17 Sep‘Did you know there are new Osteoarthritis Guidelines?

Unless you follow all things GP publications you may not have known that the Royal Australian College for General Practitioners (RACGP) has published updated guidelines for the management of knee and hip osteoarthritis (OA) [1]. RACGP is the governing body for all GP’s within Australia. OA is the most common form of arthritis for Australians and, as of 2011-12 nearly 15% of Australians have arthritis [2]. OA causes a person’s joints to become inflamed, which results in pain, stiffness, disability and deformity [2]. These symptoms can have a significant impact on quality of life and with no current cure for OA it is important that the long-term management of symptoms is correct.

With GP’s predominantly being the first point of contact in the healthcare system for those with OA it is fantastic that the new guidelines put such a strong emphasis on exercise as the key recommendation. The guidelines recommend regular exercise for relief of pain and improvement of function for those with both knee and hip OA [1]. This is supported by further research [3] however, it did conclude that there is no specific protocol for exercise prescription. Rather it is important to take into consideration the complex nature of OA and the use of multiple modes of exercise to produce the best outcomes [3].

For knee OA, land based exercises that strengthen the surrounding muscles, walking and Tai Chi were all strongly recommended [1]. While no one best hip OA land based exercises could be determined, hydrotherapy can be considered as a viable mode of exercise [1].  To further aid in the management of symptoms weight management was strongly recommended for those with both hip and knee OA [1]. With all of the above within the scope of an Exercise Physiologist it is exciting that we are able to help people manage and reduce their symptoms of OA. With True North Wellness able to offer land based, hydrotherapy and weight management training get in touch to find out how we can help you with your OA.

Matthew Byrne – Exercise Physiologist 



  1. https://www.racgp.org.au/download/Documents/Guidelines/Musculoskeletal/guideline-for-the-management-of-knee-and-hip-oa-2nd-edition.pdf
  2. http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4364.0.55.001chapter3102011-12
  3. 3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3383509/