Knee OA

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Knee Osteoarthritis and Physical Therapy First:

Osteoarthritis or OA (degeneration of the cartilage and bone) is the most common joint disorder in the United States. The incidence of knee OA has increased due to aging and obesity in the general population. Knee OA affects approximately 19% of Americans aged 45 or older. Common symptoms include knee pain, stiffness, swelling, tenderness, weakness, and grating or grinding sensation. According to the American Physical Therapy Association, seeking out Physical Therapy as the first form of treatment for knee OA creates better functional outcomes as well as monetary savings..

Ideas to prevent knee OA: 

  1. Maintain a healthy weight. Added weight creates extra stress on the knees. It is estimated that for every 1 pound, an extra 3 pounds is placed on the knees according to a study done by the Journal of Engineering in Medicine.  
  1. Be Active. Gaining and maintaining strength in the muscles surrounding the knee will help to keep it stable and strong. Easiest forms of low weight bearing cardiovascular exercise include swimming (or any form of water exercise), cycling, or walking.  
  1. Stretch Often. Keeping the muscles and tissues around the knee flexible will continue to allow nutrients into the joint. It is important to work through the entire range of motion as often as possible.  
  1. Avoid injuries. Once there has been trauma or injury to a joint, it can lead to early deterioration. Be aware of your body to avoid injury if able. Warm up prior to any type of workout or physical activity.  

At Home Exercises: 

Knee Flexion/Extension: Sit on the edge of a chair, slowly bend, and straighten your knee. Only work within a pain-free range of motion. 

knee extension exercise2

Mini Squats: Begin in a standing upright position with your feet positioned a little wider than your shoulders. Bend your hips and knees into a mini-squat. Only bend as far as you can without making the front of your knee hurt. 

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