When You Have Knee Arthritis: Physical Therapy to Improve Mobility and Strength

Knee arthritis can be very painful. When the cartilage in your knee begins to wear away because of arthritis, you can end up with bone on bone when you try to walk. If you have pain in your knee, it's important to have this pain assessed as soon as possible. While you won't be able to reverse cartilage loss, you can reduce inflammation within your knee with the right treatment. Cartilage wears away over time because of age, heredity, or inflammation. When you can control the inflammation, you may be able to slow down the progression of cartilage loss in your knee.

Increases of Mobility

When you have pain in your knee, you are very likely to start losing mobility of the joint. Pain will make you favor your healthy knee, causing you to have an uneven gait. Over time, your arthritic knee will prevent you from taking the long walks that you may have enjoyed previously. When you seek treatment with a physical therapist, they will address an uneven gait and help you improve your overall mobility. While you may not feel a huge reduction in pain from physical therapy, you will learn exercises that help your knee move more freely.

Increases of Leg Strength

Your physical therapist will test the strength of both of your legs when you seek treatment for knee arthritis. You may be surprised to learn that you have lost a lot of strength in your arthritic knee, and this will only get worse if you don't do anything about it. The physical therapist will assess your current condition and work with you to build up your muscles once again. You will become stronger and will be less likely to favor your bad knee.

Increases of Knee Pain

If your knee is severely arthritic, you may not benefit from physical therapy. If your knee pain increases from treatment, talk with the physical therapist about your options. While it is good to try physical therapy before most other treatments, it's possible that your knee is too far gone to benefit from rehabilitative therapy. 

If you have knee arthritis and are having pain, it's time to talk with your doctor about your options. When you've been referred to physical therapy, it is important to give the treatment a try. Hopefully you will be able to restore function to your knee and live a more active life once again.