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What is osteoarthritis? | WiSE Specialist Emergency Clinic
What is osteoarthritis?

What is osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a painful inflammatory condition that affects the joints of the body and structures such as bone, cartilage, ligaments and muscles. These result in pain and a loss in mobility and a reduction in quality of life.

Signs and Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

  • Swelling around the joint
  • Painful movements
  • Stiffness in the morning       
  • Painful grinding or clicking

About the Physiotherapy OECP at WiSE

The OECP (osteoarthritis exercise and care program) program will run for 6-8 physiotherapy sessions with a booster session every 1-2 months to review symptoms and home exercises. It aims to educate individuals as well as reduce the need for a joint replacement early on.

How can physiotherapy help?

  • Exercise has a benefit in reducing pain and improving function.  
  • Manual therapy has a positive effect on pain and movement.  
  • Able to manage condition independently.
  • Joint protection strategies.


The Agency for Clinical Innovation from NSW collected data in 11 NSW public hospitals and found 70% of people had not access conservative care before being put on the waitlist for surgery. There is conclusive evidence that having a tailored exercise program that strengthens the legs and core will benefit those with osteoarthritic knees and hips.

When is surgery indicated?

  • Non-surgical approach fails to reduce symptoms by 20-25% on the WOMAC scale.  
  • There’s a progressive loss of joint space between 0.3-0.7mm.