Osteoarthritis is the degenerative condition caused by wear and tear of the cartilage inside the knee joint. When we talk about arthritis in the knee we split it in to three compartments. The inside and the outside of the femur and tibia joint and the patella femoral (knee cap) joint. You can have arthritis in only one compartment if for some reason you have loaded one part of the knee more. Or you can develop arthritis in two or three compartments.
Osteoarthritis tends to develop from middle age onwards and those with a history of knee injury are more prone to osteoarthritis.
Symptoms include a deep aching pain inside the knee that can be worse following exercise or impact. Stiffness particular in the mornings which improves with gentle movement and mobilisation. At times the knee may swell up and you may hear clicking or cracking noises when bending and straightening the knee.
Muscle weakness, and the resultant knee joint instability associated, is thought to contribute towards the deterioration of your knee joint cartilage. Weaker knee muscles also provide less shock absorption capabilities than their strong counterparts, which increases your knee joint compression forces.
The main aim of physiotherapy is to prolong the life of the knee to avoid surgery. The Back & Body Clinic Physiotherapists will help you regain mobility, strength and reduce your pain. Some osteoarthritis knee patients may go on to need knee replacement surgery but pre and post surgical physiotherapy can speed up the recovery processes significantly and maximize your potential for recovery.
Treatment for Knee Osteoarthritis
Physiotherapy treatment for patients with this condition is vital to hasten the healing process, ensure an optimal outcome and decrease the likelihood of injury recurrence. Treatment may comprise:
- Exercise programs to stretch, self treat and improve proprioception, balance, strength and core stability
- Biomechanical Assessment
- Joint mobilisation
- Dry needling /acupuncture
- Deep tissue massage/myofascial release
- Education / training advice
- Activity modification advice
- Orthotic/Insole advixe
- Ice or heat treatment
- Clinical Pilates
- Injection advice
- Surgical advice