Phys­i­cal ther­apy a treat­ment for knee os­teoarthri­tis

The Boyertown Area Times - - LOCAL NEWS - By John R. Mishock, PT, DPT, DC Owner of Mishock Phys­i­cal Ther­apy & As­so­ci­ates

Os­teoarthri­tis (OA) is a com­mon disease of ag­ing fre­quently treated in phys­i­cal ther­apy. Os­teoarthri­tis of the knee joint oc­curs when the car­ti­lage that sep­a­rates the thigh and leg bone wears out or breaks down. Twenty five per­cent of peo­ple over 55 years demon­strate per­sis­tent episodes of knee pain re­lated to OA. In the United States, the in­ci­dence of knee OA is ris­ing due to our ag­ing pop­u­la­tion. The de­vel­op­ment of knee OA can be a re­sult of ad­vanc­ing age, ge­net­ics, trauma, obe­sity, pre­vi­ous knee in­jury and poor bone den­sity. Oc­cu­pa­tions in­volv­ing squat­ting or kneel­ing led to a two-fold in­crease in mod­er­ate to se­vere OA. Sixty-nine per­cent of knee OA can be at­trib­uted to obe­sity. Hav­ing a pre­vi­ous minis­cal surgery (knee surgery of the menis­cus) in­creases the risk of fu­ture knee OA by 2.6 times (Caspian J In­tern Med. 2011).

Com­mon symp­toms of se­vere arthri­tis of the knee joint include: • Swelling of the joint • Knee pain • Bow-legged or knock­kneed de­for­mity • Loss of mo­tion • Feel­ing of the knee “giv­ing-way”

In a re­cent study in the jour­nal Arthri­tis and Rheuma­tol­ogy (Reid et al. 2015), those in­di­vid­u­als with knee OA who had greater leg power in the mus­cles around the knee had sig­nif­i­cantly less knee pain and im­proved qual­ity of life. Power in a given mus­cle is a prod­uct of mus­cle strength and ve­loc­ity of move­ment. The de­vel­op­ment of knee power through a closely mon­i­tored phys­i­cal ther­apy pro­gram may help to re­duce pain, im­prove qual­ity of life and has­ten the need for a to­tal knee joint re­place­ment.

The best ev­i­dence for treat­ment of knee OA in­volves ther­a­peu­tic ex­er­cise and man­ual ther­apy. Ther­a­peu­tic ex­er­cise in­ter­ven­tion helps to ad­dress the strength, power and in­flex­i­bil­ity in the mus­cles around the knees and hips. Man­ual ther­apy in­volves the use of the hands in spe­cific ther­a­peu­tic ways to nor­mal­ize soft tis­sues, in­crease flex­i­bil­ity of tight mus­cles and im­prove dys­func­tional joints. Many pa­tients with knee OA re­spond fa­vor­ably to this type of phys­i­cal ther­apy in­ter­ven­tion.

Our staff would wel­come the op­por­tu­nity to help you de­crease pain, im­prove your func­tion and re­turn you to the high­est qual­ity of life pos­si­ble. We are here to serve you with six con­ve­nient lo­ca­tions in Skip­pack, Gil­bertsville, Barto, Phoenixville, Lim­er­ick and Stowe! For more in­for­ma­tion or to make an ap­point­ment, please call 610-327-2600, email mishockpt@com­cast. net or visit us on­line at www.mishockpt.com.

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