Knee Osteoarthritis Treatment
Knee Osteoarthritis Treatment in Bend, OR
Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative condition resulting from inflammation and wear and tear of the cartilage and joint tissues. It is the most common type of osteoarthritis diagnosed. While its prevalence increases with age, it is not always a consequence of age. Genetics, injury history, surgical history, and lifestyle factors may all be causative factors associated with osteoarthritis. Although knee osteoarthritis can be progressive, it is well suited to physical therapy and strengthening treatment that can improve the condition and restore impaired movement.
What are the Most Common Symptoms Associated with Knee Osteoarthritis?
As knee cartilage wears down, it exposes the underlying bone to compressive forces in the joint with movement and activity. Bone without healthy and adequate cartilage is particularly sensitive to repetitive loading. The most common symptom associated with knee osteoarthritis is pain along the knee joint line and limitation with daily activity.
Additional symptoms of knee osteoarthritis that we see in our Bend, OR clinics include:
- Knee stiffness
- Instability or giving way
- Knee pain after prolonged sitting or resting
- Swelling after activity
- Popping, grinding, or cracking of the knee when moving
- Difficulty with squats, kneeling or going downstairs, or walking down hills
Because it is a degenerative disease, it is important to treat knee OA early. The first-line treatments for knee osteoarthritis are patient education and physical therapy.
How Can Knee Osteoarthritis Therapy Help?
Physical therapists are specialists in diagnosing and treating injuries due to abnormal joint wear. During a knee OA assessment, your physical therapist will examine your knee’s range of motion, strength, body mechanics, and tolerance to activity. This information helps them customize your program to your needs and goals.
A foundational part of Alpine’s physical therapy treatment is patient education. Understanding how OA presents for you is essential in facilitating your recovery, as there are times you may need to push exercise, and there are times you may need to scale back and let the joint recover. In addition to supervised exercise, your physical therapist will work with you to develop a customized home exercise program based on your unique needs. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends home and supervised exercise for treating knee osteoarthritis.
Physical therapy treatment for knee OA may include:
- Range of motion exercises
- Muscle strengthening
- Body mechanics training
- Soft tissue massage therapy
- Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM)
- Kinesiology taping or bracing
- Activity and Load management guidelines
Proactive strengthening can reduce discomfort and improve your ability. However, end-stage OA can lead to surgical replacement of the joint. If surgery is needed, Alpine offers both “prehab” sessions (usually 1 or 2 visits) to prepare you for surgery and post-operative treatment to ensure a successful long-term outcome. Our hour-long treatments, as well as consistent one on one care with the PT only, are particularly effective in shorter postoperative rehabilitation times.
Ready to Get Started? Here’s How to Find a Knee Osteoarthritis Therapist in Bend, OR
Knee OA is a degenerative condition that can affect your movement and quality of life. If you find yourself experiencing pain in the knee, schedule an appointment with a physical therapist. The sooner your knee is evaluated, the sooner you can begin to feel better due to improved mobility and strength. In addition, early intervention results in fewer visits to the PT and a speedier recovery. A referral is not required to receive a PT evaluation in Oregon. However, if subsequent care is needed, we will work with you to get any referrals required for future appointments.
At Alpine, our PTs come from a wide range of backgrounds and specialties. If you want knee osteoarthritis treatment in Bend, OR, look no further. We have a team of highly skilled physical therapists who would love to assist you in your recovery.