Our physiotherapists often see osteoarthritis (OA) in clinic. Osteoarthritis can affect various joints in your body, most commonly the knees. Knee OA is a progressive disease resulting in the inflammation and degeneration of the cartilage of your knee joint. Osteoarthritis is one of the most common chronic health conditions and a leading cause of pain and disability among adults.
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There are a variety of factors that can increase your risk of osteoarthritis (OA) including:
- Age. The risk of OA increases with age.
- Gender. Women are more likely to develop OA.
- Obesity. Increased weight adds stress to weight-bearing joints, such as your hips and knees. Also, fat tissue produces proteins that can cause harmful inflammation in and around your joints.
- Joint injuries. Injuries, such as those that occur when playing sports or from an accident, can increase the risk of OA. Even injuries that occurred many years ago can increase your risk of osteoarthritis.
- Repeated stress on the joint. If your job or a sport you play places repetitive stress on a joint, that joint might eventually develop OA.
- Genetics. Some people inherit a tendency to develop OA.
- Certain metabolic diseases. These include diabetes and a condition in which your body has too much iron.
There are also a number of symptoms of knee osteoarthritis including:
- Knee stiffness is often noticed in the morning or after periods of inactivity.
- Knee pain when using the stairs, squatting or kneeling.
- The feeling or sound of grating, clicking or grinding when moving the knee.
- Swelling of your knee following activity.
- Tenderness to touch around your knee joint.
If you are beginning to notice some of the symptoms mentioned, or have recently been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, it’s important to act now. The sooner management commences the better the long term outcome.
Our physiotherapists consider conservative management as the first step your treatment. This includes exercise and weight management. Research continues to support the use of exercise in managing OA, regardless of your age or level of fitness. The type, frequency and intensity of exercise will be purely individual.
At Pure Physio, we will perform a thorough assessment of your condition, and design a tailored program for you. Our physiotherapists will also supervise and support you throughout this journey. The recommended exercises are designed to reduce your pain, and improve your range function, strength and balance.
Weight management is also a key factor in managing osteoarthritis. Our physiotherapists can discuss a plan with you to help manage your weight through a healthy diet in addition to your exercise program.
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