FEATURE ARTICLE: Is osteoarthritis really an irreversible condition? - DIANA PINTO

Osteoarthritis (OA) is also an irreversible, progressive disorder although the pattern of progression varies symptomatically amongst individuals. Pain is the most vital symptom and diagnostic factor of Osteoarthritis. Other symptoms include joint stiffness, swelling at joints, crackling/ grinding noise during joint movement and decreased function at the joint.

Because OA is an incurable pathology, therapeutic objectives usually focus on maximizing the patient′s function and quality of life, while keeping pain under control and minimizing the adverse effects derived from the use of medication.

A growing body of evidence shows that exercise improves knee joint function and decreases symptoms. Furthermore, the findings of a recent study [1] suggest that physical therapy intervention including manual physical therapy and exercise may reduce the need for knee arthroplasty and intra-articular injections. However, the most effective types and combinations of exercise and dosage are unclear. The setting in which the exercises should be performed and the level of professional attention required to initiate and maintain the exercise program also should be the subject of further investigation.

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