Various physical therapies (exercise, heat, cold, diathermy, ultrasound, etc.) are beneficial in improving joint mobility and reducing pain of osteoarthritis. The importance of physical therapy is quite significant, especially when administered regularly. Much of the benefit of physical therapy is thought to be a result of achieving a proper water content within the joint capsule.
Clinical and experimental studies showed that short-wave diathermy is of the most effective. Combining short-wave diathermy therapy with periodic ice massage, rest and appropriate exercises appears to be the most sensible approach. Proper exercises include isometric exercises and swimming; these types of exercises increase circulation to the joint and strengthen surrounding muscles without placing too much strain on the joint.
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