Facts about Arthritis
Arthritis, or osteoarthritis (OA), is a joint condition that originates in the joint cartilage, the joint capsule, and the subchondral bone. It is the single most widespread joint disease worldwide and the most commonly affected joints are the knee and hip. In addition to individual impairments caused by pain, reduced joint function, and restrictions in everyday life and during sports activities, OA also results in high socio-economic burdens.The treatment spectrum for OA of the knee and hip joints includes surgery as well as conservative approaches with emphasis on physiotherapy (active and passive measures), weight reduction, change of dietary habits, and modification of lifestyle. Furthermore, Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) has issued evidence-based clinical treatment guidelines that have been repeatedly evaluated with regard to their effectiveness. Despite this multitude of randomised clinical studies proving the positive effects of active physiotherapy on pain, joint function, and quality of life, the clinical implementation of these measures is still unsatisfactory so far. A study carried out in Denmark attempted to find possible reasons for this gap between scientific findings and their transfer into daily clinical routine. Limited access to scientific literature, a lack of know-how concerning the practical implementation of scientific knowledge, and the absence of the necessary setting to pursue the recommended multimodal treatment approach turned out to be the main reasons for this gap. Therefore, the initiative “Good Life with osteoArthritis in Denmark (GLA:D)” was launched in 2013. The objective of this nationwide initiative was to implement evidence-based clinical treatment guidelines to facilitate access to high-quality treatment for people suffering from arthritis of the knee or hip.
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