Rehabilitation interventions for pain and disability in osteoarthritis

Am J Nurs. 2012 Mar;112(3 Suppl 1):S32-7. doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000412649.02926.35.


Osteoarthritis (OA) results in progressive destruction of articular cartilage and bone at the joint margins, leading to impairments extending far beyond the synovial joint. Rehabilitation interventions that target specific impairments and activity restrictions can help restore independence and promote healthy living. Such interventions include exercise, physical modalities (ice, heat, ultrasonography), manual techniques (mobilization and manipulation), and assistive devices. The predominance of evidence on the effects of rehabilitation interventions for knee and hip OA suggest that they afford modest pain relief, reduced disability, and improved function. Research is needed to identify the modes of exercise and the effective doses for relief of symptoms and functional limitations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Electric Stimulation
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Musculoskeletal Manipulations
  • Osteoarthritis / physiopathology
  • Osteoarthritis / rehabilitation*
  • Pain Management / methods*
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Self Care / methods
  • Sickness Impact Profile
  • Ultrasonic Therapy