Osteoarthritis refers to long-term changes in joints due to inflammation.
This can result in pain and weakness, affecting one’s ability to perform everyday tasks. When we experience pain, it is natural to want to avoid everything that causes it. This may be the case with acute injuries, but with chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis, avoiding pain altogether could make things worse.
This article provides advice on how to manage osteoarthritis knee pain in order to assist your mobility and obtain a degree of osteoarthritis knee pain relief without drugs.
The cartilage in our joints has no blood supply and relies on movement to deliver nutrients to it. Exercise helps to keep our joints mobile and flexible, as well as strengthening the muscles.
This then relieves pressure on the joint and maintains its alignment. In fact, research shows that exercise is the best way to manage osteoarthritis knee pain. It (exercise) is a non-drug treatment effective in managing osteoarthritis in the knee (and elsewhere in the body too) and in providing osteoarthritis knee pain relief.
There is likely to be some discomfort when exercising. However, this shouldn’t be severe and should settle down within a day. If it does not settle within a day, you may need to adjust your exercises, which your physio can help you with.
Excess weight places stress on joints and therefore managing your weight within a healthy range can be beneficial in managing osteoarthritis and other health conditions. Exercise is a key component of this.
It is important to consider not just the physical pain, but also aspects such as stress and depression, which can increase our sense of pain. Sleeping badly and not being able to join in with activities you used to enjoy can have an impact. Exercise has a positive effect on mood, improves sleep quality and is a great form of socialising – all of which benefit our general well-being.
Sometimes when working out how to manage osteoarthritis knee pain, medication may play a part. Your doctor may prescribe medication for a flare-up or pain-relieving medication may be prescribed in order to help keep you active. It is important to consult your doctor about what medication is right for you.
If you’d like to know more about specific exercises and how to manage osteoarthritis knee pain or want some help with any other movement issues that are affecting your everyday activities, contact our team – we’d love to help!
Article written by May-Ann Low, TPC physiotherapist – Melbourne East