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Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2004 Aug;18(4):477-89.

When is physiotherapy appropriate?

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The George Institute for International Health, University of Sydney, Level 10 King George V Building, Missenden Road, Camperdown NSW 2050, Australia.


The main goal of physiotherapy is to reduce pain and restore (or maintain) optimal physical functioning. A wide range of non-pharmacological treatment modalities can be accessed by physiotherapists, including manual therapies, electrophysical agents, thermotherapy, hydrotherapy and graded exercise. The aim of this chapter is to summarise the evidence to date for the effectiveness of various physiotherapy treatment modalities for patients with chronic musculoskeletal conditions, specifically ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis involving the peripheral joints. Some important issues for consideration by the rheumatologist before referral of a patient to physiotherapy are also outlined.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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