Problems With Large Joints: Rehabilitation

FP Essent. 2016 Jul;446:31-4.


Patients with musculoskeletal injuries to large joints often improve with physical rehabilitation. Injuries typically result from acute macrotrauma or chronic repetitive microtraumatic overuse. Rehabilitation may require therapeutic exercise techniques to regain range of motion and flexibility, increase local muscular strength and endurance, decrease swelling, and reduce pain. Rehabilitation specialists may use additional modalities, such as heat or ultrasound, to decrease acute pain or swelling, although evidence for these modalities is mixed. In addition to treatment for acute or chronic injury, rehabilitation can prevent musculoskeletal injury or deterioration in chronic conditions such as arthritis. A trial of rehabilitation is appropriate in many patients with neuromusculoskeletal conditions to address loss of physical function due to pain, immobility, decreased flexibility, decreased muscular strength and endurance, joint instability, or loss of balance.

MeSH terms

  • Hip Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Humans
  • Knee Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Muscle Stretching Exercises / methods
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Postural Balance
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Recovery of Function
  • Resistance Training / methods
  • Shoulder Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Ultrasonic Therapy / methods*