To exercise or not?
If you clicked on this link you may be one of the millions of people in the United States that suffers from knee pain due to the development of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is by far the most common type of arthritis and it is estimated to affect 302 million people worldwide with the most common region being the knee, hip, and hands. Now, you may have done some researching of your own to find out how to help your knee pain and gone down the rabbit hole on the internet to find some new creams or maybe YouTube stretches or exercises to help out. Unfortunately, most of these things probably didn’t have a positive long-term effect. Many people can relate and literally share the same aches or pains due to OA (osteoarthritis).
Knee osteoarthritis comes in various stages and different reasons. First, the most basic explanation of knee OA is the wearing away of the articular cartilage that lines the bones that make up your joint which are the femur and tibia. The degenerative process is progressive with resulting bone remodeling, synovial fluid inflammation (joint lubricant) and osteophyte (bone spur) formation but can be effectively managed without surgery if not already at a severe stage. You may have developed this arthritis over time without any injury or you had a prior accident causing trauma to the joint which set the stage for earlier formation of OA. Either way, Physical Therapy is an effective treatment approach to decrease pain and improve your ability to move.
Physical therapists are trained to be able to recognize and diagnosis knee osteoarthritis after an examination. We are able to individualize treatment plans that are unique to the presentation of the patient’s impairments and implement range of motion, strengthening, and flexibility exercises along with hands on therapy. Since OA is progressive it is important to establish an exercise program that prevents immobility without over stressing the joint. The most recent management guidelines for osteoarthritis of the knee, hip, and hand established by the American College of Rheumatology/Arthritis Foundation strongly recommended exercise for all patients.
Along with exercise, other categories that received a strong recommendation include weight loss, self-management programs, and Tai chi. Seeing your Physical Therapist will set you on your way to finding the right prescription of exercises so that you can effectively manage your condition and return to moving without knee pain. Summer is right around the corner and that means warmer days filled with hiking, biking, jogging, or whatever you enjoy. Schedule an examination with JCPT to give you the guiding force to set you on your way. Motion is lotion!
Heal Your Body, Strengthen Your Life
Your friends at Jackson County Physical Therapy
Kolasinki SL, Neogi T, Hochberg M, Oatis C, Guyatt G, Block J, Callahen L, Copenhaver C, Dodge C, Felson D, Gellar K, Harvey W, Hawker G, Herzig E, Kwoh CK, Nelson AE, Samuels J, Scanzello G, White D, Wise B, Altman RD, DiRenzo D, Fontanarosa J, Giradi G, Ishimori M, Misra D, Shah AA, Shmagel AK, Thoma LM, Turgunbaev M, Turner A, Reston J. 2019 American College of Rheumatology/Arthritis Foundation Guideline for the Management of Osteoarthritis of the Hand, Hip, and Knee. Arthritis Care & Research Vol. 72 No. 2, February 2020, pp 149-162.