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Joint Pain

Over 3.1 million Australians suffer from arthritis. In the population over 75 years of age, the incidence of arthritis rises to affect 53% of the population. This figure represents significant disability, social impact and financial burden. Figures show that arthritis costs $2.24 billion direct to the Australian health system each year. While there continues to be a large number of joint replacements performed each year, recent research (Paulsen et al. 2011, ANZ Journal of Surgery 81:10) confirms the variable success of such procedures. Such findings emphasise the important role of physiotherapy in the conservative management of knee arthritis.

The increased knee pain due to osteoarthritis is commonly accompanied by weakness in the quadriceps (thigh muscle). The quadriceps becomes inhibited or ‘switches off’ due to knee pain. Your physiotherapist will provide advice and use treatment techniques such as taping, soft tissue releases and joint mobilisation to relieve the pain and associated swelling that frequently accompanies arthritis. In conjunction with these treatments, your physiotherapist can recommend appropriate knee and gluteal strengthening exercise aimed at reducing knee pain, restoring dynamic balance and improving lower limb mechanics.

In order to keep your joints healthy and fit for all our daily activities, consider:

While noisy joints might be unsettling, this noise is not necessarily a sign of a medical problem. Joints often pop and crack, due to pressure and volume changes in the fluid within the joint. But grinding noises or “crepitus” can be a sign of damaged cartilage, which can contribute to changes in the joint surface – osteoarthritis. Some forms of painful crepitus might be helped by physiotherapy to address muscle imbalances.

If you are experiencing joint pain, feel free to contact us for an appointment.

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