Hip and knee osteoarthritis are some of the most common orthopedic conditions affecting middle to older aged adults. in our Boulder Physical Therapy and Lafayette Physical Therapy offices we successfully treat these conditions with a combination of education, manual therapy, and exercise. Research has shown exercise remains one of the most effective interventions for patients with these diagnoses. Despite its’ proven effectiveness exercise likely remains under prescribed by health care practitioners and under utilized by patients in favor of anti inflammatory medications. A recent review of the literature reports on the comparison of these two interventions for this patient population.
Weng and colleagues published their findings on the clinical effectiveness of anti inflammatories and exercise on patients with hip and knee arthritis (Br J Sp Med. 2022). Authors included over 150 randomized controlled trials including over 17,000 participants. They reported no difference in outcomes for pain and function at either 4 or 24 weeks with either intervention. Authors concluded exercise can provide similar effectiveness for this patient population with less adverse events. They recommended exercise be given a more prominent role in the clinical care of hip and knee arthritis.