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Osteoarthritis: Can Physio Help?

Published: 06 April 2023

Knee Oa Cover

Osteoarthritis is a common condition that affects the joints and can cause pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility. In the UK, it is estimated that around 8.75 million people have sought treatment for osteoarthritis, making it one of the leading causes of disability in the country.

Osteoarthritis is more common in older adults, but it can occur at any age. According to Arthritis Research UK, around 33% of people aged 45 or over in the UK have sought treatment for osteoarthritis, and women are more likely to develop the condition than men. Figure 1 demonstrates the progression of an arthritic knee:

Osteoarthritis can affect any joint in the body, but it is most commonly found in the knees, hips, and hands. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, injury or trauma, and overuse of the joint.

While there is no cure for osteoarthritis, physiotherapy can be an effective treatment option to manage its symptoms. Physiotherapy can help with:


  1. Exercise: Physiotherapy can help to develop an exercise program that is tailored to the needs of the individual. This program can include exercises to improve strength, flexibility, and balance. Exercise can help to reduce pain and stiffness, increase mobility, and improve overall joint function.

  2. Graded loading strategies: Graded loading strategies involve gradually increasing the load on your joints to improve their strength and function. Your physiotherapist can develop an exercise program that gradually increases in intensity to help you keep physically active and improve quality of life.

  3. Education and advice: Your physiotherapist can provide education and advice on how to manage your osteoarthritis symptoms. This may include advice on how to modify your activities to reduce stress on your joints, how to maintain a healthy weight, and how to use assistive devices such as braces or orthotics. 

If you are worried about osteoarthritis or want to find out more about how physiotherapy can help, you can either drop us an email: OR book in for an initial assessment to establish your baseline, set realistic targets, and look forward to a positive future!

Always here to help. 


Robb and Arran 

The Physio Clinic Glasgow

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