Knee Osteoarthritis (OA)
Osteoarthritis is characterized by gradual wear and tear to the cartilage and bone surfaces of a joint causing inflammation.
Knee OA may occur with age due to degeneration, following a specific injury or due to repetitive forces going through the knee joint. Damage to the cartilage and bone will reduce the knees shock absorbing abilities, resulting in pain and stiffness around the joint. It is more common in age groups over 50 years, those who are overweight or have a past history of injury, surgery or trauma to the knee.
Symptoms of Knee OA:
The symptoms of knee OA typically develop of a period of time. As the condition progresses, common symptoms include:
- Knee pain with weight bearing
- Developing joint stiffness
- Swelling, clicking or grinding sensation
- Reducing joint flexibility, making it difficult to fully straighten or bend the knee
How can physiotherapy help?
Physiotherapy can assist you to maintain an active lifestyle with few or no symptoms. We have proven strategies to reduce the load through your knee joint, thus aiming to reduce the amount of deterioration of the articular cartilage. Physiotherapy treatment may involve massage, joint mobilisation (stretching) and bracing. Acupuncture has also been shown to be effective in the treatment of OA.
Strengthening and stretching of muscles surrounding the joint is vital and the physiotherapist will advise a programme that best suits your needs.