As we get older, we naturally develop degenerative changes in our joints known as Osteo Arthritis. Such degenerative changes are very common in the knee joint and will develop at very different rates within different individuals.
The arthritic knee classically presents with intermittent "flare ups", where the knee becomes inflamed and painful.
The level of degenerative change in the knee does not seem to correlate with the level of pain experienced by the patient. So, we can often see patients who have had X-rays revealing mild degenerative changes who are really struggling, yet we know that there are patients out there who have significant Arthritis and are living very active lives, with little or no pain.
Whilst we may use various treatments to help reduce pain and inflammation during a flare up of arthritis, our main focus should always be about long term management. Physiotherapy, therefore, often involves educating patients about OA and using exercise/rehabilitation to improve the knee's tolerance of the physical stresses and strains of everyday life.
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