  • Bones - Increasing your bone-strength and improving balance to avoid falls
  • FitnessMaking your heart and lungs stronger, so you can be more active in your daily life
  • Taping the kneecap
  • Knee braces
  • Ultrasound treatment
  • Orthotics  - These are small wedges placed in shoes to improve knee position  

Individual attention

The personal attention you get from a physiotherapist will help you find suitable activities that you enjoy.  For example, going to your local swimming pool for an exercise session on your own may not be possible or much fun.

But a warm-water swimming or hydrotherapy session supervised by your physio is much more appealing!  The natural buoyancy of water removes all the pressure from hips and knees and allows OA sufferers to move more freely than on land, so it can be a very pleasant way to exercise.

If you suffer from restricted movement and pain caused by osteoarthritis, a personal treatment plan supervised by a physiotherapist could be just the safe healing exercise that you need!

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