Osteoarthritis is a common disease that affects many people, especially in the hip and knee. The good news is that there are actions you can take to deal with your symptoms and improve your ability to live with the disease. One such way is exercise. Yes, that thing that seems to be good for all ailments yet not enough of us do! According to recent research, if you can get in the habit of completing strengthening exercises for the lower body, you can see significant decreases in symptoms related to osteoarthritis.

In many people with knee osteoarthritis, there is a corresponding weakness of the quadriceps muscles (front of the thigh) as well as poor hip strength. This weakness increases the stress placed on the knee. By increasing strength, less stress is placed on the knee and in turn you feel less pain. How much less pain? Well, in this study, participants who exercised had a pain level of 4.3/10 after 90 days compared to a level of 6.6/10 in those that didn’t. That’s quite a difference, especially when you consider that the exercising group was also taking less pain medication! Participants that exercised also had a higher level of functioning and increased range of motion of the knee joint.

So what does this really mean? It means a higher quality of life with more ease of movement and less of a reliance on drugs such as acetaminophen; all good things. If you’re tired of your knee pain, then give the above info some thought. If you decide you would like to give it a try, we’re here to help. Not only can our physiotherapists help you with a strengthening program, they can also include other treatment options to help relieve your pain. Give it a try; you’ve got nothing to lose except your pain!

 

Reference

Progressive resistance exercise may improve pain and function in women with knee OA. Orthoevidence Advanced Clinical Evidence Report. In: Orthoevidence. Created Apr 08, 2015. Last modified June 15, 2015. Retrieved June 17, 2015 from http://www.myorthoevidence.com/ace/7673/list/.

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