“I have osteoarthritis in my knee but am a fanatical athlete. Running I have to give up, but otherwise, I do everything from strength training to spinning, and daily cycling to lubricate the knee. Lunges are too stressful just like certain yoga exercises. Doctors advised me to do a procedure. But I am not ready for that yet, although the pain comes back more regularly. I am 53 and my weight is fine. Do you have any more tips to improve my knee condition?”
Mark Chen, Physiotherapist:
A number of factors are important in the discomfort caused by osteoarthritis. Of course, the way of stressing the knee is very important and also the amount of rest that the joint gets to recover. Running is an activity that generates enormous impact on the knees. It is therefore not very surprising that you get a lot of problems with that particular choice of sport.
Strength training is indeed a good way to relieve the joint. You describe that lunges are too stressful, does the same apply to squats? If so, are you sure that the technique is correct? A large part of the load on the knees can be reduced by making these kinds of exercises more hip-dominant versus knee-dominant. If you use the hips more, the knees will taxed less. A good trainer can advise you and adjust if necessary.
Another option is so-called ‘open chain’ exercises. Thanks to machines, these exercises can train the muscles without having to carry the whole body weight. A disadvantage is that this way of moving often does not match how you use the knees in daily life (rising from a chair, climbing stairs). We call these exercises “non-functional” but that doesn’t mean they are not valuable.
Nutrition is also important. There is more and more research that shows that a balanced diet has a big effect on the discomfort that arthrosis brings with it. Consume a balanced diet and try to supplement with a multivitamin and possibly glucosamine. In the field of glucosamine, scientific studies are contradictory, but I have seen that a good quality glucosamine supplement can definitely add value.
A final option is an injection with Fermathron (hyaluronic acid). This is a kind of gel that can be injected and acts as a pad. It can both reduce pain and increase mobility and lasts for up to six months
If you’d like some extra help with your knee, make an appointment here!
I hope that helps,