The 2 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Diagnosed with Knee Arthritis
Knee arthritis is a word that often brings with it a cloud of apprehension. After all, our knees carry much of our weight and play a pivotal role in our mobility. It’s natural to feel a pang of anxiety when hearing the diagnosis.
Now, let’s get straight to the point and talk about the two monumental errors people often make once they’ve been told they have knee arthritis. Addressing these can significantly affect your journey with arthritis and potentially redefine your experience with it.
Mistake #1: Drastic Reduction in Activity
It’s an all too common story: Jane, an avid morning walker, gets diagnosed with knee arthritis and decides it’s time to hang up her walking shoes. She assumes – and it’s a logical assumption – that less activity will mean less wear and tear, and consequently, less pain.
However, the human body isn’t quite that straightforward. Our joints thrive on movement. Staying active promotes synovial fluid production – the body’s natural joint lubricant. Inactivity can lead to stiffening of the joint, further aggravating pain.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you should start training for a marathon, but maintaining a balanced level of activity is crucial. Gentle, low-impact exercises can be both therapeutic and preventive. Activities such as swimming, cycling, or even controlled strength training can help in preserving joint function and muscle strength.
The mantra? Move smart, not less.
Mistake #2: Resisting Professional Guidance
Many think of physiotherapy as the domain of athletes or those who’ve had traumatic injuries. But when it comes to conditions like knee arthritis, a physiotherapist can be an invaluable partner.
Yet, so many individuals delay seeking professional guidance until their pain is unbearable, often making the condition harder to manage. They sometimes rely solely on painkillers, which, while providing relief, don’t address the root causes or offer long-term solutions.
A physiotherapist can:
1. Educate: Knowledge is empowering. Understanding the mechanics of arthritis, the specificities of your condition, and the do’s and don’ts can drastically improve your quality of life.
2. Provide a Tailored Exercise Regime: One size doesn’t fit all. A physio will be able to guide you through exercises specifically tailored to your needs, ensuring that you’re strengthening the right muscles without causing harm.
3. Offer Hands-on Treatment: Techniques like manual therapy, massage, or even modalities like ultrasound can offer relief and facilitate improved joint function.
4. Advise on Lifestyle Adjustments: Sometimes, small changes in your daily routine or environment can make a significant difference. Whether it’s ergonomic advice, footwear suggestions, or posture correction, a physio can offer insights that might not be immediately obvious to you.
In addressing these two missteps, what’s evident is the overarching theme of **proactivity**. Knee arthritis isn’t a death sentence for your mobility or quality of life. But it does require a proactive approach, rather than a reactive one.
Physiotherapists often speak about the importance of patient empowerment, and I couldn’t agree more. Arming yourself with the right knowledge, maintaining an appropriate level of activity, and seeking professional guidance early can make all the difference. Remember, it’s not about combating knee arthritis after it’s taken a toll on your life; it’s about managing and adapting to it from the outset.
The human body is resilient, and with the right strategies and mindset, it has an incredible ability to adapt and persevere. So if you, or someone you know, are navigating the waters of knee arthritis, remember these common pitfalls. Address them head-on, and you’ll be well on your way to a more comfortable and active life.
Till next time, keep moving and stay strong,
Here are my top 5 tips to help knee arthritis pain – click HERE
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None of the information in this post is a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a medical professional for advice on your individual injury.