Current Australian physiotherapy management of hip osteoarthritis Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVES: Symptomatic osteoarthritis can be a painful, costly and debilitating condition. Whilst there is a substantial body of literature surrounding osteoarthritis of the knee, there is less reported research on the hip joint, especially pertaining to physiotherapy intervention. This descriptive study aimed to describe current physiotherapy management of osteoarthritis of the hip by Australian physiotherapists in private practice and acute hospital settings. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey. PARTICIPANTS: A questionnaire was administered to 364 public and private practitioners in the state of Victoria. RESULTS: A response rate of 66% was achieved. Physiotherapists working in the private and public sectors reported frequent use of manual therapy (78% and 87%, respectively), aquatic therapy (82% and 58%, respectively) and home exercise programmes (88% and 80%, respectively). Class-based physiotherapy is employed less frequently (44% and 28%, respectively). Strengthening exercises are the most common treatment technique. CONCLUSIONS: The widespread use of exercise and manual therapy in the management of osteoarthritis of the hip is highlighted. There was little difference in overall physiotherapy management between the public and private settings. The results identify interventions commonly used in clinical practice. The need for further research to evaluate the effectiveness of frequently used interventions is also highlighted.

publication date

  • December 2010