Knee Osteoarthritis Physical Therapy

If you wake up with a stiff knee that causes pain and gives off clicking sounds during movement, you may develop knee osteoarthritis. Research suggests that 14 million Americans are suffering from knee osteoarthritis. There are various conservative and surgical treatments available to cure this condition, but knee osteoarthritis physical therapy has managed to bring positive results.

Keep reading to understand more about knee osteoarthritis physical therapy and its symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment. 

What is Knee Osteoarthritis?

The term osteoarthritis (OA) originated from two words: Osteo means bones, and Arthritis refers to the inflammation of joints. However, knee osteoarthritis develops when the cartilage in your joint is predisposed to wear and tear, which results in friction between bones. This causes your knee joint to get inflamed and become stiff and swollen. 

It’s a degenerative joint disease among individuals aged 45 to 65. Whereas women are more affected by knee osteoarthritis than men. Besides, there is no specific treatment to halt the degenerative process involved in this condition. However, many treatments slow down the disease’s progress and manage its symptoms, including knee osteoarthritis physical therapy.

What Causes Knee Osteoarthritis?

Wearout or damaged cartilage is the primary reason for developing knee osteoarthritis. However, your knee joint contains two types of cartilage, namely articular cartilage and meniscal cartilage. Articular cartilage is a rubber-like structure at the end of your bones and facilitates bending movement. In contrast, meniscal cartilage works as a shock absorber for your knee.

The following are the causes that put at higher risk of developing damaged cartilage that leads to knee osteoarthritis:

  • If your body mass index (BMI) is 30 or over, it means you’re overweight and highly susceptible to getting knee osteoarthritis than a person with a lower BMI
  • If you are 45 years of age or more
  • People with an ongoing knee injury or a history of recurrent knee injuries
  • If you’re putting load over your knee joint frequently while playing sports or doing a strenuous job
  • People with a positive family history of knee osteoarthritis
  • If you have low bone mineral density or other joint abnormalities such as knocked or bow knees 

What are the Symptoms of Knee Osteoarthritis?

The clinical features of knee osteoarthritis include:

  • Knee pain that hurts while you perform physical activities and improves slightly with rest
  • Knee pain increases with bending movements, especially when you do sit-to-stand activities 
  • Swelling around your knee joint
  • Stiffness within the knee joint that becomes severe in the morning or after long-term sitting
  • A cracking sound that comes when you move your knee joint

In severe cases of knee OA, your mobility tends to get compromised. Moving out of chairs, stair climbing, and walking becomes difficult. Once the condition is diagnosed, knee osteoarthritis physical therapy helps to relieve its symptoms and improves mobility.

How To Get Your Knee Osteoarthritis Diagnosed?

Your healthcare professional will physically examine you to diagnose knee OA. You will also be asked about your past medical history to find the incidence of knee OA within your family. 

The physical exam for knee osteoarthritis consists of the following findings:

  • If redness or soreness is present around your knee joint
  • If there are any signs of the knee injury
  • How much range of motion of your knee joint is available 
  • Does your knee give away, which means that your joint isn’t stable
  • Do you have any problems while walking

The positive findings of the questions mentioned above indicate knee osteoarthritis.

Besides, these radiological findings help to identify knee osteoarthritis clinically:

  • X-Ray
  • Magnetic resonance imagery (MRI)
  • Joint Aspiration (arthrocentesis)
  • Blood tests to rule out other arthritis types 
  • Special tests of the knee joint

After your healthcare professional has accomplished your diagnosis, you are encouraged to join physical therapy for osteoarthritis of the knee.

How To Get Your Knee Osteoarthritis Treated?

There are multiple conservative and invasive treatment options available to relieve pain besides physical therapy for osteoarthritis. 

Some of the most successful treatment strategies to slow down the progress of knee OA are:

  • Weight Loss – Losing weight, even in small quantity, can unburden your knee joints and soothes pain.
  • Medications – Over-the-counter pain relievers & anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or naproxen sodium help improve symptoms of knee arthritis.
  • Intra-articular Injections – Getting corticosteroids or hyaluronic acid into your knee joint reduces inflammation and lubricates your damaged cartilage, respectively.
  • Alternative TherapiesCryotherapy, topical ointments with capsaicin, and glucosamine and chondroitin supplements facilitate healing of diseased knee joints. 
  • Knee Brace – The brace supports your knee by taking away the weight of the affected side or entire joint
  • Surgery – If other treatments fail to manage your symptoms of knee osteoarthritis, surgical intervention, including partial or total knee arthroplasty, rescue your joint from permanent damage. 

Your healthcare provider may recommend the abovementioned treatments alongside knee osteoarthritis physical therapy to boost your recovery.

What Does Knee Osteoarthritis Physical Therapy Include?

The primary goal of knee osteoarthritis physical therapy is to reduce knee pain, increase range of motion, and assist patients in promoting mobility. The osteoarthritis knee physical therapy includes:

Knee physical therapy helps treat many different knee conditions, including the following:

  • Manual Therapy consisting of Maitland Mobilizations and Soft Tissue Release
  • Stretching Exercises 
  • Strengthening Exercises 
  • Neuromuscular Facilitation 
  • Gait Training 
  • Postural Re-education 
  • Home Exercise Plan
  • Cupping Therapy 

Where to find Effective Physical Therapy for Knee OA in NYC?

At MOCEAN Therapy, our experienced physical therapists diagnose your knee joint before applying any electrical modalities to manage pain. Our team of physical therapists gradually increases exercises in your home plan to enable you to move independently. 

Also, we follow your condition keenly to speed up your recovery period and guide you to prevent further knee injury.

The Bottom Line

As you grow older, your bones and cartilage become susceptible to damage. This results in the development of degenerative joint diseases such as knee osteoarthritis. However, the clinical features of this condition can be aggravating. But with prompt treatment, the condition can be improved. That’s why you must opt for knee osteoarthritis physical therapy to prevent damage to your joints and avoid surgery. 

Book an appointment online or contact us today to receive effective and reliable knee OA physical therapy in NYC.

Then we create a health plan tailored to your needs.

Based on the results, we develop a personalized treatment plan for each individual to promote optimal health. With 1-on-1 consultations, cutting-edge technology, and a team of experts who care about getting you better, MOCEAN offers you a comprehensive road map on how to become the healthiest version of yourself.