Date Published: Aug 08, 2023


Keeping the affected lower limb and knee strong and mobile has been demonstrated to decrease knee pain, and enables the patient to exercise and maintain body weight goals which, in turn, off-loads the affected joint.

In one significant review of eight studies, researchers found that strength training programs reduced participants’ pain by 35% and increased their knee strength and function by 33% compared to those that did not participate.

Exercise is also proven to assist in the prevention of other chronic disease and with social and psychological health.


Knee pain that arises from the medial, lateral and patellofemoral joint regions will often cause a barrier to movement by inhibiting muscle activation around the knee. This generates a disuse cycle which further compounds and increases OA symptoms.

Physiotherapists who specialise in musculoskeletal therapy will use a range of therapeutic techniques, tools and exercise programs. These help increase the knee’s range of motion, strengthen surrounding muscle groups and improve alignment and movement. They can supervise you as you engage in a customised and graded exercise program, which you can then implement in your own environment and living situation.

The use of manual therapy, massage, hydrotherapy, bracing, taping and non-impact cardio have been shown to benefit the knee OA patient. Depending on the severity of symptoms, some or all of these modalities can be introduced at the appropriate time.

For improving the cardiovascular fitness of the knee OA patient, non-impact techniques are the best means of establishing baseline fitness without compounding the affected knee joint. The use of a stationary upright/recumbent bike, X-Trainer, Alter G treadmill (Anti-gravity) and hydrotherapy have all been shown to be effective.

Be Aware

Throughout treatment and exercise periods, the patient needs to be aware of the primary signs and symptoms of knee OA:

Patients can also experience:

Any activity that aggravates the patient’s knee OA symptoms needs to be ceased and modified in consultation with the physiotherapist, so as to not interrupt the physical therapy program.

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Mahima Kalra
Aug 08, 2023

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