Osteoarthritis is also commonly called degenerative arthritis or degenerative joint disease.
Osteoarthritis is a wearing away, or degeneration of the surface of the bones in a joint. In a normal joint the surface of the bones has a protective layer that is very smooth. This protective layer allows the joint to move effortlessly and without pain.
As the protective layer wears out, the surface becomes rough and the bone and nerves underneath are exposed. This causes pain and stiffness in the joint with movement and often is worse at rest. Knees are a commonly affected joint. There are many causes of osteoarthritis of the knee.
The most common causes are previous injury and wear and tear with ageing.
Although osteoarthritis is usually associated with older people, early stages of osteoarthritis affect people in their 30's and 40's.
Most people with early signs of knee joint osteoarthritis should continue to be active but must limit activities that cause painful forces to be transmitted through the knee joint. In mild cases, this may mean they choose slower or gentler activity and in severe cases it may mean that they need the support of a stick to walk.
Osteoarthritis can be managed and improved by physiotherapy. Physiotherapy intervention can slow deterioration of the condition and improve quality of life by relieving pain and improving function.
Our physiotherapists can reduce the pain of arthritis, improve movement and posture, strengthen muscles and give you more independence. Treatments may include gentle passive movement, heat, electrical treatments, aquatic physiotherapy and advice on preventing further joint damage.
Our Actively Ageing Program is ideally suited to help you manage arthritis.