Patient information on Osteoarthritis


Active Management of OsteoArthritis

  • Arthritis is a major cause of disability and chronic pain in Australia.

  • >3.95 Million Australians suffer from arthritis

  • Up to two thirds of people suffering from osteoarthritis are of working age.

  • Osteoarthritis is a progressive condition.

  • Traditional treatments are only directed toward pain relief/analgesia.

  • We believe in the active management of arthritis.

  • Whilst pain relief remains a primary objective, we use a multidisciplinary approach that aims to actively prevent and reduce progression of arthritis.



What is Involved ?

  • Prior to any treatment you will receive a thorough `arthritis health care’ consultation with one of our sports medicine physicians. Current pain management therapies will be optimised.

  • If relevant, further nutritional and exercise consultations will be arranged.

  • Your suitability for other `advanced medical therapy’ options will be assessed.

  • Formal imaging (XRays or MRI) will be arranged if required.

  • Your response to treatment will be regularly followed up to maximise potential improvement.



Primary Medical Therapy

• Paracetamol
• Non Steroidal Anti-inflammatories
*It is important to consult with your doctor prior to using anti-inflammatories in the treatment of your


• Glucosamine is an amino-acid that forms the common `back bone’ of cartilage matrix.
• Evidence suggests that glucosamine supplements may offer both pain relief and reduce the
progression of arthritis


• At least 1500mg/day of Glucosamine Sulphate (NOT Glucosamine Hydrochloride)
• Many glucosamine preparation have additional additives. Some evidence suggests additional
benefits with Glucosamine + Chondroitin Sulphate preparations.

• Allergy/anaphylaxis - Glucosamine is derived from shell fish.

• McAlindon, et al. Glucosamine and Chondroitin for Treatment of Osteoarthritis - Review Article, 
JAMA 2000, 283(11):1469-1475
• Clegg, et al. Glucosamine, Chondroitin Sulphate, and the Two in Combination for Painful Knee
Osteoarthritis, N Engl J Med 2006, 354:795-808

• Regular and appropriate exercise can be effective in reducing pain and disability associated with arthritis
• A structured program created and supervised by a professional rehabilitation Exercise Physiologist or
Physiotherapist is recommended.
• Exercise Principles (FITT)

Frequency : At least 3 session per week for > 8weeks
Intensity : Moderate Intensity
Type of exercise : Aerobic, resistance and load bearing
Time : At least 30minute sessions

• Research :

Petrella, et al. Is exercise effective treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee?, BJSM 2000, 34:326-331
Biomechanical Assessment

Podiatry assessment and relevant biomechanical adjustment can often help to unload areas of arthritis and therefore reduce pain and improve function. 

Weight Loss
• Increased weight is a risk factor for the development of osteoarthritis in weight bearing ie. (hip and knee) 
and also non weight bearing joints (ie. hand).
• Loss of 5kg has been shown to be effective in reducing the risk of knee arthritis by a factor of up to 50%.
• It is important to have a structured weight loss program developed by a qualified nutritionalist or dietitian.
• Research :
Felson, et al. Risk factors for incident radiographic knee osteoarthritis in the elderly: the Framingham
Study. Arthritis Rheum 1997, 40:728-733