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Osteoarthritis Of Knee – the most common chronic condition that affects many older Canadians.

BLOG 1: Osteoarthritis of Knee – the most common chronic condition that affects many older Canadians. 

What is Knee Osteoarthritis (OA)?
Osteoarthritis is a type of degenerative arthritis often referred as a “wear and tear” condition. It occurs when the cartilage within the joint slowly wears away due to injury, overuse, and/or metabolic factors. Osteoarthritis occurs most commonly in the knee joint and is often seen in people 50 years of age or older.

What are Knee OA Signs and Symptoms?
There are many common symptoms associated with osteoarthritis of the knee, including:
Knee pain that’s located within the joint
Morning stiffness that lasts less than 30 minutes
Tenderness when the knee is touched
Cracking/popping noises in the knee with movement, which is called “crepitus”
Decreased knee range of motion

Knee pain is usually described as a constant or intermittent dull ache that may increase when weight bearing through the knee. The pain can cause limitations to certain functions such as walking, standing for prolonged periods of time, and running.

Fact or Myth: Does Weather Impacts Pain in OA?
Many people believe that certain weather conditions such as cold temperatures and humidity can worsen the pain experienced by knee osteoarthritis. However, this is only a myth! According to research, changes in weather conditions do not influence the risk of pain exacerbation in those with knee osteoarthritis.

How can Physiotherapy Help?
Pain management: Physiotherapists can administer pain-reliving modalities such as ultrasound and IFC
Exercises: Physiotherapy can help determine which muscles are contributing to your knee pain/dysfunction and help you with stretching, range of motion, strength and balance
Protection: Physiotherapists can fit you for appropriate braces and gait aids if your pain and dysfunction is continuing to impact your daily life

References:
Zhang W, Doherty M, Peat G et al. EULAR evidence-based recommendations for the diagnosis of knee osteoarthritis. Ann Rheum Dis 2010;69:483–489.
Altman RE et al. Development of Criteria for the Classification and Reporting of Osteoarthritis. Classification of Osteoarthritis of the Knee.
Ferreira ML, Zhang Y, Metcalf B, Makovey J, Bennell KL, March L, et al. The influence of weather on the risk of pain exacerbation in patients with knee osteoarthritis – a case-crossover study. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 2016;24(12):2042-2047.

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