What is Osteoarthritis of Knee?
Osteoarthritis of the knee (knee OA) is a progressive disease causing inflammation and degeneration of the knee joint that worsens over time. It affects the entire joint, including bone, cartilage, ligament, and muscle. Its progression is influenced by age, body mass index (BMI), bone structure, genetics, strength, and activity level. Knee OA also may develop as a secondary condition following a traumatic knee injury. Depending on the stage of the disease and whether there are associated injuries or conditions, knee OA can be managed with physical therapy. More severe or advanced cases may require surgery.
Symptoms of knee OA may include:
Physiotherapy For OA Knee
Here are 5 exercises to help you take control of your knee OA. These exercises are recommendations. Before doing them, get your doctor's okay. Never push through pain with these exercises—you may be doing your joints more harm than good. Soreness is normal when starting an exercise program, but if it doesn't go away, call your doctor.
1. Knee OA Exercise #1: Standing Quadriceps Stretch
Stretching your quadriceps can ease tension in the knee joints.
Knee OA Exercise #2: Standing Calf Stretch
This gentle calf stretch increases flexibility in your leg muscles and knee joints.
Knee OA Exercise #3: Seated Leg Raise
The seated leg raise exercise helps strengthen muscles around your knees.
Knee OA Exercise #4: Step-ups
Step-ups strengthen your legs, making it easier for you to do everyday things like climb stairs. You'll need an exercise step, or use a bottom stair in your house.
Knee OA Exercise #5: Static Quadriceps Contraction
What if I Need Surgery?
In some cases of knee OA, the meniscus (shock absorber of the knee) may be involved. In the past, surgery to repair or remove parts or all of this cartilage was common. Current research, however, has shown in a group of patients who were deemed surgical candidates, 60-70% of those who participated in a physical therapy program, instead of surgery, did not go on to have surgery. Further, after 1 year those outcomes were unchanged. This study suggests that physical therapy may be an effective alternative for those patients who would like to avoid surgery. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a physiotherapist.