Strategies for Improving Knee Osteoarthritis: taming a grumpy knee

So, you have had some knee pain for a while and you think you may have knee OA. Maybe you have even had that diagnosed? 

Don’t despair! Here at RHP Physiotherapy, we have the people, equipment and a “toolbox” full of strategies to help you feel better and keep moving.

Exercise is Medicine: Not the quick fix you were hoping for? Sorry, we see a range of ‘quick fix’ options that result in repeated attempts, unsuccessful results and in some cases just more trouble.

Although exercising with pain sounds counterintuitive, there are a range of reasons why exercising regularly and monitoring your symptoms will become the cornerstone of your efforts to improve your knee OA symptoms. 

Activities like walking, swimming, or cycling strengthen the muscles surrounding your knee, improving stability and reducing pain. Aim for low-impact exercises that are gentle on your joints.

Strong quads and hips: Our body moves as one big system. Enhancing the output of some elements of the system will help redistribute force that passes through the region. Quadricep (front of thigh) strength and hip strength (glutes) will perform that role for the knee. Improving your balance and awareness of how you control your knee in every day activities can also be very useful. 

Weight Management: Although it is true that a few extra KG’s will translate to more load through the knee, this isn’t the only factor in causing knee OA symptoms. Evidence is leaning towards the inflammatory response that our fat cells stimulate as being a contributor to pain and possibly further deterioration of the joint. 

Maintaining a healthy weight can significantly reduce pain and improve your mobility. Consider talking to a dietitian for guidance on healthy eating habits.

Heat and Ice Therapy: Heat can loosen up stiffness before exercise, while ice can help reduce any pain after activity. These are mostly sensory changes, so we can’t be sure there is any physical change within the joint, but hey – if it helps with pain, why not! Just be careful not to cause a heat or ice burn…

Physio: Your Partner in OA Management: As physiotherapists, we will help individualise a self-management plan for you, including exercise and pain management strategies that suit you. 

Our team of Physiotherapists at Kelvin Grove or Physiotherapists in Mount Gravatt (Nathan), are also skilled in manual therapy options to help reduce pain, and increase mobility.

The GLA:D® Program: This program has impacted countless lives and saved enormous amounts of money for participants! Combining education with exercise designed for people with knee or hip OA, GLA:D® offers a structured approach to managing your osteoarthritis, in the company of a community that understands you and guided by a Physiotherapist!

Remember, OA is a manageable condition. With the right tools and support from one of our Physiotherapists in Brisbane, and some subtle adjustments to healthy habits, you can conquer the grump in your knee and keep living an active life!

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