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New evidence in knee pain suggests the benefits of Physiotherapy exercises
Do you have to hold on to the rail when going up or down stairs to avoid painful twinges? Are you troubled by an alarming grating sound in your knee when you get up from a chair? Join the club: knee problems are painfully common, with an estimated one in four adults affected at some point, the majority of them over the age of 50.
The knee is one of the largest and most complex joints in the body, which makes it extremely vulnerable. And all that constant twisting and turning, compounded by the stress of weight gain and inactivity, makes the knee the most common site for osteoarthritis – 18 per cent of over-45s have arthritic knees. But a study last month found that when it comes to arthroscopy, key hole surgery, for middle-aged and older people with persistent knee pain the risks of surgery and blood clots outweighed any benefit in most cases (see below).
So where does this leave you if your knees hurt?
If you visit your GP, you’ll probably be prescribed painkillers and sent home to ‘manage’, or you may be referred to a physiotherapist to learn exercises to keep your knees as strong as possible until invasive surgery, such as knee replacement, becomes inevitable. The best medicine for arthritis is actually to exercise to strengthen the muscles’
Although exercise can be the last thing on your mind if you have chronic pain, specialists are now convinced that building the muscles around the knee could be the best way to slow the worsening of conditions such as osteoarthritis – and really can have a beneficial impact on pain, even if your movement is already limited by the condition.
If you would like help with an exercise programme to help your knee pain, please book with one of our Physiotherapists.