OSTEOARTHRITIS CARE PLAN

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written by Matthew Henderson, Physical Therapist

PRIMARY STRATEGY

The key to managing osteoarthritis is movement. Too LITTLE movement weakens the knee, leading to more pain. To MUCH movement exacerbates the arthritis, also leading to more pain.

You have to walk the line. 

MEASURED MOVEMENT

Keep the knee moving, but take it easy with activities that exacerbate your pain (running, squats etc.) This will allow the inflammation to settle down. 

ICE VS HEAT
If you notice swelling, go with ice instead of hot packs (instructions on exercise link below.)

 

EXERCISE
Also begin a targeted osteoarthritis exercise program. For best results, make sure you address both strength and flexibility. Luckily you don't have to figure out which exercises to perform, our PT's have done it for you! Just select the exercise option below.

 

RECOMMENDED

Cycling and swimming are particularly good movement activities for knee arthritis due their non-weightbearing nature. 

FREQUENCY
Try to do your exercises a few times a day. You can cycle down as the pain diminishes.

WHAT TO EXPECT
These strategies should lead to noticeable improvement within a few days. 

BACK TO ACTION
Once the pain eases, slowly return to your normal activities. Let pain be your guide. If it hurts, back off!

 

NOT IMPROVING FAST ENOUGH
Check back in and I'll connect you with a licensed physical therapist in your area.

BRIGHT SIDE

Always look on the bright side - you've got knees! Physiobot can only dream. ;)  #knees4physiobot

 

-- Check with your doctor or local physical therapist prior to initiating a new exercise program --

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#1

Quadriceps Stretch

The quadriceps are located on the front of your thigh. When tight they add strain to the knee joint, particularly the meniscus and kneecap.

#2

Hamstrings Stretch

The hamstrings are located on the back of your knee(s). Tight hamstrings place excessive strain on the knee joint as a whole, increasing meniscal pain and irritation.

Short arc quads

#3

Short Arc Quads

This exercise targets the end range of knee extension strength. This range often weakens following a knee injury, leading to knee buckling and pain.

#4

Quadriceps Strength

The quadriceps are some of the most important functional muscles in the body. When weak, pain and instability in the knee often occurs.

#5

Gluteus Medius

The gluteus medius is located on the outer hip. It may seem strange to target the outer hips for knee pain, but research shows strengthening this region is key to reducing meniscal pain.

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Physiobot is a product of Physiobot Inc

© 2019 by Physiobot Inc.

Physiobot® does not offer medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Physiobot is not a replacement for a physical therapist or doctor. Please consult with your physical therapist or doctor if you have any questions about your symptoms and/or prior to initiating a new exercise program.

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