What is Knee Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis, and the knee is one of the joints most commonly affected by it. OA is the wearing down of the protective tissue at the ends of bones (cartilage). In knee OA, all of the structures within the joint are affected (bone, cartilage, ligaments and muscles). It can affect anyone however it is more likely in those over the age of 50. It may be diagnosed via a clinical assessment or with an x-ray.
What causes it?
Recent studies show that OA develops when the joint can’t repair itself quickly enough. This may happen due to repetitive strain (from kneeling or climbing), a previous knee injury or from being overweight. When the repair process is too slow, it can lead to swelling around the knee and changes within the joint structures.
Common symptoms of Knee Osteoarthritis
While everyone who has knee OA is different, common symptoms include pain and stiffness of the knee. Pain may begin only with certain activities however it can progress to be more constant and sometimes may be worse at night. Stiffness may be worse first thing in the morning and improve with movement. Both of these symptoms can lead to daily activities like walking and stair climbing becoming more challenging. Some people may also experience a clicking or grating noise, swelling and poorer sleep.
How long does it take to recover?
While there is no cure for OA, function can be improved and symptoms relieved. Not all people with OA will experience lots of pain. Here at Bodyviva we have lots of experience helping people reduce their pain and return to their usual activities, however this can take some time. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix.
How do we get it better?
Evidence shows that being active, strengthening the joint, and keeping it moving, is the best way to improve symptoms and it may even slow the progression of OA. Other things to consider are weight-loss, ceasing smoking and improving diet to reduce inflammation within the body. At Bodyviva we work with each person individually to figure out how to get the best results for your knee. It may include things like cycling, swimming or strengthening exercises, however everyone is different. Other treatments may include manual therapy, stretching or acupuncture to help with pain and to get you moving again.
If you’ve been suffering from any of the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis, please give us a call and we’ll be able to provide the correct treatment option for you.