KNEE PAIN FROM OSTEOARTHRITIS
OSTEOARTHRITIS OR OA
OA Knee which used to be called “wear and tear” arthritis usually occurs in knees that have experienced trauma, infection or injury. A smooth, rubbery material called cartilage works like a protective cushion between bones and protects bones from rubbing against each other.
ARTHRITIS develops as the cartilage thins and becomes weak and the bones will begin to rub against each other when the joint is moved. With the worn-out cartilage, the joint space between the bones narrows. The surrounding bones react by becoming thicker and grow outward and form spurs.
- Extra fluid, often known as “water in the knee”, that causes swelling.
- Normal activity becomes painful and difficult
- Pain usually progresses as the day goes, in damp weather or after long periods of inactivity. An example is when sitting for too long.
- Deformities in the affected joint like knock-knees and bow legs.
- Heredity: There is some evidence it can be linked to heredity.
- Weight: Weight increases pressure on joints such as the knee.
- Age: As one ages, there is increased wear and tear and also a decrease in the ability of cartilage to heal itself.
- Gender: Women who are older than 50 years of age are more likely to develop OA Knee than men.
- Trauma: Previous injury to the knee, including injuries during high impact sports like soccer, long-distance running and tennis.
- Repetitive Stress Injuries: In occupations involving kneeling or squatting, prolonged standing every day, excessive stair-climbing or lifting heavy weights regularly.
- Other Ilnesses: Repeated episodes of gout, metabolic disorders and some congenital conditions.
- Bone Alignment or Poor Standing Posture: Poor general fitness and muscle weakness.
Physiotherapy is aimed at relieving pain; improving joint function with exercise joint mobility and helping you live a normal life.
- Interferential Therapy or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS): mild electric pulses to nerve endings that lie beneath the skin in the painful area.
- Shortwave Diathermy: High frequency heat energy to reduce swelling and increase circulation
- Laser: Low level lasers to increase deep circulation and reduce localized pain.
- Ultrasound: For localised pain/swelling
Moderate Stretching Exercises will help relieve the pain and keep the muscles and tendons around the affected joint more flexible.
Strengthening Exercises for muscles that support joints affected by arthritis. They can be performed with weights or with exercise bands.
Low Impact Activities such as swimming, walking, water aerobics and stationery bicycling that get your heart pumping and can keep your lungs and circulatory system in shape.
Weight Control: can reduce stress on weight-bearing joints, limit further injury, and increase mobility. A healthy diet and regular exercise helps reduce weight.
TIPS TO PROTECT YOUR JOINTS
- Warm-up/cool down before and after exercising
- Apply ice after injuries
- Pace yourself by alternating heavy or repeated tasks with easier tasks or breaks
- Wearing proper shoes and using aids such as canes or walkers can also take off some of the strain.