Knee Ostheoarthritis

Osteoarthritis: Understanding the Enemy of Movement

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide.

As one of the most common forms of arthritis, it can significantly impact your quality of life, especially during movement and physical activity.

What Is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that occurs when the cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones within a joint, breaks down over time. This breakdown can lead to pain, stiffness, and swelling in the affected joints.

Common areas affected by osteoarthritis include the KNEES, HIPS, SPINE, and HANDS.

Causes of Osteoarthritis

While the exact cause of osteoarthritis is not fully understood, several factors can contribute to its development:

  • Age: The risk of developing osteoarthritis increases with age.
  • Genetics: Family history can play a role in the likelihood of developing osteoarthritis.
  • Joint Injuries: Previous joint injuries can increase the risk of osteoarthritis.
  • Obesity: Excess weight places additional stress on weight-bearing joints, such as the knees and hips.
  • Repetitive Stress: Repetitive movements and overuse of joints can lead to wear and tear on cartilage.

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

The symptoms of osteoarthritis include:

  • Joint pain and discomfort
  • Stiffness, especially in the morning or after periods of inactivity
  • Swelling around the affected joints
  • Reduced range of motion and flexibility
  • Grating or crackling sounds when moving the affected joints

Diagnosis of Osteoarthritis

Getting an accurate diagnosis for arthritis is important because different types require different treatments. For diagnosing osteoarthritis, doctors usually look at:

  • Your symptoms: This includes how and when your symptoms began, how they’ve changed, how they impact your life, and what makes them better or worse.
  • Physical examination: Your doctor will check for:
    • Tenderness around the joint.
    • Creaking or grating sounds from the joint (crepitus).
    • Swelling of the joint.
    • Excess fluid in the joint.
    • Limited movement.
    • Joint instability.
    • Weakening or thinning of muscles that support the joint.

Managing Osteoarthritis with Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy plays a crucial role in managing osteoarthritis and improving quality of life. Here’s how physiotherapy can help:

  • Exercise Programs: Tailored exercise programs can help strengthen the muscles around the affected joints, providing better support and stability. These exercises can also improve flexibility and range of motion.
  • Pain Management: Physiotherapists can employ various techniques, such as manual and heat/cold therapy, to help alleviate pain and discomfort.
  • Education: Physiotherapists can guide joint protection strategies and lifestyle modifications to manage osteoarthritis effectively.
  • Assistive Devices: For those with severe osteoarthritis, physiotherapists can recommend assistive devices such as braces or orthotics to help support the affected joints.
  • Posture and Gait Training: Physiotherapists can help improve posture and gait mechanics to reduce stress on the joints.


Osteoarthritis doesn’t have to hinder your ability to live an active life.

With the right management strategies and support from a physiotherapist, individuals with osteoarthritis can maintain mobility and enjoy a better quality of life.

If you are experiencing joint pain or suspect that you have osteoarthritis, reach out to us on any of our social media platforms or call us at (+234 907 301 6015) to determine the best course of action.

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