What is Osteoarthritis?
Many of our joints have articular cartilage that is meant to help the joint move smoothly and absorb forces. Throughout your lifespan, this cartilage can progressively break down from general wear and tear, which can ultimately cause the bone underneath the cartilage to become affected. These slow changes are eventually what leads to osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis will often present as swelling, stiffness and/or general pain in the affected joint. Direct risk factors that can lead to osteoarthritis include family history, previous injury to the joint, immobilization, instability, positioning of the joint and obesity.
Should I stop exercising?
On the contrary, exercise is recommended as conservative management of hip and knee osteoarthritis. During early and mid-stage osteoarthritis, there are proven benefits to continued exercise and loading of the joints. Exercise has been shown to reduce pain, improve activities of daily living, improve range of motion, and improve quality of life.
How do I fix it?
Here at Defy Sports Performance and Physiotherapy we believe in conservative management of knee and hip osteoarthritis. Conservative measures include exercise, education, modification to current activities, bracing (specifically for the knee) and weight loss, if necessary. Our physiotherapists will be beneficial in creating a specific program along with a home exercise program that can help with achieving numerous benefits.
Sometimes osteoarthritis has progressed too far and does not get caught early enough to see benefits through conservative management methods. If conservative management has been exhausted and does not work then surgical interventions might be the next option. Total knee/hip arthroplasty (replacement) may be an option for you. However, it is still recommended to strengthen and improve range of motion in the joint for more favorable outcomes post-surgery.
Stay tuned for our next blogs detailing on Exercise with Knee and Hip Osteoarthritis and Expectations after Total Hip and Knee Arthroplasty and Physiotherapy’s Role.
- What is the best treatment for osteoarthritis? There are many factors that go into osteoarthritis but common treatments are weight loss, change in diet, resistance exercise, physical therapy and bracing.
- Can osteoarthritis be cured? There is no cure for osteoarthritis but with effective treatment and intervention, symptoms can be reduced and the osteoarthritis will not progress.
- What is the main cause of osteoarthritis? Primarily osteoarthritis is caused from wear and tear of the cartilage in joints of the body. It can happen in any joint in the body but is more common in joints used regularly e.g. knees and hips.
DO YOU HAVE A HIP OR KNEE CONCERNS?