Posted on September 8, 2022

World PT Day Spotlights Osteoarthritis

September 8th is World Physical Therapy (PT) Day, giving us another opportunity to recognize the work of physical therapists and their positive impact on patients in pain. This year, World PT Day sheds education and light on osteoarthritis – the most common type of arthritis. It’s a joint condition affecting millions of people worldwide, and it’s also a leading contributor to disability.


Osteoarthritis (OA) occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of the bones wears down. It can affect any joint, but it’s most common in knees, hips and hands. Because of it, people experience pain, functional impairments, muscle weakness and joint stiffness.

An estimated 520 million people around the world have OA – 60% of cases exist within the knees.


While the exact cause is unclear, risk factors include:

  • Age and occupation
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Previous joint injury, surgery or overuse
  • Family history of arthritis


It’s very important for people with OA to stay active. Osteoarthritis and damage to joints can’t be reversed, but the symptoms can be managed. Exercise and physical activity are the first lines of treatment for osteoarthritis treatment. Exercises that emphasize flexibility, range of motion, resistance and endurance have been shown to delay or prevent joint replacement, reduce and prevent functional decline, and lessen joint pain.

Physical therapy services at Mary Free Bed can provide nearby treatment, advice and education about pain relief and how to manage osteoarthritis. Mary Free Bed PTs help patients create an customized OA exercise program to improve your functional mobility and meet your personal goals.


Ready to get moving? Make a physical therapy appointment today. 

Mary Free Bed offers PT for all types of conditions, including OA. To make an appointment for physical therapy outpatient programs or services, call 616.840.8005 or click here to learn more and make an online appointment request.

Find Mary Free Bed physical therapy services near you.