Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Osteoarthritis improved by extra physiotherapy programmes

Wednesday 24 July 2013

Osteoarthritis improved by extra physiotherapy programmes

Manual physiotherapy or regular exercise programmes make a significant difference for people with painful osteoarthritis in the knee and hip joints, and are cost-effective, new research from the University of Otago shows.

The randomised clinical trial involved 207 Dunedin patients over one year and used three protocols of treatment provided by physiotherapists in addition to usual care by their GP.

One group was given seven manual physiotherapy sessions, in addition to usual care, for 40-50 minutes over nine weeks, followed by two boosters after a further seven weeks. The second group involved a programme of exercise both in the clinic and at home, while the third group was treated with a combination of manual and exercise therapy. A control group received only usual care from their GP or other health providers.

Lead researcher Associate Professor Haxby Abbott of the Centre for Musculoskeletal Outcomes Research says that the results show that individually supervised exercise therapy or manual therapy provided by a physiotherapist, in addition to usual care, improve pain and physical function for at least one year.

“However, given a time constraint of a 40-50 minute clinic visit, there is no additional benefit gained from providing both manual and exercise therapy on top of usual care for osteoarthritis,” Associate Professor Abbott says.

A further study, published this week in the international journal Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, looked at the economics of the additional treatment in this trial. It found that both additional exercise therapy and manual therapy are more cost effective for the health system and for individuals than just applying usual care management to osteoarthritis.

“Exercise therapy provided the best cost-effectiveness from a health system perspective, while manual therapy was best, and was actually cost-saving, from a societal perspective,” he says.

“On our main measure, we found that additional manual therapy provided the best symptom relief of the three treatments we studied. On the other hand, the exercise programme also produced very good results on physical tests and on quality of life gains. So each has its strengths, there is no clear best choice for everyone. What’s clear is that either is better than usual care only.”

The researchers conclude at present there is quite low use of non-surgical and non-drug therapies for osteoarthritis in primary care, and these studies point to a way of preventing or delaying pain and disability at significant cost effectiveness for society and the health system.

“These results suggest that GPs should refer patients with hip or knee arthritis for individually supervised exercise or manual therapy provided by a physiotherapist, in addition to continuing to provide usual care.”

The researchers say the Management of Osteoarthritis trial demonstrates for the first time the value of individually prescribed and supervised programmes involving manual care or exercise in relieving symptoms of hip or knee osteoarthritis.

The exercise programme involved stationary cycling, muscle strengthening, stretching and balance and agility exercises both in the clinic and at home.

Both the Management of Osteoarthritis trial and the economic evaluation have been published in the international journal Osteoarthritis and Cartilage.

The studies were funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand and the Lottery Grants Board.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Gongs Got: Canon Media Awards & NZ Radio Awards Happen

Radio NZ: RNZ website The Wireless, which is co-funded by NZ On Air, was named best website, while Toby Manhire and Toby Morris won the best opinion general writing section for their weekly column on rnz.co.nz and Tess McClure won the best junior feature writer section. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Budget: Debt Focus Risks Losing Opportunity To Stoke Economy

The Treasury is likely to upgrade its forecasts for economic growth in Budget 2016 next week but Finance Minister Bill English has already signalled that more of his focus is on debt repayment than on fiscal stimulus or tax cuts... More>>

ALSO:

Fulton Hogan's Heroes: Managing Director Nick Miller Resigns

Fulton Hogan managing director Nick Miller will leave the privately owned construction company after seven years in charge. The Dunedin-based company has kicked off a search for a replacement, and Miller will stay on at the helm until March next year, or until a successor has been appointed and a transition period completed. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Electricity, Executions, And Bob Dylan

The Electricity Authority has unveiled the final version of its pricing plan for electricity transmission. This will change the way transmission prices (which comprise about 10% of the average power bill) are computed, and will add hundreds of dollars a year to power bills for many ordinary consumers. More>>

ALSO:

Half Empty: Fonterra NZ, Australia Milk Collection Drops In Season

Fonterra Cooperative Group says milk collection is down in New Zealand and Australia, its two largest markets, in the first 11 months of the season during a period of weak dairy prices. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news