of the Knee
What is it?
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common degenerative joint
disease that affects almost all the joints of the body. The knees are some of
the most commonly affected joints, with many people experiencing at least a
small degree of osteoarthritis over the age of 40. The disease is characterized
by degradation of the cartilage that lines the surfaces of the joint, growth of
osteophytes or bony spurs, pain, stiffness and swelling.
are the symptoms?
Stiffness in the morning that lasts less than 20 minutes
and pain with movement, clicking, crepitus, swelling and a generalized
reduction in joint range of motion are all common symptoms of osteoarthritis.
As OA is a progressive disease, the condition is categorized into stages to
help describe symptoms and guide treatment. Early stages of OA may have only
mild symptoms, however as the disease progresses, a joint replacement may be
What causes it?
While aging is the most
significant risk factor for the development of OA, it’s not an inevitable
outcome of growing older. Other factors that may predict the development of OA
are obesity, family history, previous joint injury, high impact sporting
activities and peripheral neuropathy. It is thought that abnormal wear and tear
or stress on the joint is the primary cause of OA. It is also important to note
that many people will have changes on X-Ray that show OA, however, will have no
symptoms – which indicates that simply having OA is not a sentence for having
What is the treatment?
Your physiotherapist is first able to help diagnosis and differentiate
OA from other conditions that may have similar symptoms. An X-Ray can confirm
the diagnosis and can be helpful in determining the best course of treatment to
While OA is a progressive disorder, there is often a significant
improvement that can be made simply by addressing lifestyle factors and any
biomechanical factors that may be contributing to pain.
How can physio help?
Your physiotherapist is able to guide you with strengthening
exercises to support the joint, advice for adapting your exercise routine and
can even help you to lose weight, all of which have been shown to have a
positive impact on the symptoms of OA.
If surgery is the right course for you, your physiotherapist
is able to guide you through this treatment pathway, helping you to prepare and
recover from surgery to get the best outcome possible.
If you require any further information on knee pain then click
, or call us on 028 92666959, or email email@example.com
None of the information in this
newsletter is a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a medical
professional for advice on your individual injury.