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Physiotherapy For Osteoarthritis of The Knee Joint

Physiotherapy For Osteoarthritis of The Knee Joint

Osteoarthritis of the knee is a progressive disease that causes inflammation and degeneration of the knee joint that worsens over time. It is known to affect the entire joint, including the bone, cartilage, ligament, as well as the muscle. Its progression is influenced by age, body mass index, bone structure, genetics, strength, and activity level. In some cases, it is known to have developed as a secondary condition following a traumatic knee injury. Depending on the stage of the disease and whether there are associated injuries or conditions, knee osteoarthritis can be managed with physical therapy, though more severe or advanced cases may require surgery

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis Arthritis may include:

  • Worsening pain during or after activity. Anything involving walking, climbing, or descending stairs, even moving from a sitting to standing position
  • Pain or stiffness after sitting with the knee bent or straight for prolonged periods of time
  • A feeling of popping, cracking, or grinding when moving the knee
  • Swelling of your joint following activity
  • Tenderness to touch along the knee joint

There are 2 main types of physical therapy–passive and active treatments— that can help make your knee osteoarthritis more manageable. With passive treatments, the physical therapist does the majority of the work, but with active treatments, you do more of the work, such as at-home exercises.

Common passive treatments include

  • Cold therapy: Cold therapy helps decrease swelling by reducing circulation.
  • Heat therapy: Heat therapy increases blood flow to decrease stiffness in the knee joints and muscles surrounding the knee.
  • Hydrotherapy: This is sometimes referred to as aquatic therapy. This treatment uses water to decrease your symptoms of knee osteoarthritis. It involved performing gentle, simple exercises in water, which don’t aggravate your joints. Also, by just being in warm water, you facilitate motion and are helped to deal with pain and other symptoms.

Common active treatments include

  • Strengthening exercises: Your physical therapist will show you certain exercises that you can do at home to strengthen your muscles. Working out muscles in the leg can help make your knee joints stronger. Strengthening these muscles alone can help decrease the pain.
  • Flexibility exercises: It is often hard to move, thus flexibility exercises are very important. Doing them regularly can help increase range of motion, make your knees more flexible, and restore normal knee joint function.

Some other exercises that are known to help, time and again are:

The Hamstring Stretch
Stretching improves range of motion and keeps you limber. To get the most out of your stretches, warm up with a 5-minute walk.

– Lie down and stretch your body.
– Loop a bed sheet around your right foot.
– Use the sheet to help pull the straight leg up and stretch it.
– Hold for 20 seconds, then lower the leg.
– Repeat twice.
– Then, switch legs.

Heel Raise- Stand tall and hold the back of a chair for support.

– Lift your heels off the ground and rise up on the toes of both feet.
– Hold for 3 seconds. Slowly lower both heels to the ground.
– Do two sets of 10 repetitions.

If you find this hard to do, feel free to do the same while sitting in a chair.

If your pain persists, do not hesitate in paying a visit to your health practitioner for his opinions on your treatment.