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Knee Osteoarthritis

Unfortunately, knee osteoarthritis (OA) is fairly common knee pain, and is the most prevalent type of arthritis.

It effects men and women equally, and is a main cause of disability.

Knee OA is a degenerative joint disease and involves deterioration of the articular cartilage over a period of years.

Knee OA causes symptoms such as:

  • pain (severity will vary)
  • stiffness
  • reduced range of motion in the knee
  • localized swelling but not heat.

Fortunately, physiotherapists can provide non-invasive treatment which will play a major role in reducing the severity of symptoms associated with osteoarthritis.

Knee physiotherapy can include prescribing heat and cold treatments to help decrease swelling and increase blood flow to reduce stiffness in the joint and muscles surrounding the knee region.

Physiotherapists can also show and teach you how to manage your OA through strengthening exercises and stretching exercises that you can do at home.

The physiotherapist will frequently assess your improvements, provide alterations to your exercise program and add suitable progressions to ensure you are seeing positive changes in the functioning of your knee joint. In doing so, strengthening knee-associated muscles provide further stability to the joint.

By regularly completing the right stretches and movements, you will see improvements in knee joint mobility and an increase in range of motion.

Research has shown that exercise is effective in managing knee osteoarthritis, by reducing pain and improving function. Physiotherapists can construct effective exercise programs to assist in your everyday functioning in managing osteoarthritis.

Knee exercise programs will strengthen the weak muscles in the lower limb, reduce stiffness, reduce swelling if performed correctly, and improve overall fitness. This can reduce the need for knee surgery.

Consult with your physiotherapist about beginning treatment to manage your osteoarthritis because the earlier you treat the disease, the easier it is to manage in your life.

If you don’t move it you can lose mobility and strength. Key factors to maintaining a pain free knee.

How physiotherapy can help with knee pain such as osteoarthritis

  • Exercise prescription and load management.
  • Hands on therapy that can relieve forces on the knee.
  • Discussion and advice about knee braces.
  • Prehab and rehabilitation following surgery.
  • Advice regarding sitting, sitting to stand, getting out of bed.
  • Advice regarding the pathology processes of osteoarthritis.
  • Management of the knee when it gets painful.

Time taken to recover from osteoarthritis knee pain?

Knee osteoarthritis symptoms can vary from patient to patient.  There are a lot of contributing factors such as pain tolerance, medication, exercise tolerance, biomechanics as examples.

As Brisbane physiotherapist, we find that some patients recover mobility and have reduced pain within a few sessions followed by maintenance with a exercise program.

Whilst more severe cases of osteoarthritis will entail longer rehabilitation that could lead to surgical intervention.