5 Quick Facts: Knee Osteoarthritis (OA)
By Matt Ho APAM
-Scans are poorly related to pain and disability: Patients often attend physiotherapy clinics with OA on X-Ray, but little to no pain or mechanical symptoms. Do not be scared of scan results; pay more attention to pain and disability, as these are the symptoms that will dictate OA severity
-20% off all people do not get any pain relief from joint replacement: Whilst total joint arthroplasty is a relatively safe and effective procedure, replacing the joint surfaces is not always the panacea to OA pain. There is almost always pain afterwards, and a period of arduous physiotherapy to ensure movement returns.
-Rest and avoidance makes pain worse: Cartilage in the knee can heel via the loading and unloading process of the knee joint. Without regular loading, joint surfaces often heel slower or not at all. People suffering from knee OA are recommended to strengthen the knee is a progressive fashion, and to walk regularly whilst ensuring adequate rest periods are used.
-Exercise is safe, and helps pain: Research has found that exercise including walking and strength training can significantly reduce pain in people with knee OA.
-Pain does NOT equal damage: Pain does not always mean damage is being done to the tissue. The body can become conditioned to feel pain over time from a certain place. This can mean that the brain then interprets normal sensation as pain.
Knee OA doesn’t have to be debilitating. There is many ways we can help. If you have any questions about what physiotherapy can do to help or any information about the GLAD program that we run at PhysioLife Alphington, please contact us or book online with one of our physiotherapists.