So what is osteoarthritis and do I have it? You might have heard the phrase “bone on bone”, and this might sound scary but there are ways to help reduce your pain. Osteoarthritis can be synonymous with degenerative joint disease. This occurs over time as the cartilage that lines the bones between joints begins to thin with age. As the cartilage thins, inflammation and swelling can occur from the rubbing of the two surfaces. This is a common condition that occurs in adults over the age of 60 but, depending on your level of activity and previous injuries it can develop as early as the age of 40. But we have good news! Physical therapy can help alleviate your symptoms without the use of medication. By strengthening the muscles above and below the knee joint and using swelling management techniques you can have symptom relief! In an evaluation with one of our therapists, they will determine which movement patterns are contributing to your pain, which muscles need to be strengthened, and give you strategies to help manage your pain and improve your function.
If you can’t make it into the clinic, we also would like to give you some strategies for pain relief that can easily be done at home! To try to help decrease inflammation, one of the best exercises is called a tailgater. For this exercise you sit on a chair or surface that allows for your feet to dangle and kick your legs back and forth (like if you were to sit on the back of a trucks tailgate kicking your legs), allowing for the knee joint to open and close decreasing the irritation in the joint. As with most arthritic changes, movement is going to be crucial in managing inflammation, but it needs to be the right kind of movement. You want to be bending and straightening the knee in positions that are unloaded, where your foot is not in contact with the ground, like a heel slide. So now that we have managed to decrease some of the inflammation, strengthening the hips is the next step. We will be showing some easy to do hip strengthening activities such as the straight leg raise and a clam shell to improve your muscles ability to properly support your knee to help keep the swelling down. If you have any questions or would like to set up a FREE 15-minute screen with us here at Curnyn PT feel free to give us a call! Our number is (817) 923-9000. We hope this helps!