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Exercise on GP Referral

Osteoarthritis of the Knee

Osteoarthritis in a degenerative condition that can give rise to:

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Crepitus - a creaking, crunching, grinding sensation when you move the joint
  • Hard swellings
  • Soft swellings

It's interesting to note that the pain and stiffness people feel is often disproportionate to the amount of osteoarthritis in the joint. Meaning that with the correct management, you could have osteoarthritis in the knee with little or no symptoms. Following our management plan could help you go about your daily business without being effected by osteoarthritis in the knee. Here at the Blackberry Clinic, we can offer you the advice and interventions you need to reduce the symptoms and slow the progression of the osteoarthritis.

Exercise and Strength Training
Research shows strength training and exercise significantly improve pain and physical function in knee osteoarthritis (Mariette et al 2011). There are 2 types of exercise that you'll need to do.

Strengthening exercises improve the strength and tone of the muscles that control your knee. They help to stabilise and protect your knee joint, reduce pain, stop your knee giving way and reduce your tendency to fall. An example of a strengthening exercise would be straight-leg raise (sitting). Get into the habit of doing this every time you sit down:

  • Sit well back in the chair with a good posture
  • Straighten and raise one leg
  • Hold for a slow count to 10, then slowly lower your leg
  • Repeat this at least 10 times with each leg. If you find you can do this easily, try the exercise with light weights on your ankles and with your toes pointing towards you.

Aerobic exercises increase your basic fitness, which is good for your general health and can reduce pain and help you sleep better. For example, walking for 20 minutes twice a day. You need to find the right balance between rest and exercise – little and often is usually the best approach.

Manual Therapy
The hands on treatment that your therapist can provide, such as joint mobilization, massage and stretching. Manual therapy has been shown to alleviate the severity of pain, decrease symptoms such as crunching and grinding of the knee and increase mobility compared to a sham treatment (Pollard et al 2008). It has also been proven that manual therapy improved balance and functional strength more than just exercise alone (Ko et al 2009). The combined approach (strength training, exercise and manual therapy). Exercise plus manual therapy improves pain and function more than just exercise alone (Mariette et al 2011).

Podiatry
A recent review has shown that insoles that are used in footwear to correct foot and knee alignment are very helpful for osteoarthritic knees. Pam Haynes, our podiatrist, will be able to assess your feet an provide insoles if they are needed.

Weight Management
There is high quality evidence to say that exercise and weight reduction reduces pain and improved physical function in osteoarthritic knees (Jamtvedt 2008). Matt and the team in the Blackberry Clinic Gym can help you with diet and exercise plans to get you on track to achieve your personal goals.

Acupuncture
Acupuncture
has been shown to improve function and pain relief in osteoarthritis when used along side exercise (Manheimer et al 2006). Most of the practitioners at the Blackberry Clinic use acupuncture in their treatment.

Hyaluronic Acid Injections
Studies show when Hyaluronic Acid is injected in to an osetoarthritic knee there is a significant reduction in pain and stiffness for up to six months after the treatment (Curran 2010). The doctors at the Blackberry Clinic use these injections regularly to help people with painful osteoarthritic knees. Using information from the latest research in to osteoarthritic knees, we put a treatment plan in place that will help you manage your symptoms and slow down the progression of the disease.