YOUR OSTEOARTHRITIS CARE GUIDE
Physiobot. Joint pain questions, meet answer.
Additional information on Knee Osteoarthritis is available here.
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.
Much like Johnny Cash - you have to walk the line.
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. A consistent walking program is highly recommended. Avoid periods of prolonged inactivity/sitting as much as possible to keep the knee from stiffening up.
ICE VS HEAT
If you notice swelling, go with ice instead of hot packs. However, for many individuals dealing with chronic osteoarthritis pain, heat seems to work best.
Begin a targeted osteoarthritis exercise program. For best results, make sure you address both strength and flexibility. Perform your exercises at least two times a day when possible for best results.
Cycling and swimming are particularly good movement activities for knee arthritis due their non-weight-bearing nature. Once again, the key is consistency.
Try to do your exercises a few times a day. You can cycle down as the pain diminishes. But to be clear - osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition and will require long-term management using the strategies listed in this care guide.
WHAT TO EXPECT
These strategies should lead to noticeable improvement within a 3-5 days.
The evidence on knee braces is mixed and should not replace exercises. That said, many individuals report significant pain relief and a perception of increased support around the knee when utilizing a knee brace. For additional guidance, please view our Best Knee Braces of 2022 Guide.
NOT IMPROVING FAST ENOUGH?
Connecting with a joint care professional is the logical next step. Many individuals find this a bit daunting and delay care. But it is important to keep in mind that the earlier treatment is initiated the more likely you are to experience a fast and full recovery.
To review your Physical Therapy options, check out our PT Resource Guide. To find a clinician who accepts your insurance, you can launch our Physiobot Care Access Specialist. Telehealth care available.
-- Check with your doctor or local physical therapist prior to initiating a new exercise program --