17th August, 2017
A common problem
Clicky, clunky, creaky knees? Pain squatting or going down stairs? You’re not alone. Arthritis affects over 3 million people in Australia, accounting for over 15% of the population. Knee replacements are also on the rise. Between 2001 and 2008 there was a 67% increase in the number of total knee replacements performed seeing 26,712 Australians go under the knife, one of the highest rates in the world.
What is arthritis?
Although common, arthritis shouldn’t just be accepted as a normal part of “getting older” or “wear and tear”. Knee arthritis doesn’t just come out of nowhere and can’t be solely attributed to your parents’ bad genes; it’s a continuum. In healthy knees, the bony surfaces are covered by a thick layer of articular cartilage which acts as a cushion to the joint. When the joint is affected by arthritis, the cartilage may become thinner and more pressure is placed on the underlying bone causing pain and discomfort.
What can I do about it?
The good news is that there is something you can do about it! So the little aches and pains that you’re experiencing now shouldn’t be ignored, because you can stop the downward spiral. The cartilage in your joints is like a sponge. It stores synovial fluid which lubricates the joints and helps to keep knees healthy. At rest, the fluid is stored in the cartilage but with weight bearing exercises the fluid is released from the joint allowing the joint to glide more freely. Not only will strengthening exercises help to build muscles to support the joint, but they’ll also help to grease your joints!
Losing a few kilos has also been shown to have a dramatic effect on symptoms. For each kilo lost, studies have shown there to be four times that reduction in force through the knee. Not only that, but current research has shown that losing just 5-10% of body weight can have a marked reduction on pain and symptoms.
So if you’re feeling a few niggles in the knees, there’s no better to time to address these issues in a safe and effective way. Careful assessment and treatment through the supervision of a physiotherapist and/or sports physician will not only see your joints benefit now, but help to improve the lifelong health of your knees.
At Territory Sportsmedicine, our experienced Physiotherapists and Sports and Exercise Physicians can assess knee pain and discuss and implement the best treatment options for your symptoms.
If you require and appointment, please feel free to contact us on here: http://www.territorysportsmed.com.au/contact/
or on (08) 8941 6677