Arthritis is often thought of as a problem that only affects the more mature population, but one form of arthritis, osteoarthritis of the knee, is a problem for younger, more active people as well. The typical age of onset of osteoarthritis of the knee is 40 to 45. The more active person who participates in activities such as playing ball sports, occupational kneeling/squatting, and cycling is at higher risk of being affected. Having a higher body weight, which can be true of anyone at any age, also leads to earlier onset of arthritis in the knees. And even athletes in their twenties and thirties are more susceptible if they’ve suffered a knee injury or are performing improperly exercises that are demanding on the knees, such as lunges. For those with arthritis of the knees, and other types of arthritis, the earlier one gets the right physiotherapy the better the chance of slowing down and managing the progression of the disease.
Can Physiotherapy Really Help – Long Term?
It can. In one randomised, placebo controlled trial published in the Annals of Internal Medicine (1), people who participated in physiotherapist-designed exercise programs demonstrated greater six-minute walking times after one year, and had fewer knee surgeries. Another study published in the British Medical Journal found that people who were given a physiotherapist-designed home exercise program showed significant improvements in stiffness, muscle strength, physical function, and pain even two years later.(2) People who did their 30 minute home exercise program daily had the best results, but even people who had moderate and low adherence to the program maintained measurable improvements. Therapeutic taping with athletic tape has also been shown to reduce pain in knee arthritis (3).
Whatever your age, don’t let osteoarthritis bring you to your knees. Advanced Physiotherapy offers specialized programs to cover every aspect of treatment: osteoarthritis management; workplace physiotherapy for those who do a lot of heavy lifting and kneeling in their job; sports training geared to maximise performance while preventing injury; and treatment of sports injuries that have already occurred. Let us help keep you active and pain-free.
- Deyle GD, et al. Effectiveness of manual physical therapy and exercise in osteoarthritis of the knee. A randomized, controlled trial. Ann Intern Med February 1, 2000: 132: 173-81.
- Thomas K, et al. Home based exercise programme for knee pain and knee osteoarthritis: randomised controlled trial. BMJ October 5, 2002; 325: 752-5.
- Hinman RS, et al. Efficacy of knee taping in the management of osteoarthritis of the knee: blinded randomized controlled trial. BMJ July 19, 2003; 327: 135-8.