Turkish Journal of Geriatrics 1999 , Vol 2, Issue 2
Çukurova Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi, Fiziksel Tıp ve Rehabilitasyon Anabilim Dalı – Adana Degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis) is a chronic non-inflammatory and common rheumatologic disorder that affects synovial joints and one of the most disabling conditions especially in the elderly. No drugs that reverse the structural or biomechanical abnormalities of osteoarthritis have been approved. So, present day therapy is directed at symptoms. Pain is the most frequent complaint of the patients with osteoarthritis. Physicians frequently use simple analgesics, nonsteroidal antiinflamatory drugs, local steroid injections, and antispasmodics to relieve pain. There are also various disease modifying agents that used in the medical management of osteoarthritis. These drugs have limited efficiency because of side effects. Besides relieving symptoms, it is important to maintaining or improving functions, limiting physical disability and avoiding drug toxicity. Therefore, rehabilitative approaches that mainly include; education and psychosocial support, occupational therapy, exercise programs, physical modalities, biomechanical and surgical procedures have greater importance. Increasing life expectancy requires the frequent use of rehabilitative techniques to prevent morbidity due to various diseases. Proper rehabilitation of the patients with osteoarthritis will help to decrease symptoms, prevent disability and improve the patients' quality of life. Physicians should be aware of the rehabilitative interventions of osteoarthritis that could decrease pain intensity and significantly improve the patient's quality of life. This review summarizes the nonpharmacological treatment approaches of osteoarthritis. Keywords : Degenerative joint disease, Osteoarthritis, Rehabilitation