Hip Arthritis: Physical Therapy Doesn’t Help

Wondering why hip arthritis is still painful after weeks of physical therapy? Researchers at the University of Melbourne have some discouraging news for you: Physical Therapy does nothing to relieve pain or increase function of hips afflicted with arthritis. A university news releaseScreen shot 2014-05-21 at 8.43.51 AM reports that researchers at the school randomly assigned patients with hip osteoarthritis to 10 sessions of either active physiotherapy treatment (which included education and advice, manual therapy, home exercise and walking with an aid, if needed) or placebo treatments (which included inactive ultrasounds and gel). After 24 weeks after treatment, the physio group continued unsupervised home exercise while the placebo group self-applied gel three times a week. The bad news: Patient outcomes for both groups were roughly the same at 13 and 36 week intervals. The even worse news: The treatment group actually reported a greater number of adverse events, although they were relatively mild.

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