Are Your Knees Getting Bigger?

C o mm o t i o n The Newsletter About Your Health And Caring For Your Body The Back in Motion

ARE YOUR KNEES GETTING BIGGER? A TELLTALE SYMPTOM OF ARTHRITIS

Have you noticed in recent years that your knees seem to be getting bigger? Is this correlated withmore popping, grinding or even pain when you bend, squat or kneel? This can be a sign of advancing stages of arthritis. The knees have twomain fat pads, which reside just above and below the kneecap. These help to cushion the knee and assist with lubricating fluid flow around the joint. With arthritis, inflammation in the joint causes the fat pads to gradually thicken, choking the joint fluid flow. This leads to a vicious cycle of decreased lubrication, more wear, pain, and swelling. Will I need surgery for my knees? The good news is that recent studies show 60-70% of knee osteoarthritis patients can avoid surgery by getting PT first (1). In fact, surgery should always be considered as a last resort after conservative measures have been tried. Furthermore, physical therapy is actually 40 times less expensive than a total joint replacement! (2 ) Improve your joint lubrication A physical therapist can actually help the lubrication in your joints through improved joint motion, strength, balance and coordination. The better lubricated your knee joints, the less friction and wear occur, reducing inflammation and pain. During knee treatments, our therapists work to improve your patella (kneecap) and joint mobility. This improves the mobility of the tissue around the joint, especially the fat pads. This in turn, leads to improved blood flow, joint lubrication and decreased swelling. The result is fast pain relief, improvedmotion, strength, and abilities to do physical activities. Walking, bending, jumping and squatting can then be done without pain. Put your knees on the right path to health with a visit to your physical therapist. If your knees are feeling tight, stiff, weak, or are just starting to bother you, come see us, before it becomes a REAL problem. Call us today and talk to your physical therapist about your knees.

(1). Katz JN, Brophy RH, Chaisson CE, et al. Surgery versus physical therapy for a meniscal tear and osteoarthritis. N Engl J Med. 2013 (2). http://www.healthline.com/health/total-knee- replacement-surgery/understanding-costs#1

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