Exercise and physical therapy fail to restore muscle strength in hip osteoarthritis patients

Dr. David Woznica ProlotherapistDavid Woznica, MD

In this article we will discuss why exercise and physical therapy fail to restore muscle strength in hip osteoarthritis patients.

Doctors at the University of Copenhagen published their study in the October 2017 edition of Physiotherapy research international in which they examined patients with hip osteoarthritis. They note that these patients have impairments in muscle function (muscle strength and power) and hip range of motion, and it is commonly believed that effective clinical management of osteoarthritis should address these impairments to reduce pain and disability.

So they set about to compare the short- and long-term effects of 4 months of physiotherapist-supervised strength training, physiotherapist-supervised Nordic Walking, or unsupervised home-based exercise on muscle function and hip range of motion in patients diagnosed with hip osteoarthritis.

There results were somewhat surprising, the treatments  did not show any significant between-group differences for improvements in muscle strength and power or hip range of motion at any time points.

The researchers had to conclude:

What does all this mean? In patients with degenerative hip disease, where connective tissue such as the tendons that attach hip muscles to the bones are damaged. It is very difficult to derive benefit from strength training where resistance is needed because the tendons that help provide that resistance are weak.

Inability of benefit from strength training is a clear sign of total hip joint degeneration

In our article on gluteus medius tendinopathy, Danielle R. Steilen-Matias, MMS, PA-C writes that:

It is difficult to isolate on one part of the pelvic-hip-spin complex when treating a patient with problems of Gluteus Medius tendinopathy.

The constant strain on the muscles to produce strength and stability in the hip are actually causing more degenerative problems.
Good hip Prolotherapy candidate

Repairing the tendons so muscles can regain strength

In our article, Tendinopathy injections and treatments, you can read how a multi-national team of researchers including those from Rutgers University, Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine, and the University Regensburg Medical Centre, in Germany tested the effects of Prolotherapy on tenocytes, tendon cells. What they were looking for was how did Prolotherapy heal tendons.

Do you have questions about loss of muscle strength in the hip as it relates to osteoarthritis? You can get help and information from our Caring Medical staff.

1 Bieler T, Siersma V, Magnusson SP, Kjaer M, Beyer N. Exercise induced effects on muscle function and range of motion in patients with hip osteoarthritis. Physiotherapy Research International. 2017 Oct 3.

 

 

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