Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a common condition that afflicts many adults.1,2 Studies of the prevalence of symptomatic knee OA have found:3
- 4.9% of adults aged ≥ 26 years old may be affected
- 9.2% of adults aged ≥ 45 years old may be affected
- 12.1% of adults aged ≥ 60 years old may be affected
Knee OA may limit an individual’s ability to perform routine physical activities.2,3,4 The symptoms of knee OA may include: 5,6
- Persistent knee pain
- Limited morning stiffness (typically <30 minutes)
- Reduced function
Signs of knee osteoarthritis may include: 5
- Enlarged bones of the knee
- Restricted movement
- Grating sound or sensation in the knee
What Can I Do to Possibly Prevent This?
Risk factors an individual may have control over include obesity and prior knee trauma.7 Two-thirds of obese adults have a lifetime risk of acquiring knee OA.8 Maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding high-risk activities such as extreme sports may help prevent this condition.
Are There Ways to Manage This Other Than With Medication?
The American College of Rheumatology recommends exercise and physical therapy as nonpharmacological therapies for patients with OA. Nonpharmacological therapy is considered the cornerstone of OA management and includes:9,10
- Physical therapy (manual therapy with supervised exercise)
- An individualized exercise program (aerobic and resistance exercise)
- Weight loss (if overweight)
- Patient education
- Self-management programs (e.g., Arthritis Foundation Self-Management Program)
- Assistive devices such as a walker or cane for ambulation, as needed
- Appropriate footwear (including appropriate insoles)
- Patella taping
Exercise and Physical Therapy
Consultation with a physical therapist to guide an individual with an exercise program is recommended.1 A course of formal physical therapy consisting of exercise and manual therapy may be beneficial for a person with knee OA.11,12 Those who attend formal physical therapy treatment tend to take less medication at one year than those performing only a home exercise program.11
Disclaimer: The views discussed on this website are for educational purposes only. Should you have any questions please consult your physician or physical therapist. Copyright© Kinesis Physical Therapy. All Rights Reserved.