Knee Osteoarthritis

Posted on: Aug 15th, 2019 by | Categories: Uncategorised

Knee Osteoarthritis Townsville

What is Knee Osteoarthritis?

Knee Osteoarthritis is extremely common, with 1 in 15 Australians reporting to have Osteoarthritis. As people age the percentage of individuals with the condition increases further with up to 33% of people over the age of 65 reporting to have Osteoarthritis, leading to a high degree of physical inactivity in this group.

Knee Osteoarthritis was previously thought of as a condition characterised by “wear and tear” caused by overuse of the joint over a long period of time, and that continued use of an arthritic joint would lead to further degeneration, pain and disability. We now know that this is not true and exercise prescribed at the appropriate level for the individual can actually be protective of the joint and slow down the rate of joint degeneration.

Benefits of exercising with Knee Osteoarthritis

  1. Improved mental health
  2. Reduced inflammation (local and systemic)
  3. Reduced pain associated with the condition.

Management of Knee Osteoarthritis

Current evidence for the treatment and management of knee osteoarthritis primarily encompasses lifestyle modifications including:

Exercise – which entails strengthening of the muscles above and below the joint and either commencing some form of routine physical activity or continuing previous activity as able.

This should be in adherence to the World Health Organisations physical activity recommendations and should be meaningful to individual to improve compliance. Recent research has even shown that individuals who continued to exercise with the condition experienced less pain, less disability and delayed the need for a joint replacement significantly.

Weight loss – The benefits of weight loss for knee osteoarthritis come from two mechanisms. Firstly, losing excess body weight can reduce the amount of load going through the joint, with research showing that a loss of just 5% body weight can lead to a 50% reduction in load through the knee throughout a day. So you don’t have to lose a lot of weight to start making a big difference!

Secondly, being overweight or obese can lead to increased inflammation in the body, further irritating painful joints and increasing the rate of degeneration, so improving general health can also lead to significant improvements in symptoms.

Education – Research shows that patients who understand the condition are more equipped to implement the above strategies and are also less fearful of exercise causing further damage to their knee. So seeking advice from a health professional such as a Physiotherapist or Exercise Physiologist is essential.

Surgery? – If a long-term period of conservative rehabilitation targeted at implementing the above strategies is not successful, a referral to an orthopaedic surgeon for an opinion may be indicated.

Wanting an expert opinion on managing your Knee Osteoarthritis – Contact TPM and talk to one of our health professionals today.


Physiotherapy Townsville - The Physio Movement


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Townsville City Qld 4810
     1300 TPM FIT or 4740 4516
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