Background: In view of the already existing and the expected growing costs due to the
pathological osteoarthritic joint alterations and the related consequences, preventive and conservative
strategies which can avoid or delay osteoarthritic joint alterations are welcomed from a socioeconomical
perspective. Here, it should be mentioned that corresponding primary prevention measures
should take place early by already educating children about a healthy diet and motivating them
to regular physical exercise. In overt or symptomatic osteoarthritis, a good joint function and reduction
of disease-related pain as well as a delay in the progression of osteoarthritis should be the primary
goals of non-surgical therapeutic approaches.
Objective: The current body of studies is already able to prove the effectiveness of differential indicative
physiotherapeutic and physical measures and should be further developed in the future.
Nevertheless, the implementation of the available knowledge from the studies under evidencebased
medicine criteria proves difficult during the daily routine in clinics. On one hand, an assessment
of the effectiveness of physical therapy within the framework of a multimodal treatment approach
(e.g. thermotherapy in combination with manual therapy) is difficult to define.
Result and Conclusion: On the other hand, an objective assessment of treatment success, owing to
the heterogeneity among the patients (above all varied disease activity, functional limitations, accompanying
diseases and therapy) will also remain complicated.