Hi, my name is Emma and I am a chiropractor working at Lushington Chiropractic Clinic in Eastbourne. As a chiropractor, I often see patients that are suffering with knee pain or have been diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis. After talking to patients, I realised there are some common misconceptions surrounding knee osteoarthritis. So, I decided to address five myths that patients in Eastbourne commonly ask me about knee OA.
First of all – what is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a common type of arthritis caused by degeneration or ‘wear and tear’ of the joints. There are many factors that may increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis, from ageing to overuse to obesity. Symptoms vary greatly from person to person and the most important thing for patients to know is how to manage their symptoms. In order to help you with this, here are five myths that you should be aware of!
1) The only fix is surgery
This is not true! There are lots of non-surgical options to help manage symptoms of knee osteoarthritis. As chiropractors in Eastbourne, we regularly help patients with joint pains by using a range of treatment and exercise techniques in order to keep you moving.
2) Exercising is dangerous
This is not true! In fact, it is actually the opposite. Exercise is actually recommended as a core treatment for osteoarthritis regardless of the severity of symptoms and the age of the patient. You may find that weight-bearing activities do aggravate your symptoms, but non-weight-bearing activities such as cycling or swimming are great because they keep the joints moving. So, why not go for a cycle along the coast in Eastbourne, or make the most of the warm weather and go for a swim in the sea! Muscle strengthening exercises are also good to help strengthen the joints, but vary from patient to patient. Your chiropractor would be able to give you some help and advice with these.
3) Rest is good for me
Similar to the second point, although resting may make you feel better, long periods of rest can cause the joints to stiffen up. This means it is important to keep moving regularly and try not to sit for long periods.
4) I have to live with my symptoms of osteoarthritis
Again, this is not true! Although we cannot ‘undo’ the ‘wear and tear’ of the joints, there is plenty that you can do to help manage your symptoms. Whether that be some gentle aerobic exercise to keep the joints moving, or some more specific exercises to strengthen the muscles surrounding the joint. Treatment from a chiropractor can also help to keep the joint and surrounding joints mobile. The more you can keep moving, the better you will feel!
5) I’ve got severe osteoarthritis on x-ray which means I’m in a lot of pain and discomfort
This is not always true and is a common misconception. It is important to understand that the severity of osteoarthritis symptoms varies greatly from person to person. Some patients may have mild signs of osteoarthritis on x-ray but suffer from lots of pain and discomfort, whilst other patients may have signs of severe osteoarthritis on x-ray but not experience any symptoms at all! As a chiropractor in Eastbourne, I have experienced this first-hand and understand that everybody is different. As all patients lead different lifestyles and have different goals, it is important to understand that each case should be managed depending on the needs of the patient.
I hope this de-bunks some of the myths surrounding knee osteoarthritis and gives some useful tips from a chiropractor for managing the condition. Are you local to Eastbourne and struggling with joint aches and pains? If you have any questions or think a chiropractor in Eastbourne may be able to help you, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Lushington Chiropractic Clinic, Eastbourne and I’d be happy to help you.
By Emma Johnson
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