It’s not uncommon to see sufferers of knee pain in Bergen County and elsewhere to choose (and be recommended) surgery as a means to ease their troubles. A study published on the New England Journal of Medicine, however, seems to contradict this. In it, osteoarthritis patients who choose arthroscopic knee surgery for their pain actually do so for nothing, since the procedure is shown to work no better than a placebo surgery.
What gives? Isn’t surgery the most direct way to fix a bad knee? According to surgeons at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a Harvard-affiliate institution, surgery isn’t exactly a be-all end-all solution. They observed 351 osteoarthritic men and women, with half being subjected to a six-week physical therapy program and the other half undergoing surgery. After six and 12 months, the patients exhibited almost identical improvements in knee function, which essentially means that surgery didn’t prove its worth that much against a non-invasive treatment method.
So it is established that physical therapy can be a potent knee pain treatment option for those who aren’t fans of surgery. Generally, the advantages of PT treatment cannot be counted out: better knee tracking, muscle strengthening, and most of all, less pain. If a knee pain patient works with a physical therapist, the latter can work to improve symptoms and help the former heal at a much faster rate than he could alone.
Considering that PT is recommended as a treatment option for knee pain, then what can one expect? First and foremost, it’s important to remember that the first visit is vital to ensure that a proper diagnosis is made, and appropriate management of the condition is practiced. During this period, one can expect questions regarding medical history, since the physical therapists need to consider the patient’s overall physical condition before making any recommendations.
The physical therapist will then synthesize all acquired information and subsequently conduct a focused examination, which may include observing how the patient walks, touching various areas on and around the knee to try and identify any abnormalities, measuring current range of motion and overall strength, and checking for swelling, among a few. The completion of the examination can then facilitate the treatment properly.
Based on the information presented, it can be inferred that surgery should ideally be one’s last resort. As it turns out, even simple, non-invasive methods like standard physical therapy is a worthy knee pain treatment option, provided it is administered correctly by reputable facilities like MedWell Spine, Osteoarthritis and Neuropathy Center.
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Physical Therapy As Good As Surgery For Osteoarthritic Knees And Torn Meniscus, Fitness.Mercola.com, April 5, 2013