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Exercise central to treating osteoarthritis, say physiotherapists

CSP press release published on 12 February 2014

Updated guidelines that emphasise the need for people with osteoarthritis to exercise regularly and take action if overweight have been welcomed by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP).

The latest recommendations from NICE recognise activity and exercise as a ‘core treatment’ for the condition to help reduce pain and improve mobility.

Physiotherapists are experts in assessing patients’ symptoms and developing tailored exercise plans that allow them to manage their condition independently.

Professor Karen Middleton, chief executive of the CSP, said:

“These guidelines should help challenge the perception that many people often have about osteoarthritis being a normal part of ageing and that ‘nothing can be done’.

“Physiotherapists provide effective treatment for the symptoms of osteoarthritis and deliver expert advice on physical activity and weight-management strategies to reduce pain and improve mobility.

“NICE has recognised how important this is for the day-to-day management of the condition and the positive impact it has on patients’ quality of life.

“We can do better for people with this condition it is now important that NHS commissioners provide access to the right services to make that happen.”

Prof Middleton added that the decision to recommend that acupuncture not be offered as a treatment was “disappointing” but said the CSP would continue to work with NICE to understand how research studies into the practice can be better designed.

Professor Krysia Dziedzic, Arthritis Research UK professor of musculoskeletal therapies at the University of Keele and physiotherapist on the NICE working party said:

“Physiotherapists provide expert advice on the core treatments for all people with osteoarthritis recommended by NICE: accurate information, support with physical activity and the right forms of exercise, and interventions to lose weight if the person is overweight or obese.”

For further information please call the CSP press office on 020 7306 1111, email Out of hours please call Becca Bryant, head of press and PR (job-share) on 079172 40819, Jennie Edmondson, head of press and PR (job share) on 07786 332197, or Jon Ryan, senior media adviser on 07917 091200.



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