Osteoarthritis of the tibio- femoral joint is the most commonly encountered problem worldwide. The basic pathology is well known to all of us-degeneration of the articular cartilage. This articular cartilage once lost, cannot repair and the problem will persist. The question then arises- is the conventional Short Wave Diathermy (SWD) and isometric Quadriceps routine any good? The answer is clear. The problem cannot be cured. So what should we do? The rational and correct approach would be to keep the symptoms under check and avoid rubbing together of the condyles, avoiding repetitive stresses and trying to increase the gap between the femoral and tibial condyles. Yes, SWD is helpful in relieving pain and is one of the most favorite equipment for patients…especially in India. But let’s think beyond convention here.
Role of Manual Therapy
Manual therapy for osteoarthritis is my personal recommendation and has also been recommended by research. Manual traction to separate the joint surfaces, Mulligan’s mobilization and patellar mobilization are effective techniques and relieve pain in addition to improving function. In addition, these techniques offer quick relief and increase the confidence of the patient. I have found these to be very effective and helpful. So I share my experiences and hope that Physiotherapy will move forward and go beyond modalities in to the new realm of Manual Therapy.