Here at Thorpes Physiotherapy, we see a lot of patients with arthritis, especially in their knees and hips. More specifically, osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is something that most people have heard of, but despite the fact that it is pretty common, not everyone has a good understanding of what it is. If you want a detailed anatomical summary of osteoarthritis, then you may want to click here to see one of our previous blog posts. But that is not what I wanted to talk about right now.

There are lots of misconceptions about what osteoarthritis is and what can be done about it. Because of this, I wanted to address a few of the biggest misconceptions that my patients have brought up over the years.

OMG, it’s arthritis!!!
Whenever I mention arthritis to patients, they often have a very shocked look on their faces. It seems that patients perceive arthritis to be the boogeymen of the knee. Yes, it is a degenerative condition, but it is also a natural part of the aging process. When we see someone with grey hair, we don’t call it “degenerative hair disease” but that is essentially what is happening. Our bodies change over time but that doesn’t mean that we need to be afraid of it. It is something that can be treated and managed.

I have arthritis in my knee… so I need a knee replacement.
This is often the main concern. People feel that being diagnosed with arthritis means that it is just a matter of time until they need a knee replacement. While some patients inevitably do go on to have a knee replacement, not everyone requires a knee replacement. If everyone with arthritic knees needed a knee replacement, there wouldn’t be many people over the age of 70 with biological knees left.

Another thing to consider is what I said at the beginning of this blog. We see a lot of people with arthritic hips and knees. We are the ones to see them for a reason. Physiotherapy treatment is a very effective tool for improving or getting rid of arthritic pains. The results that we see on a daily basis show just how effective we can be in influencing the symptoms associated with osteoarthritis.

Arthritis is wear and tear… so I need to stop moving to stop it wearing out faster
Because osteoarthritis often gets labelled as “wear and tear”. This is true at face value but as with most things, its a bit more complicated than that. However, calling it wear and tear leads most people think the solution is to gradually do less and less physical activity. While this sounds like a good solution in theory, it’s not a good idea.

One of the most effective methods of maintaining the health of your joints is to keep moving. Our joints are self-lubricating so movement is good for them. Also, exercise has been shown to be one of the most effective forms of treatment for osteoarthritis. It was previously thought that running was a major risk factor for osteoarthritis of the knee. We now know that runners actually have lower levels of knee osteoarthritis than more sedentary population.

You don’t have to be a runner to keep your joints healthy. If you are following the World Health Organization’s activity guidelines of 150 minutes a week of moderate physical activity with 2 sessions a week of strength building exercises, you are very likely doing a good job of looking after your joints.

At the end of the day, osteoarthritis is a complex condition that can be treated and managed well. If you or anyone that you know are suffering with osteoarthritis, please don’t hesitate to contact us to arrange an appointment.

If you would like more information about our services, please call the clinic on 01276 37670. If you would like to book a session then this can also be done online by clicking the image below.

If you are not sure if Physiotherapy is right for you then why not book a FREE Discovery visit with one of Physiotherapists by clicking here

 

Thanks for reading

Dom Walcott (BSc MCSP SRP)

Clinical Lead at Thorpes Physiotherapy