Study Shows Benefits of Combining Hyaluronic Acid & Physical Therapy to Treat Osteoarthritis
A study published in the Journal of Pain Research examined the effectiveness of hyaluronic acid (HA) injections, combined with physical therapy and bracing.
Patients went through an eight-week program to treat osteoarthritis (OA) in their knee, consisting of five weekly injections of HA, physical therapy to improve strength, balance and range of motion and knee bracing.
The authors conducted follow up interviews with 218 patients around three to five years after they received their initial treatment. The study found that HA therapy is a very cost-effective way to improve quality of life, especially compared to surgery to correct arthritis of the knee.
They found a 60% decrease in knee pain and 33-42% decrease on the WOMAC index (which measures severity of osteoarthritis). Less than 1 in 4 (22.8%) had to have surgery for their arthritis in the three to five years after treatment.
Our Treatment Protocol
At Apple Healthcare Group, we know that every case of OA is unique. We don’t have a “one protocol fits all” approach, but instead work to incorporate all the tools and provider expertise at our disposal to give the patient the best chance for success.
Treatment begins with an evaluation by our medical staff to determine your symptoms and what treatment options are most appropriate.
Before any injections occur, we take an X-Ray with contrast dye known as an arthroscope. This helps us verify that the knee capsule is intact and the injected HA will not leak downward into the calf.
A fluoroscope is used to guide injections of hyaluronic acid into the joint. Injections are given weekly, usually for five weeks per joint. We use pure, natural hyaluronic acid from Supartz, which is the most effective form of HA due to its long-lasting results. Supartz cushions and lubricates your joints and has very few side effects and interactions.
Each visit is combined with physical therapy designed to increase strength, stability and balance and restore range of motion. Improving the bio mechanics of the joint helps improve quality of life right away, and it also contributes to better and longer-lasting results of the HA therapy and can help delay the progression of OA in order to avoid surgery. If you’re looking for different physical therapy providers that are able to treat your specific condition, research into different therapy clinics such as this website to see what clinic can meet your requirements.
In most cases, specialized bracing is used to provide support and speed recovery. We carry a wide variety of braces and fit them to meet your specific needs.
A final PT evaluation is conducted one week after the last HA injection to note progress and do a final test of strength and balance.
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