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Is physical therapy effective as a hip osteoarthritis treatment?

Of the various types of arthritis, osteoarthritis is the most common. This type of arthritis involves the wearing down of cartilage at joints. Some individuals suffer osteoarthritis in their hips. Hip osteoarthritis, if severe enough, can impair a person's work abilities, thus cutting off an important source of income. Individuals from Michigan who have hip osteoarthritis that has made them unable to be employed may want to talk with a disability attorney about whether they would have eligibility for any forms of monetary relief, such as Social Security Disability benefits.

Given the life-altering impacts hip osteoarthritis can have, one would hope that care would be taken to ensure that the common treatments given by medical professionals for hip osteoarthritis are ones that are, by-and-large, effective. A recent study calls into question the effectiveness of one of the treatments that hip osteoarthritis sufferers are sometimes given, physical therapy.

The study was from Australia and its subjects were 102 individuals who suffered from hip osteoarthritis. In the study, some of these individuals were given a physical therapy treatment regimen and the others were given a sham treatment regimen.

Our readers may find the study's results somewhat surprising. The researchers found that the individuals that were given the physical therapy generally did not show any greater level of improvement than those who got the sham treatment.

Thus, this study appears to raise the possibility that physical therapy may, in general, not provide much in the way of benefits to hip osteoarthritis sufferers beyond a placebo effect.

Other medical scientists have contested this potential conclusion from the study's results, saying that, under certain circumstances, physical therapy can be an effective treatment for hip osteoarthritis.

Given how costly physical therapy can be and the fact that it can have side effects, one would hope that it would only be used on hip osteoarthritis sufferers if it actually had a chance of being effective as a treatment. Thus, the questions the study raises are very important and serious ones. Consequently, one hopes that future research is conducted aimed at definitively determining whether physical therapy has effectiveness as a treatment for hip osteoarthritis.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, "Physical Therapy May Not Improve Hip Arthritis, Study Finds," May 21, 2014

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