Physical therapy versus glucocorticoid injection for osteoarthritis of the knee

Review written by Anthony Teoli info

Key Points

  1. Manual therapy and exercise provided by a physical therapist was shown to be superior to glucocorticoid injection for improving pain and functional disability at 1 year in patients with knee osteoarthritis.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Both physical therapy and intra-articular glucocorticoid injections have been recommended in the management of knee osteoarthritis. However, it is unclear whether the short-term and long-term effectiveness for relieving pain and improving physical function differs between these two interventions. Therefore, the objective of this study was to compare the effectiveness of glucocorticoid injections and physical therapy in patients with knee osteoarthritis.

Both physical therapy and intra-articular glucocorticoid injections have been recommended in the management of knee osteoarthritis.
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Exercise is a safer and less costly alternative to corticosteroid injections and should be prioritized in patients with knee osteoarthritis.

METHODS

This study was a 1-year randomized controlled trial. Participants (n=156, mean age: 56 years) with knee osteoarthritis were recruited from two military hospitals in the United States and randomized into two groups: 1) physical therapy (manual therapy and exercise), and

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