Hip OA is characterised by structural and functional failure of the femoroacetabular joint. Exercise and manual therapies are commonly introduced to manage the pain associated with hip OA. Since a number of randomised clinical trials (RCTs) investigating the effects of manual and exercise therapies for hip OA have been published recently, the following systematic review aims to explore the effects of exercise (water-based or land-based) and/or manual therapies on pain in adults with clinically and/or radiologically diagnosed hip OA.
Out of the 19 trials included, four studies showed short-term benefits favouring water-based exercise over minimal control using the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index (WOMAC) pain subscale. Six studies supported a short-term benefit of land-based exercise compared to minimal control on Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) assessed pain. However, no trials demonstrated medium or long-term benefits of exercise therapy, or benefit of combining exercise therapy with manual therapy when compared to minimal control.