Managing Osteoarthritis.

It can be a long wait for surgery these days. So, if you suffer with intermittent or chronic knee pain, or have mild to severe knee osteoarthritis , you may be on the long waiting list for surgery.

If that’s you, what can you do to manage the pain? Learning how to manage osteoarthritis as best you can while you wait, can be critical.

What is Knee Osteoarthritis? 

More than 8.5 million people in the UK have osteoarthritis (OA) and the knee is one of the most commonly affected joints. There are many treatment options available including physio and several non-pharmaceutical and non-surgical choices. Osteoarthritis is commonly known as “wear-and-tear arthritis,” but did you know that young people get it too? Osteoarthritis, or OA, is the most common type of arthritis; it happens when the body’s natural cushioning, cartilage, wears away between joints. Think of cartilage as a shock absorber for your knees; less cushion results in bone rubbing against bone, and that can cause stiffness, pain, swelling, decreased mobility and bone spurs. OA typically develops slowly and becomes worse over time. There is no cure for OA, but there are many treatments available that can ease the pain and help people to retain or regain their mobility.

Managing Osteoarthritis 

Activities: walking, strength training, swimming, biking, yoga, tai chi and other low-impact activities may help with pain and function of the knee.

Lighten up: a 2007 review found that overweight people who lost a moderate amount of weight had reduced pain and disability from knee OA.

Braces, sleeves and other devices can help reduce pain and stiffness, take weight load off the affected joint and improve confidence and function for those with knee OA.

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS uses electrodes to send a mild current to the affected joint, which can help alleviate pain.

Acupuncture, balneotherapy (soaking in warm mineral springs) or heat or cold therapy may help ease joint pain for some people with knee OA.

Medications can include paracetamol, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), topical NSAIDs, prescription medications, corticosteroid or hyaluronic acid injections and more.

Glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate, some studies have shown, can reduce pain and improve physical function; natural supplements, including avocado, soybean, capsaicin (in chilli peppers) and turmeric, may have anti-inflammatory benefits for some people.

Here at Harris & Ross we work with Donjoy braces, they work by off-loading stress on the joint.
• They are non-invasive and non-pharmaceutical
• They can help you maintain your everyday activities like walking the dog, climbing stairs, gardening or exercising
• They can be used in tandem with other treatment options to manage OA symptoms, increase stability of the knee and reduce pain and swelling
• They can be more cost effective and safer than medications or more invasive surgeries that carry additional risks
• They can help further reduce deterioration of the joint by easing the pressure on the knee

If your surgery has been delayed,  ask your doctor or physiotherapist about bracing. DonJoy pioneered the concept of functional knee bracing more than 40 years ago and offers the most advanced technologies available. Most importantly, knee braces can help people return or continue to live an active lifestyle. No one person with knee OA is treated the same, so it’s important to look at all of the available solutions to find what is right for you. Some people may need a lot of off-loading capabilities, while others need just a slight push and comfort that surrounds the muscles around the knee.

To find out more, book online now or give us a call on 0161 832 9000