When we think of arthritic knees, we tend to think age related pain, disability and ultimately knee replacement surgery. People often blame past running or loading for causing the arthritis. If only it was so simple! In fact, running for 30 minutes and squatting activities that load knees are helpful because they assist with muscle strength, joint lubrication and reduce inflammation.
X-rays suggest more than 50% of people over 65 have evidence of arthritis. Interestingly, there is strong discordance between arthritic changes on X-ray or MRI and an individual’s pain. This may be why a recent study out of U.S.A. suggests more than 1/3rd of total knee replacements (T.K.R.) are unnecessary. Other studies show 15-30% of people who do have T.K.R.s have little or no functional improvement post-surgery.
There is good research showing Physiotherapy is highly effective in the treatment in many orthopaedic conditions, particularly arthritic knees. Unfortunately, many people are not offered a trial of non-surgical management of knee arthritis and are not aware of the benefits of trialling Physiotherapy for the condition. Unless you try Physiotherapy first you will not know if it could help you.