Abstract

A significant place in the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA) is taken by physical therapy. Its modalities may be grouped into the following three categories, which could be used alone or in combination: 1) physiotherapeutic (preformed); 2) kinesitherapeutic; 3) resort-climatic (natural) means. The purpose of this review is to outline the place of physical therapy in the treatment of OA. The choice of one or another preformed physical factor depends on the severity of the disease process, the sensitivity of the patient and the physiotherapist's experience. Among the most commonly used physiotherapeutic agents for pain and stiffness and joint function improvement are ultrasound, laser, magnetic therapy, and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. Kinesitherapy aims to soothe pain, strengthen, relax and stretch the muscles, increase the volume of movements, improve gait, joints with aids, and more. Balneotherapy has an important place in the complex therapeutic program for diseases of the musculoskeletal system.