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Where Do You Start?

As osteoarthritis is an exceptionally common condition there is a plethora of treatment options available when you start researching online. The truth is however, that when we take a look at what the research suggests there are only a few things that are strongly recommended. 

In 2019 the Royal Australian College Of General Practitioners completed a review of all of the treatment interventions available and looked at what the evidence had to say about how effective these things really were for the treatment of osteoarthritis. They categorised their findings in to treatment interventions that were: strongly recommended, conditionally recommended, inconclusive, conditionally recommended against and strongly recommended against. I have summarised their findings in the table below:


You can find a link to the full guidelines here: Guidelines For The Management Of Knee & Hip Osteoarthritis

One or two or maybe even a few of these may come as a surprise, however, the evidence consistently points towards to the fact the education, advice, exercise and weight loss (if appropriate) should be at the centre of every treatment program for osteoarthritis.


It is recommended that land based exercise consists of both cardio vascular exercise and resistance or strengthening exercise. Both of these could make up part of your weight loss program.

It is important to appreciate that walking, cycling and swimming do not help to strengthen the muscles around your joint. Strength adaptations only occur when focusing on a very specific set of parameters, normally focusing on completing 2-3 sets of between 6-12 repetitions.

It might be that some of the other treatment options in the other columns could be appropriate to try alongside exercise and weight loss, however, it is not recommended that they are used in isolation of the gold standard treatment. Below is a nice visual aid of what your osteoarthritis treatment and management should look like.



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