Osteoarthritis is a condition characterised by the breakdown of the cartilage that lines joint surfaces and is commonly seen in joints such as the knee and hip. If you have knee osteoarthritis, you may experience pain and or swelling in the knee, morning stiffness and difficulty standing or walking after sitting for long periods of time.
How Many Australians Live With Osteoarthritis?
Approximately 2.2 million Australian’s live with Osteoarthritis (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017–18 National Health Survey); and the they represented 62% of all arthritic conditions in 2017–18.
1 in 5 Australians over the age of 45 have Osteoarthritis and approximately one-third of people aged 75 and over experience this condition.
So you could say that it’s pretty common.
What contributes to Osteoarthritis?
- Being overweight – simple; increased weight = increased force going through our joints and can accelerate the wear and tear on joints.
- Stiff joints and limited range of motion effecting the forces acting on the body – biomechanics or the forces acting upon our body when we move is a major contributing factor to the disease process of osteoarthritis. If we have restricted movement and/or we are moving incorrectly this will increase the force on joints.
- Previous joint injury or trauma – a joint compromised by previous injury could either have been affected from the event or progressively changed overtime due to increased stiffness and or changes in the way we move due to the injury.
- Repetitive movements – whatever activities of daily living you undertake or the industry you’re working in, its likely you are doing repetitive movements. Years of repetitive movements such as squatting or bending compounded with the aforementioned factors may lead to Osteoarthritis.
Common Impairments Associated With Knee Osteoarthritis:
- Tight hips
- Knee valgus or knock knees
- Flat feet
What Can We Do to Change This?
Exercise and physical activity help pain and symptom management; improved range of motion helps strengthen muscles around effected joints and assists with weight management. Before undertaking an exercise program ensure you consult your Dr or your Exercise Physiologist at Precision.
Your doctor may also be able to assist your Osteoarthritis with medications. Medication can help ease pain and decrease inflammation associated with Osteoarthritis of a joint. Furthermore, prescribed medicine may improve your quality of life – allowing you to complete your activities of daily living and compliment participating in an exercise program.
In the case where physical therapy and conservative management is not effective in managing your Osteoarthritis your doctor may advise joint replacement.
If we’re overweight or we move incorrectly we are increasing the force through our joints in a way our body is not equipped to handle. So how you walk, run or jump in your day to day should be at the forefront of managing your Osteoarthritis. Thus, consulting a dietitian regarding weight loss and a targeted approach to address your physical impairments provided from your Physiotherapist and Exercise Physiologist will give you greater outcomes.
This article was written by Physiotherapist – Josh Cooper, from our Precision Physio Concord clinic. If you would like more information, or feel you might benefit from a session with one of the Precision Physio team, you can either come into our clinics, or work with us online.
How Do I Book An Appointment?
We’re taking the health of our clients, members and staff very seriously and our preference would be for you to call to book an appointment so that we can make sure to explain our approach to keeping you safe. You can call any of these numbers to schedule a session:
Evolving with the current environment, we are also now offering online appointments, meaning that we can support anyone who is unable to leave their home. Sessions are done via our state of the art Telehealth system and as long as you have a laptop or tablet with an inbuilt camera, or a phone with camera, we can help!
To learn more about online consultations, please call us on any of the numbers listed above.