Knee Osteoarthritis

This month we look at knee arthritis. Most people that exercise will at some time experience knee pain. Links have been made between pain that doesn’t settle and the development of osteoarthritis. So if you have any knee pain get it looked at as soon as possible and learn what you need to do for successful rehabilitation. Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is the general wear and tear of the knee joint. The symptoms of OA are pain and stiffness in the knee joint and can be mild, moderate or severe.

There are several predisposing factors that we know can lead to OA:

  • genetic factors
  • family history
  • gender may also be a factor, with 60% of patients being female.
  • hormones or other male-female differences may play a role
  • environmental: this may be overuse, repeated injury or being overweight.

There is a lot you can do to help your pain. Weight loss is essential to minimise the compressive forces through the joint. Understanding your pain and why it is happening is also essential.

Talk with you physio and they can assess if there are poor biomechanics (positions) you are using, for example when you squat your knees knock in, or, as you run you knee rolls in as you land on the leg. Your physio will teach you how to correct this with strength and flexibility exercises. General strength is a great way to protect the knee but you will need guidance with your exercises, what you can or cant do, and how best to perform your exercises. The vastus medialis oblique (VMO for short!) is the innermost of your quadriceps muscles and is inhibited by pain: this is a very important control muscle. If its not working it means it stops supporting the inside of your knee. Your physio can teach you how to get this muscle working again.

You can use ice if the knee gets very sore after exercise or heat if it feels stiff.. The aim with everything you do is it should not make the pain worse. If the pain is aggravated you need to find out why and fix it as soon as possible. With some good advice and with some careful and consistent work you can have a much happier knee. To find out more, please feel free to contact the team at Physiologix on (07) 3511 1112 or email us.