Over the last years medical research strongly supports that exercise should be part of the pain management protocols and certain types of exercise should be prescribed to patients depending on their medical condition.
As far as osteoarthritis (OA) is concerned, a systematic review 10 year ago suggested that general physical activity and strengthening exercise are the most curative types of training for this medical condition. Moreover, aquatics proves to be quite beneficial in knee and hip OA, while both high and low intensity aerobics are equally effective in knee OA.
On the other hand, Evidence-Based Medicine supports that the benefits of training are short-term and not sustained more than 6 months if the patient reduces the frequencey, duration and intensity of exercise. It seems that even when modulation in physical actiivity produces notable alterations in patients’ everyday life, compliance remains a very important issue, especially to previously inactive persons.
Coming to a conclusion, it the therapists’ responsibility to educate their patients on the benefits of regular exercise thus promoting better compliance and long-term changes in everyday patients' life.
References: Sluka K.A. (2009). Mechanisms and Management of Pain for the Physical Therapist. USA: IASP Press.
Copyright Apolloneio Athletic Club 2016