Osteoarthritis: pathophysiology and current treatment modalities
Osteoarthritis (OA) is accepted as a major public health problem. It is one of the major causes of impaired function that reduces quality of life (QOL) worldwide. OA is a very common disorder affecting the joint cartilage. As there is no cure for OA, treatments currently focus on management of symptoms. Pain relief, improved joint function, and joint stability are the main goals of therapy. The muscle weakness and muscle atrophy contribute to the disease process. So, rehabilitation and physiotherapy were often prescribed with the intention to alleviate pain and increase mobility. However, as exercise has to be performed on a regular basis in order to counteract muscle atrophy, continuous exercise programs is recommended in people with degenerative joint disease. Therapeutic exercise regimes either focus on muscle strengthening and stretching exercises or on aerobic activity which can be land or water based. This article presents on overview of the current knowledge on OA and focuses on biomechanics, etiology, diagnosis and treatment strategies, conservative treatment including the physical therapy management are discussed. This information should assist health care practioners who treat patients with this disorder.
Keywords: OA; Strengthening exercises; Stretching exercises; Pain severity; Hamstrings / quadriceps ratio, knee osteoarthritis, cartilage degeneration, non-inflammatory arthritis, intra-articularinjections, corticosteroids
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