How Can I Help Knee Arthritis?

How Can I Help Knee Arthritis?

Knee arthritis can affect peoples lives in a dramatic way, limiting their freedom and quality of life.

Osteoarthritis affects 40% of western World Adults ( Shane and Grant, 1983). It involves deterioration of the articular surfaces or the joint, muscle wasting, increase in pain , deformity and progressive loss in function in some patients.

It is important to remember that many people live with OA to an older age without pain and many people will indeed have osteoarthritic changes that don’t cause pain.

Treatment starts with a focus on relieving symptoms by re-education of the muscles around the joint which can become painful if you have begun to compensate.

What Can I Do To Help Myself If I Have Knee Arthritis?


Activity Modification
There are lots of tips and tricks to help settle symptoms in a flare up. Choosing non impact exercises and avoiding high loading such as running. Jumping, hopping can help.


Taking regular breaks throughout the day can be helpful in managing knee arthritis pain.


Losing weight
There have been multiple studies that have showed that weight loss significantly reduces pain and increases function in people with knee arthritis. Having a healthy diet and exercising regular (including in the pool if its too painful on land). We run regular classes at Freeways hydro pool in you are looking for hydrotherapy or alternatively why not try our antigravity treadmill? A safe way to offload weight and experience walking  with no pain.



I have knee arthritis, my knee is worn out how can physio help?
This statement is something that I commonly hear in the treatment room. It is important to remember that many people who have evidence of osteoarthritis on an Xray may not have pain. Pain is likely to be caused by inflammation of the joint surfaces which results in swelling and pressure in the joint. If we can help settle the inflammation day through advice and exercise we may be able to settle the flare up and help any future flare ups be more manageable.


Is physio painful?
Some exercises may be a little uncomfortable but all our clinicians are experienced and will only push you to get stronger within your own limits. In my experience people usual feel it will be more painful than it actually is!


How many sessions will I need?
This really depends. People usually will come in for 3-4 sessions. We have a rehab class that we have which is one physio to 4 people. This allows you to have the contact you need to check your exercises but at a cheaper price!


Who are the right candidates for physio?
Physio is for people who want to try and avoid surgery by making simple lifestyle changes and trying some gentle exercises to get the stronger and fitter again. It is for people who ant to play with their grandchildren, walk a bit further and maintain their independence.

What Can A Physio Do?



Specific exercises that retrain muscles around the knee and hip can help offload the joint surfaces and lubricate the joint with synovial fluid ( our own natural lubricant).


Retraining technique
The common thing I hear in clinic is “I can’t do the stairs. I haven’t been able to go up one after the other for 6 months.” Many people are surprised that after one short session we can help people reprogram the correct muscle pattern to help people


Soft tissue mobilisations
Soft tissue mobilisations can help ease areas that may have become tight and sore where they have been compensating. Common areas to be sore are in the calf, hamstring or back.


Joint mobilisations
Joint mobilisations help to ease pain by gently stretching the surrounding soft tissue and the joint capsule which tightens during arthritic change.


This can help relieve pain and ease muscle tightness.


Taping is sometimes used for proprioception to


Expert advice
Benefit form someone who spent 3 years learning about the body, the way it works and heals and then has dedicating their life to learning about conditions helping patients recover.


Goal setting
Physio’s work closely to help you achieve your goals. Whether its that you want to play with your grandchildren, know whether you are a suitable candidate for surgery, lose weight, get fitter. Get expert advice from experienced clinicians to reach your goals quickly.

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