WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF OSTEOARTHRITIS YOU START TO FEEL?
# Your knees may hurt while or after you move them.
#Joint may feel tender even when you apply slight pressure on them.
#You may not be able to move your knees full range of motion after being inactive for a period of time.
# you may even feel a grating sensation when you move your knees.
WHAT ARE THE CHANGES IN THE KNEE JOINT IN OSTEOARTHRITIS?
Knee arthritis can make it hard to do daily activities, such as walking or climbing stairs. It is one of the major cause of loss of worktime and serious disability among the people. The cartilage in the knee joint gradually wears away and the protective space between the bone decreases. This results in bone rubbing on bone creating bone spurs. Synovial fluid helps in lubrication and supplies nutrients and oxygen to the cartilage. As a result of the changes occurred, there is a breakdown of its functions resulting in bone damage.
EXERCISES THAT ARE BENEFICIAL IN OSTEOARTHRITIS KNEE
1.QUADRICEPS STRENGTHENING EXERCISES
Quadriceps muscles are the big muscles in front of the thigh. It has a very important role in the stabilization of knee.Lie on the back with the leg straight (The other unaffected leg should be in a flexed position). Keep a small rolled towel under the affected knee and ask the patient to slowly tighten the muscle and push the roll towel downwards. Hold the contractions for 5 to 8 sec and slowly release.
Repeat the same procedure 5 sets of 10 repetitions each.
- SQUATS FOR MUSCLE STRENGTHENING
Squats are very important strengthening exercise for the muscles stabilizing the knee joint.
We first start with smaller modifications and slowly proceed to the difficult level.
Squats help in strengthening hamstring, quadriceps and buttocks.
Stand with the feet shoulder- width apart, feet firm on the ground. slowly bend your knees as if sitting back on chair, remember to keep your back straight. Arms can be raised forward for balance.to increase the difficulty, some weights can be added to each arms.
Repeat the same procedure 4 sets of 10 repetitions each.
3.HAMSTRING STRETCH EXERCISES
Stretching is very important for joint strength. Stretching helps in improving range of motion and makes your joint flexible.
Procedure for hamstring stretch-
# lie on the floor with both your knees bent.
# slowly lift one leg with your hands supporting your thigh from behind, and bring back knee towards your chest.
#Repeat the same process for the other leg.
- STANDING QUADRICEPS STRETCH
Quadriceps are the muscles in the front of your thigh. They play an important role in the stability of the knee. Stretching of quadriceps relieves tension in the knee joints.
# stand with your feet hip distance apart.
#Bend your right knee and hold your right foot with your right hand.
You can use your other hand against the wall or a chair for balance.
# Hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds.
# repeat 8 to 10 times per session.
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WHAT IS THE DIET THAT IS HELPFUL IN ARTHRITIS?
People with osteoarthritis can try adding following items in their diet to relieve their symptoms.
# walnuts, flaxseed oil, sardines are the important source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids have anti inflammatory properties and hence decreases pain in osteoarthritis.
#milk, cheese and yoghurt are rich in calcium and vitamin D. They help in building bone strength and protein helps in increasing muscle mass.
# extra virgin olive oil and fish oil has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties.
# Broccoli has been found to reduce the degenerative changes in osteoarthritis.It has also been found to be rich in vit C and vit K.
# Garlic helps in slowing the process of cartilage degeneration.It contains a compound called Diallyl sulphide which helps in slowing down the degenerative process.
HOW TO COPE UP WITH PAIN AND SUPPORTING THE PATIENT
Lifestyle management is the key to manage pain and disability.
OBESITY is another factor which causes stress and damage to the joint resulting in osteoarthritis.
Proper diet planning should be done to regulate weight gain.
Using knee braces helps in decreasing pain and supporting the joint.
Physiotherapy and occupational therapy helps in improving lifestyle of the patient.
Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs helps in managing pain as prescribed by your physician.
The most important thing you can do is talk to your physiotherapist or doctor about your symptoms and how to deal with it. OA knee could progress and worsen your knee pain with the due course of time. With the right treatment you can maintain your fitness and can increase your quality of life.
AUTHOR- Indira Shivani. G, M.P.T
Author is a physiotherapist with more than 9 years of experience.
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NOTE- THE CONTENT ON PHYSIOHEALS IS NOT RECOMMENDED AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR TREATMENT OR MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR PHYSIOTHERAPIST OR ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN REGARDING TREATMENT AND CONDITIONS.