My knees are stiff in the morning and it is getting worse – what can I do?
All Care Physiotherapy has helped patients with osteoarthritis for over 20 years. Read on to find out how.
What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a condition that affects the cartilage in joints. Normally, cartilage acts as a cushion between the bones in a joint and allows a smooth, gliding motion between bones. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage breaks down and can result in pain, stiffness and swelling of the affected area. Knee osteoarthritis is the most common type.
Symptoms of Knee Osteoarthritis:
- Stiffness in your knee after not moving it for a long period of time (e.g. in the morning when you first wake up) that often goes away with movement.
- Clicking, grating or grinding in your knee
- Pain with activities where your knee joint is compressed (e.g. walking up stairs, jumping and lifting objects)
- Pain after activity and towards the end of the day
Causes of Knee Osteoarthritis:
Factors contributing to the development of knee osteoarthritis include:
- Older age
- Repetitive bending, lifting or kneeling activities/occupations
- Past injuries to your knee (e.g. ACL rupture)
- Higher body weight
How Can All Care Physiotherapy Help You?
The good news is that all is not doom and gloom. Your All Care Physiotherapist can assess your lower limb function to see what is not functioning correctly and fix the underlying biomechanical issues.
The key is to assess how your lower limb joints and muscles are moving and working. For example, knee osteoarthritis commonly results in a lack of straightening of the knee as a result of joint and muscle tightness leading to further biomechanical issues around the knee.
Assessing and changing how your knee moves can make a difference to how your knee functions leading to decreased pain.
An assessment will entail looking at your lower limb
- Range of movement
- Muscle length
- Balance control
- Motor control
We can then tailor a programme specific to you.
At All Care Physiotherapy, we aim to help decrease your pain, increase your movement and help you get back to the activities that you enjoy.
Our Physiotherapy management will most include:
Education on your condition and strategies to self-manage your osteoarthritis in your everyday life.
Strength training – focused on the muscles around your knee, hip and core to increase the support and decrease your pain.
A stretching program – for the muscles around your knee
Joint mobilisations – to improve the quality and range of your knee joint.
Massage – focused on optimising the length of the muscles around your knee.
A hydrotherapy program – hydrotherapy is very beneficial for people with osteoarthritis because this takes pressure off your knees as the water takes your weight.
Gait and lower limb biomechanical assessment – to determine if there are any factors predisposing your knee to excess loading.
If you are particularly sore with your knee arthritis, then a tailored hydrotherapy programme is very beneficial because this takes pressure off your knees as the water takes your weight. Our patients find the ability to move pain free in water very helpful at the early stages of their rehabilitation.
What if my knee needs a medical review?
At All Care we work with Brisbane’s leading Orthopaedic Surgeons, so if we think you may need further assessment as to the stage of arthritis of your knee we can suggest a Specalist to see for a review.