Osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee is a medical condition associated with degeneration of the cartilage and meniscus within the knee joint. It is a condition that affects the medial (inside) compartment of the knee joint more than the lateral compartment and comes with a deep and sometimes sharp pain within the joint itself. OA pain in the knee often increases during deeper knee bend activities such as squats and going up or down stairs. It is most commonly found in people over the age of 55 and symptoms can be seen in people much younger.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease and cannot be reversed. There are many conservative care options that can be used to control the speed at which it advances and to manage the pain caused by OA. Here are some of the top conservative care options for knee OA:
Unloading Bracing: an unloading brace works by applying pressure on the unaffected side of the knee to reduce the compression in the arthritic side.
Supportive Compression Bracing: a compression style brace with medial and lateral hinges can help to provide general stabilization to the knee joint as well as improving circulation in the joint. Improved circulation can help reduce swelling and inflammation and improve comfort.
Orthotics and wedging: the mechanics of the feet can have a large effect on the function at the knee joint. Custom foot orthotics and wedging can control abnormal forces that are originating at the feet.
Footwear: footwear is our primary contact with the ground and wearing footwear with appropriate cushioning and foot support will relieve stresses in the knee joint.
Always consult with your doctor if you are experiencing knee pain as it is important to confirm a diagnosis before seeking conservative treatments.