Have you ever wondered what the cause of knee arthritis is and why people get arthritis? There are many reasons as to why this occurs.
The knee itself is made up of the femur as it comes down from the hip into the knee, the tibia as it goes down towards the ankle and the patella that forms part of the quadriceps tendon on the front of the knee joint. The muscles around the knee include the quadriceps which is the front thigh muscle the hamstrings which are the back thigh muscles and the font and back calf muscles that connect the knee to the foot.
The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which is the degeneration of the joint surfaces. In the case of the knee, this is the surface of the thigh bone (aka femur) and the lower leg bone (aka tibia). These two bones make up the knee joint and in the case of osteoarthritis, we get wear and tear of the cartilaginous surfaces of these two bones.
The second most common form of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory condition that affects the connective tissue inside the knee. We aren’t actually sure why the body produces this inflammation but the result is that the fluid in the joint causes damage to the tissues inside the joint and this damage is the arthritis. This type of arthritis can affect many parts of the skeletal system but is very common in the knees.
Other forms of Arthritis
Some other less common reasons to the cause of arthritis are post-traumatic or reactive arthritis. These conditions are the result of people getting injuries to the knee either playing sport or due to accidents and then arthritis follows on, due to the damage and poor mechanics of the joint. In these situations the knee will become degenerative over a long period of time.
How To Manage Knee Arthritis
When we’re looking at managing people’s knee arthritis, first of all, it’s important to get a good assessment so that we know what the health of the knee is and which exact structures are affected by the arthritic change in the joint. As well as finding out the goals of the person and what they would like to achieve through their therapy.
When we’re looking at a knee, the key things that we’re looking at is people’s mobility and capacity to perform functional activities, that they need to live a fulfilled and normal lifestyle of their choice.
The Common Aims of treatment are to improve the mobility of the joints of the knee, improve the flexibility of the tissues around the knee and improve the strength of the muscles which help support the knee and allow us to walk.
Different Types Of Treatment
Manual therapy, massage, and dry needling might all be helpful in relieving the pain and restoring the movement of an arthritic knee joint. Exercise is a crucial next step to build up the strength and stability around the joint so that we are able to be pain-free in functional activities. Exercise needs to be targeted and focused and not aggravate symptoms. As a result many programs will start with hydrotherapy or exercise in the pool. Once people have a baseline level of strength they can move into land-based resistance training, where exercises can be performed in functional positions and targeted at achieving specific client goals.
If you’re suffering from Arthritis, we would really welcome you to come into Core Physiotherapy & Pilates Studio, so that we can do a full assessment of your knee and we can then instruct you on a good exercise program.
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