Role of physical therapy in management of knee osteoarthritis

Purpose of review
The purposes of this review are to: (1) describe treatments
that physical therapists may use to supplement exercise
programs to enhance the benefit of rehabilitation, (2) discuss
current research related to the mode of delivery of physical
therapy treatment, and (3) identify characteristics from recent
research that may influence the responsiveness of individuals
with knee osteoarthritis to physical therapy.
Recent findings
Physical therapists provide a variety of interventions, such as
manual therapy techniques, balance, coordination, and
functional retraining techniques, knee taping techniques,
electrical stimulation, and foot orthotics to assist in overcoming
some of the barriers that make participation in exercise and
physical activity difficult. Recent research implies that a
number of factors may influence the responsiveness to
physical therapy treatment for individuals with knee
osteoarthritis. Factors such as the mode of treatment delivery,
treatment compliance issues, mechanical characteristics such
as joint laxity and malalignment, and radiographic severity are
discussed.
Summary
Future studies are needed to improve our understanding of
factors that can influence the responsiveness of patients with
knee osteoarthritis to exercise and physical activity programs.
The question may not be which mode of therapy works best,
but rather, which patient and/or disease characteristics will tell
us who will and who will not respond to a given mode of
therapy.
Keywords
physical therapy, osteoarthritis, knee, exercise therapy

Role of physical therapy in management of knee osteoarthritis

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