Diagnosed with Knee Osteoarthritis?
Approximately 1 in 5 Canadians are living with arthritis and osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type. It leads to pain, stiffness and decreased function.
Osteoarthritis is caused by the breakdown of cartilage. Cartilage is the smooth, shiny substance covering the ends of the thighbone (femur) and shinbone (tibia) where they meet to form the knee joint. The cartilage allows the bones to move easily and smoothly against each other. When the cartilage becomes worn and broken down the bones begin to rub against one another. This causes the formation of irregular bone growths (bone spurs), pain, and swelling resulting in difficulty and pain performing every day tasks.
Think you might have knee osteoarthritis?
Some common symptoms of knee osteoarthritis are:
- Pain with weight bearing activities (such as walking)
- Pain and stiffness in the morning and/or after prolonged sitting
- Swelling of the knee
- Knee may be warm to touch
- Loss of range of motion
How can knee osteoarthritis be prevented?
The greatest risk factor for knee osteoarthritis is obesity. Therefore staying in good physical shape can help to lower your risk for developing knee osteoarthritis.
How can physiotherapy help?
- Apply hands on skills to help reduce pain and improve joint range of motion.
- A home exercise program to help increase the strength of muscles surrounding your knee joint.
- Provide you with strategies for weight loss as research has shown osteoarthritis worsens more rapidly in individuals who are overweight.
Osteoarthritis can affect many other joints throughout the body. Exercise and hands on therapy can help with these as well.