Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common problem for many people after middle age. OA is sometimes referred to as degenerative, or wear and tear, arthritis. OA commonly affects the knee and hipÂ joint. In fact, knee OA is the most common cause of disability in the United States. In the past, people were led to believe that nothing could be done for their osteoarthritis knee pain. Now doctors have options for osteoarthritis knee treatment so that patients have less pain, better movement, and improved quality of life.
Knee OA develops slowly over several years. The symptoms are mainly pain, swelling, and stiffening of the knee. Osteoarthritis knee pain is usually worse after activity, such as walking. Early in the course of the disease, you may notice that your knee does fairly well while walking, then after sitting for several minutes your knee becomes stiff and painful. As the condition progresses, osteoarthritis knee pain can interfere with simple daily activities. In the late stages, the pain can be continuous and even affect sleep patterns.
OA can’t be cured, but therapies are available to ease symptoms and to slow down the degeneration. Recent information shows that mild cases of knee OA may be maintained and in some cases improved without surgery.
Osteoarthritis Knee Pain and Exercises
Physical therapy plays a critical role in the non-operative treatment of knee OA. Osteoarthritis knee exercises such as range-of-motion and stretching exercises will be used to improve knee motion. You will be shown strengthening exercises for the hip and knee to help steady the knee and give additional joint protection from shock and stress. People with knee OA who have strong leg muscles have fewer symptoms and prolong the life of their knee joint. Your therapist will also suggest tips for getting your tasks done with less strain on the joint.
Your osteoarthritis knee treatment will depend on your condition. This booklet explains several options for osteoarthritis knee treatment. If you have more questions or would like to discuss your osteoarthritis knee treatment options.