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What treatments can be done for knee osteoarthritis?

Author: Craig Payne
by Craig Payne
Posted: Mar 10, 2022
risk factor

Osteoarthritis of the knee is a very common problem that can have significant impacts on the individual in terms of pain and disability. It also has significant impacts on the costs to the health care system. The prevalence of the condition is increasing with the increased frequency of obesity which is the major risk factor for osteoarthritis of the knee. A number of experts are calling this a public health crisis and comparable to the diabetes epidemic. The most common risk factor is the obesity, but those with a history of knee trauma, perhaps from sport are also at a higher risk of knee osteoarthritis. There are some genetic risk factors such as bow legs and cartilage in the knee that just seems to be more prone to damage that can not really be changed like other risk factors can.

Probably the two most important aspects of treatment for anyone who has osteoarthritis is exercise and losing weight. As a higher body weight is a significant risk factor for the development of osteoarthritis and also a predictor of the progression, losing weight is going to be extremely important. This is going to have to be a long-term proposition and should be guided by the proper professional advice and guidance. Losing weight will also help the other treatments that can be used to work better. The other crucial component is exercise. Movement has been shown to help pain. All the muscles around the painful knee should be strengthened. This may be gentle exercises in a swimming pool or heavier weights in a gym. This too should be under the guidance of a health professional to ensure that the exercises are the right ones and done properly. Rest is not an option and does not help slow down the progress of the condition.

Another exercise approach is an unstable footwear intervention, Apos therapy, that you wear for up to an hour or so a day. The Apos therapy shoes are calibrated to make you walk differently and make you unstable and this leads to a strengthening of the muscles. There are also wedges that can be used in the shoe and can help osteoarthritis in the medial compartment. There are also different braces that can be worn on the knee to help take some of the load off it. There are a variety of drugs and injection therapies that can help with the pain and are very helpful, but they do not alter the nature of the condition in the way weight loss and exercise can. There are drugs and other treatments that are being tested that can help repair the actual damage to the cartilage, but they are still in the experimental stages. If the pain in the knee progresses and becomes quite painful then a total knee replacement is being done more commonly. The disability and recovery time after the surgery is coming down with good rehabilitation and there have been big improvements in the hardware that the joint replacement is made from.

About the Author

Craig Payne is a University lecturer, runner, cynic, researcher, skeptic, forum admin, woo basher, clinician, rabble-rouser, blogger and a dad.

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Author: Craig Payne
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Craig Payne

Member since: Aug 16, 2020
Published articles: 162

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