It’s a myth to think knee osteoarthritis can’t be improved, according to the organiser of two Border workshops on the subject.
Wodonga physiotherapist Nathan Mobbs said some people assumed the worst once given a diagnosis.
“They automatically think, ‘Well, there’s nothing I can do, I just have to live with it and one day maybe I need a knee replacement’,” he said.
“Really what we’re learning now is that’s definitely not the case.
“The patients who take an active approach in taking care of their own joints and taking care of their own needs can often avoid having a knee replacement or delay it.”
Osteoarthritis is described as a degenerative, wear-and-tear type of arthritis that occurs most often in people 50 years and older.
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“Although loss of cartilage is a primary feature of osteoarthritis, the whole joint is affected, including the supporting soft tissue (joint capsule and ligaments) as well as the muscles that move and support the joint,” Mr Mobbs, the owner of Personal Best Physiotherapy, said.
He will lead free workshops on September 8 and 22 that explore common causes of knee pain and the treatments available.
“Our population is ageing and knee pain tends to be more common as we get older, so that means if people are wanting to stay active and do things like walking or sport they need their knees to work,” he said.
“Nonsurgical treatment typically involves physiotherapy, reducing body weight when necessary, footwear and insoles and talking to your doctor about options for pain relief.”
In October Mr Mobbs and fellow physiotherapist Natasha Russell plan to start an exercise class for people with osteoarthritis based on a Danish program, GLA:D – Good Life With Arthritis Denmark.
GLA:D Australia offers training courses for healthcare professionals, with clinics in Albury and Corryong among those certified to provide this system.
Mr Mobbs said the exercise class would cater for participants of varying abilities.
“Realising that you can change things about the way your knee works, like your muscle strength, your knee movement, by doing that, people can actually get a reduction in pain,” he said.
Ring (02) 6056 6616 to register for the workshops.
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