Knee Osteoarthritis: Myths vs Facts.

 

Knee osteoarthritis affects 80% of the population. It is a debilitating condition and thus should be addressed as soon as possible. If ignored, it can leave you dependent functionally for all the basic necessities.

What is Osteoarthritis?

OA is not a disease but a degeneration of a cartilage (which is a cushion like structure present between two bones) due to overuse. The cartilage tends to wear off causing the bones to rub against each other leading to inflammation, swelling, pain, and loss of motion and function.

If you are above 50 years old, having trouble with climbing stairs or getting off the floor or even walking, then there are bright chances your knees have started wearing off.

DO NOT PANIC!!!!!!

Science has solution for everything.

Apparently, there was a big havoc recently, to undergo knee arthroscopic surgery in order to get rid of knee Arthritic pain. But GUESS WHAT, recent research has successfully proven that undergoing knee surgery Vs. Physiotherapy management, the progress is the same. So Thank GOD to research, your knee does not have to undergo a surgery now.

Bad NEWS!!!!

There is no treatment for this condition as it is not a disease, it is a normal change what our body goes through due to overuse and age.

SO, does that mean that your pain is going to get worse and you may never be able to go for hiking or walk around with your friends or play with your grandkids???

ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!! Remember, Science has progressed and we can find a solution for everything.

Here’s the GOOD NEWS!!!

Though we cannot treat the condition or stop the degeneration; there are two things we can do 1) slow down the progression and 2) treat the symptoms so that you can get back to your life without any discomfort.

Here’s how you can do it:

  1. There are 9 Do’s and Don’ts which are mentioned in the previous blog (DO’s and Dont’s for Managing Knee Arthritis Pain – EndoRush Physiotherapy app –)
  2. Consult a Physiotherapist immediately, as they are the best professional who can thoroughly assess you and find the issue. As your pain is not because of degeneration, it is mainly due to the inflammation around the knee and weakness. The physiotherapist will provide you with customize exercise therapy and various other treatment options
  3. Use the Knee support or brace. Let’s talk more about brace as I am pretty sure you may have loads of questions about the same.

What are Knee Braces?

During Knee OA, there is a tremendous increase in knee joint pressure due to cartilage wearing, swelling and surrounding muscles not working appropriately. A knee brace basically can relieve the pressure on the joint and help alleviate the pain. They are designed to offer support in a flexible way that takes the weight off your kneecaps and evenly distribute it as you walk or run without pain and with confidence.

Now the tricky question is which knee brace to wear?

There are 100s of knee braces in the market (of course it is a business), so how will you know which is the best one for you. Let me guide you with that.

There are three styles of braces that can be worn by people who suffer from osteoarthritis: basic, compression and unloader. Each provides a different level of support.

  1. Basic knee braces/sleeves: if you have mild pain mainly during any activity or movement then this is the brace for you. they will help to reduce pain and swelling while still offering support to your joint.
  2. Compression sleeves/advanced braces: If your pain is moderate (that is within a range of 4–6/10 on a scale of 0–10) then this is the perfect brace for you. Compression sleeves are generally worn during a workout to keep the joints warm and hold the knee in its proper place.
  3. Unloader braces: If your pain is severe (that is 6–8/10on pain scale of 0–10) then you want to go for this brace. Unloader braces provide advanced support by reducing the weight on the knees by slightly angling the knee joint. These braces contain special hinges that allow the weight to be redistributed to the strongest parts of the joints. Unloader braces work on all types of osteoarthritis since they are able to provide knee support while taking the bulk of your body weight off the weakest part of the joints and redistributing it to where the joints can handle it.
  4. Custom made brace: If still confused, go to a physiotherapist who will guide you through the process and if help you with a custom-made brace depending on your condition, body type, and activities.

Conclusion:

  1. Knee OA is a degenerative condition which can be managed with physiotherapy and various other precaution
  2. Visit a Physiotherapist, get yourself assessed and treated.

Dr. Mansi Parikh,

Co-Founder of EndoRush App.

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