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Conditions & Treatment > Physiotherapy > Conditions > Knee Osteoarthritis (Knee OA)

Knee Osteoarthritis (Knee OA)

Osteoarthritis is a progressive disorder of joints due to gradual wear and tear of the cartilage. Cartilage is a natural cushioning covering the ends of the bones. It is tough but flexible and protects the bone at the joint. As a result of this wear and tear, bony spurs and cysts can develop at the knee joint causing normal functions of the knee to be affected.

Causes

  • Osteoarthritis is degenerative in nature and occurs along with degeneration of other body tissues, which is all part of the ageing process.
  • An estimated 90% of people over the age of sixty years develop varying degrees of osteoarthritis.
  • While the exact causes of Knee OA vary, risk factors for developing this condition include the following:
    • Inherited abnormalities in the shape of bones that surround the knee joint.
    • Increase in age
    • Female
    • Excess body mass
    • Previous joint or sports injury to the knee
    • Occupations that involve excess load of the knees
    • Metabolic disorder (e.g. Gout, Rheumatoid arthritis)

Common signs and symptoms

  • Recurring pain in knee
  • Knee stiffness especially in the morning or after a period of rest.
  • Knee swelling and warmth
  • Decreased mobility and functional ability of the knee making it difficult to perform daily activities like stairs climbing, getting in and out of car and getting up from a chair.
  • Grinding noises in knee
  • Deformities in the form of bow legs and knocked knees
  • X-ray showing reduced joint space and degeneration

How physiotherapy can help

  • Research has shown the benefits of physiotherapy in managing mild to moderate knee OA. Manual therapy can improve the mobility in the knee joint.
  • Depending on the severity of the condition, a physiotherapist can improve the flexibility of the muscles around the knee. This will in turn reduce the load on the joint and allow better functional performance in daily activities.
  • After a thorough gait analysis, a personalized strengthening programme for the hips and lower limbs muscles can be prescribed to improve walking efficiency.
  • If there are lower limb alignment issues causing abnormal loading of the knee joint, our in-house podiatrist can customise insoles to reduce the symptoms.

Let our physiotherapists help you with your condition.

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