World Arthritis Day 12th October –
3 Tips for Knee Arthritis
Osteoarthritis is a natural “wearing and tearing” of our joints as we age. However, this does NOT mean that arthritis is always associated with pain. I’ve seen plenty of knees that look terrible on an X-ray but patients only complain of mild pain.
There are three stages of arthritis – mild, moderate and severe. As arthritis is a degenerative condition, it’s always going to get worse and our goal is to slow that process down to stop or delay pain and surgery. Therefore, you can keep playing with the grandkids or walking around the golf course.
The different ways we can help reduce symptoms of knee arthritis and slow this process down are:
Keep the joint moving
A common strategy people do to relieve their arthritic pain is to stop moving the painful joint.
Unfortunately, this causes joint stiffness, muscle tightness and can lead to a permanent reduction in range of motion.
Moving a joint regularly also encourages circulation of the synovial fluid within the joint. This synovial fluid acts like oil in a car engine to help reduce friction and keep everything running smoothly.
Strengthen your leg muscles
You can reduce the amount of load through the knee joint by strengthening the muscles that support the knee. If your muscles are strong, they act like a brace to lessen pressure and support your painful joint.
There are some things you may not be able to do anymore and part of managing arthritis is learning your limits and accepting that.
Repetitive deep crouching movements, prolonged kneeling and lunge-jumps (if you could ever do them) are probably out.
However, this does NOT mean everything is out and generally when you strengthen your leg muscles, you’ll find a lot of things become much easier.
Learning your limits is important for you to keep your quality of life and prevent unnecessary knee pain.