Physiotherapy For Knee Osteoarthritis
Knee osteoarthritis is a common condition for ageing individuals. Fortunately, there are physiotherapy plans available to support and help alleviate these symptoms.
What Is Knee Osteoarthritis?
Sometimes called wear and tear arthritis, osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. When the smooth cushion between bones (cartilage) breaks down, joints can get painful, swollen and hard to move. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint, but it occurs most often in the hands, knees, hips, lower back and neck. It can happen at any age, but it commonly starts in the 50s and affects women more than men. This disease begins gradually and worsens over time. However, there are ways to manage osteoarthritis to prevent or minimise pain and keep mobile – one of them being physiotherapy plans.
What Are The Symptoms Of Having Knee Osteoarthritis?
- Pain that increases when you are active, but gets a little better with rest
- Feeling of warmth in the joint
- Stiffness in the knee, especially in the morning or when you have been sitting for a while
- Decrease in mobility of the knee, making it difficult to get in and out of chairs or cars, use the stairs, or walk
- Creaking, crackly sound that is heard when the knee moves
How Is Knee Osteoarthritis Treated?
The primary goals of treating knee osteoarthritis are to relieve the pain and return mobility. Recommendations for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee range from activity modification such as physiotherapy and anti-inflammatory medication to total knee arthroplasty, depending on the disability of the patient and the severity of the disease.
The non-operative management of osteoarthritis is multimodal, and may include exercise, bracing, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, corticosteroid injections, viscosupplementation injections, and complementary and alternative medicine. Exercise can reduce pain and increase function in a patient with early arthritic changes.
When other treatments don’t work, surgery is a good option.
How To Prevent Knee Osteoarthritis?
Exercise plays a key role in preventing knee damage, supporting the knee during treatment, and recovery. Some evidence supports the recommendation that a low impact weight-bearing physiotherapy programme may be beneficial to patients with osteoarthritis.
Exercise can help prevent joint damage by:
- strengthening the muscles around the knee
- helping you maintain a healthy weight
However, the effects of exercise programmes may be lost after 6 months if patients do not keep up with their exercises. To maintain them, stay active always to prevent the condition from worsening.