Knee Arthritis is a condition that affects many people, with millions of people suffering from this condition. The National Institutes of Health has found that one in five Americans will either develop knee arthritis or have some form of osteoarthritis by the time they reach their seventies. There are several different treatments for knee arthritis, although surgery is usually not required. One study found that exercise programs improved pain and function in patients with severe knee osteoarthritis. Exercise should be tailored to the individual’s needs and medical condition and adjusted to account for changes in pain levels over time.
- Physical Therapy:
Physical therapy exercises specifically geared toward strengthening and supporting muscles in the affected area will help to relieve the pain of knee arthritis. These exercises can also help increase mobility and strengthen the knee joint.
A professional Physical therapist like QC Kinetix (Fall River) will teach patients specific exercises that people can do at home and at a facility. However, patients should be sure to do them as instructed and discuss any pain or soreness with their therapist so that modifications can be made if necessary.
Physical therapists may also use ultrasound devices and heat treatments for knee arthritis treatment. In addition, a pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) is sometimes combined with physical therapy to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.
People can use ice to reduce inflammation and relieve pain caused by knee arthritis. If a client cannot ice due to pain, then they should have the therapist help them with the placement. Physical therapists can also provide gentle warming of the skin through the use of heat lamps or warm packs. These treatments are usually recommended for short periods as long as they do not cause significant discomfort.
Some medications are used for knee arthritis treatment. For example, people may give aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatories to reduce swelling and pain in the knee joint. Corticosteroids are sometimes used in conjunction with non-steroidal anti-inflammatories. The doctor may also prescribe a local anesthetic to help reduce pain in the knee. Aspirin can be taken in pill form or through a liquid supplement and will usually be taken each day simultaneously. People may also prescribe anti-inflammatory medication.
- Weight Loss:
Aging eventually causes changes in the shape of the knee joint, which can cause pain during physical movements or activities that involve bending or extending the knee joint. Losing weight can help the knee joint and reduce the pain caused by arthritis.
Weight loss programs should include aerobic exercise and strength training. Losing weight can help to reduce pain and improve mobility in people with knee arthritis.
Exercise is effective for many people in reducing the pain associated with knee arthritis—a study conducted in 2000 involved people with rheumatoid arthritis that had affected their knees. The participants were put into either a group that did not do any exercise or a group that followed an exercise program for three months. The study found that those who exercised experienced significantly less pain than those who did not.
Knee arthritis is a severe condition that can cause pain and even limit mobility in a person. Many treatments are designed to relieve pain and decrease swelling, while others may also include exercise to help strengthen and support the joints. However, like any condition requiring treatment, knee arthritis may take longer than expected to heal completely.