APTA Responds to The Washington Post on Treatment for Osteoarthritis

March 22, 2010

Dear Editor:

I am writing in response to your March 16 article, "Damaged ankles can be fused or replaced, but these surgeries have drawbacks," by Nancy Rome.

Rather than advising a "grin and bear the pain" approach, physical therapists can help individuals with osteoarthritis maintain function and mobility by designing individualized treatment programs to reduce pain and improve function.

According to "Use of Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs. AnUpdate for Clinicians: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association," non-pharmacological approaches such as physical therapy should be considered for initial treatment for musculoskeletal symptoms that result from degenerative joint problems such as osteoarthritis and certain other conditions.

Physical therapists provide effective, affordable, and conservative careand work with the patient and physician to help the patient manage his or her health over the long term.   In most states, individuals can make an appointment with a physical therapist without a physician referral.

To find a physical therapist near you, go to www.moveforwardpt.com.

Sincerely,

R. Scott Ward, PT, PhD
President
American Physical Therapy Association

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