What begins as just a stiff, sore and swollen knee joint can gradually turn lives upside down. First, it means quitting footy. Next, running becomes unbearable. Then, even walking around the park is becoming unbearable. This is the reality for many. Currently, knee osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in the country, affecting 2.2 million Australians. Fortunately, with the explosion of emerging research, living with this condition has never been more manageable.
Here are 2 effective strategies to kickstart a healthier and happier relationship with your knee.
Contrary to popular belief, exercise is crucial for strengthening the muscles around the knee, maintaining mobility, and reducing pain. Surprisingly, it doesn’t take long for the benefits of exercise to take effect. Positive outcomes can be seen as early as 6 weeks after commencing specific knee arthritis exercises. After completing these programs, participants reported that knee pain dropped by 26-33% and that quality of life improved by 12-26%. Even those who struggle to move can participate in more gentle exercises, such as cycling and hydrotherapy. So next time your physiotherapist gets you exercising, remember, “if you don’t move it, you lose it.”
2. Weight Management
Weight management is an underrated aspect of managing a sore knee joint(s). Being overweight or obese increases the risk of developing knee osteoarthritis and experiencing pain by up to 5 times. For every kilogram in body weight, there is an increase in 4 kilograms of compressive forces through both knees. Additionally, excessive body fat has also recently been associated with increased knee joint inflammation and pain. For most people, changes in diet and increasing physical activity are viable strategies for weight management. Anyone who is overweight and affected by knee joint pain should consider seeking an exercise physiologist for exercise and weight loss advice.
Small but consistent changes in lifestyle can make a substantial positive impact on knee osteoarthritis. Exercise and weight management are proven treatments for improving knee mobility and pain. Additionally, the benefits of turmeric as a supplement that potentially carries anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties has emerged in recent years.
Safe and effective administration of these strategies, exercise and weight management, can be challenging. Frequency. Volume. The how and the what are important to establish once you know the why. Refining these procedures is essential for seeing results. That’s why involving relevant healthcare professionals at the beginning or throughout the process is recommended.
At Move Better for Life, we want to get to the root cause of your knee problems. If you’re struggling with stiffness, pain or reduced mobility, please contact us today. Our team of physiotherapists, exercise physiologists and occupational therapists will tailor a solution for you. For more information, please make a booking here.