Arthritis of the knee joint, oftentimes more commonly referred to as knee osteoarthritis, affects more than 27 million Americans. Knee osteoarthritis is far from the worst condition in the world, but it is somewhat unique in that it’s not a condition that can be cured, so to speak. There are ways to manage symptoms and prevent the condition from worsening, but you can’t reverse the effects of natural joint degeneration.
So if you’ve been diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis, it’s imperative that you proactively try to treat the condition in order to reduce your pain and prevent further joint degeneration. Physical therapy can help with that and more. Here’s a look at how physical therapy can help you if you have knee arthritis.
The Benefits Of PT For Knee Arthritis Sufferers
Physical therapy can help with many different aspects of the management of your knee osteoarthritis, including:
Flexibility – Maintaining joint flexibility is very important if you have knee arthritis because joint degeneration can limit your range of motion. A physical therapist can help you develop a stretching routine that helps to move your knee joint in a number of different directions in order to maintain this crucial functionality.
- Pain management – When it comes to knee arthritis, oftentimes pain gets worse the less you use the joint because supportive structures atrophy. Physical therapy helps to strengthen key muscles and ligaments that support your knee. This means you’ll be more comfortable staying active, which helps to decrease pain and discomfort in the joint.
- Bracing – Having a brace on your knee, especially when active, can help to decrease pain and make movements easier. There are a number of different bracing options available, and your physical therapist can walk you through a number of different styles to find the one that’s most comfortable for you.
- Patient education – Preventing worsening symptoms involves knowing what actions help and hurt your joints, and you may not have a firm grasp one which actions fall into either category. Your physical therapist can help educate you about your condition and provide answers to any questions you might have in order to best manage life with knee osteoarthritis. Don’t be afraid to ask them any questions you might have about the condition or treatment options.
- Continuing care – Not only will physical therapists assess your knee and work to improve its function while you’re at the clinic, but they can also set you up with a home care routine that allows you to strengthen the joint from the comfort of your home. You’ll see the best results if you are committed to your in-person and at-home PT routines, so make sure you’re doing your exercises that are recommended between physical therapy sessions.
For more help with managing your knee osteoarthritis, or to set up an appointment to have your knee looked at, reach out to OrthoRehab Specialists today.
PT of Costa Rican National Soccer Team for 2007 World Cup in Victoria, CAN. Clinical Instructor for University of Minnesota Doctor of Physical Therapy Affiliations
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