Now that a study suggests that no evidence exists that the popular nutritional supplement chondroitin may prevent or reduce pain for arthritis, patients may wish to consider the benefits of physical therapist intervention for pain relief from certain arthritic conditions, says the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). The study, done by Swiss researchers at the University of Bern in Switzerland, was published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Pain associated with certain degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis, can be reduced with physical therapist intervention. "The physical therapist, in collaboration with the patient and the patient's physician, can help the patient manage his or her health over the long term," explained APTA President R Scott Ward, PT, PhD.

For osteoarthritis, a degenerative disease of the cartilage and bone, physical therapist intervention may include exercises for strength, flexibility, range of motion, and the use of devices designed to rest or support the joint, such as orthotics or splints.

Physical therapists work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility by developing fitness- and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles. Many insurance policies also cover post-rehabilitation gym programs.

For more information about a career as a physical therapist, to find a physical therapist, and for more physical therapy news and information, consumers can visit www.apta.org/consumer.

The American Physical Therapy Association is a national organization representing nearly 70,000 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students nationwide. Its goal is to foster advancements in physical therapist education, practice, and research.

www.apta.org

(North American English - Physical Therapist, Physical Therapy. UK/Australasian/Irish English - Physiotherapist, Physiotherapy)