KNEE OSTEOARTHRITIS THE FACTS
What is Knee Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a painful condition that typically affects knees, hips or hands and 1 in 10 Australians suffer with it. There is a lot of misinformation surrounding Osteoarthritis, from its cause, how to prevent it and what treatments work.
People with Osteoarthritis are often given poor and incorrect information from family, friends, the media and health professionals. We hope to dispel some of these myths through continued education and personalised advice.
How is Knee Osteoarthritis diagnosed?
Diagnosing Osteoarthritis involves taking a simple history and physical examination. X-rays and MRIs are not needed except to rule out another diagnosis. Symptoms of Osteoarthritis can include pain and limited function. Activities such as putting on socks and shoes, going up and down stairs, or getting in and out of a car may be difficult.
Rest vs Exercise:
A relatively short period of rest during a flare up may be appropriate, but advice to avoid activity in many cases is wrong and can be harmful. The most current research has demonstrated that inactivity and rest make pain and Osteoarthritis worse, not better, in the long term.
Our joints need movement and exercise to stimulate repair and keep them strong. The best available evidence suggests exercise is beneficial for cartilage health and improving collagen structure in people with Osteoarthritis.
The benefit of prescribing exercise for knee Osteoarthritis does not stop at addressing pain and function. Research shows two thirds of people with knee Osteoarthritis are also managing other issues such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and depression and exercise is the best treatment for these.
Our patients often ask about the pain and ‘damage’ they are causing to their knees by exercising. However, research shows that there is a poor correlation between Osteoarthritis pain and “damage” reported on X-ray or MRI.
How to Exercise with Knee Osteoarthritis:
When starting a new exercise program (or with the addition of new or different exercises) it is common to have some pain flare up, but with persistence, it will improve over time. It is however, important to keep the pain at a manageable level, and ensure it settles with 24 hours.
The best and most recent evidence tells us that 2 sessions of 30-60 minutes, twice a week, over 6 weeks, is required for a successful outcome. These results may be further improved by extending the exercise program to 12 weeks and completing 3-4 sessions per week.
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Lilyfield Physiotherapy is pleased to offer the GLA:D program for the treatment of knee Osteoarthritis.
GLA:D is an education and exercise program developed by researchers in Denmark for people with hip and knee Osteoarthritis. The research from this program shows a reduction in symptom progression reduces by 32%.
Please check out the website at http://gladaustralia.com.au and contact us for more information on joining the program.