Knee Osteoarthritis Pain

Sep 12, 2022


What is knee osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a condition which affects the joints in our body. One of the most common joints to experience this is the knee joint. Osteoarthritis is long term condition where the joints become gradually inflamed and damaged. The cartilage, which is a spongey shock absorbing material, in the joint gradually wears down reducing space in the joint. Eventually this can lead to bone spurs forming and contact between bones.


Who does it affect?
Osteoarthritis most commonly affects people later in life, 50 years and older. It occurs more commonly in women due to hormonal differences and in some ethnicities. Family history, genetics and lifestyle factors such as diet, physical activity levels and occupation may also influence risk of developing osteoarthritis.


What are the symptoms?
People with osteoarthritis, particularly in the knee usually experience:

  • Pain: making walking or stair climbing difficult. Generally reported as a deep aching pain however may at times become sharp.
  • Swelling: the joint may become inflamed and swollen particularly in the morning. 
  • Stiffness: this may occur making it difficult to bend the knee. May be worse after sitting or standing for extended periods.
  • Noisy knees: the joint may degenerate and become rough leading to noisy knees. This may be heard as creaking, cracking or grinding. In some instances, the knee may “lock” and become stuck in a position.


How can you manage it?
Osteoarthritis cannot be reversed or cured however can be successfully managed. Both resistance training and aerobic training have been shown to be beneficial in improving osteoarthritis symptoms and improving quality of life. Cartilage can be kept healthy and maintained with appropriate exercises provided by your health professional. Improving your weight can reduce the pressure in the joints and reduce inflammation, improving knee osteoarthritis symptoms. Diet and exercise are two avenues to assist with this. Pain is common in people with knee osteoarthritis. In some instances your GP may recommend medication to assist with managing pain and inflammation in the knee.


Who can assist?
At Macarthur Physiotherapy we are equipped with a highly trained team of physiotherapist’s and an exercise physiologist to improve your knee osteoarthritis. They will conduct an assessment of your knee, review your medical history, and create SMART goals with you. Following this they will design an effective exercise program and provide education on improving your lifestyle choices for better knee health.


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