Exercise and Manual Therapy for Hip Osteoarthritis

Self-reported function, hip range of motion (HROM), and patient-perceived improvement occurred after an 8-week program of exercise therapy (ET) for patients with hip osteoarthritis (OA), say authors of an article published in Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Manual therapy (MT) as an adjunct provided no further benefit, except for achieving higher patient satisfaction, they add.

For this investigation, 131 patients with hip OA recruited from general practitioners, rheumatologists, orthopedic surgeons, and other hospital consultants in Dublin, Ireland, were randomized to 1 of 3 groups: ET (n=45), ET+MT (n=43), and wait-list control (n=43).  Participants in both ET and ET+MT groups received up to 8 treatments over 8 weeks. Control group participants were rerandomised into either the ET or ET+MT group after the 9 week follow-up. Their data were pooled with original treatment group data—ET (n=66) and ET+MT (n=65). The primary outcome was the WOMAC physical function (PF) subscale. Secondary outcomes included physical performance, pain, HROM, anxiety/depression, quality of life, medication usage, patient-perceived change, and patient satisfaction.

There was no significant difference in WOMAC PF between ET (n=66) and ET+MT (n=65) groups at 9 weeks (mean difference 0.09) or at 18 weeks (mean difference 0.42), or other outcomes, except “patient satisfaction with outcome,” which was higher in the ET+MT group. Improvements in WOMAC, HROM, and patient-perceived change occurred in both treatment groups compared with the control group.

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