The knee joints support an individual’s entire body weight as we move around doing our daily chores. In fact, they are subject to intense forces when we run, climb stairs, or perform other strenuous motions.
It’s estimated that roughly 75% of all people over the age of 60 will experience arthritis in one joint or another, and doctors believe that being very overweight can increase your odds.
In technical terms, osteoarthritis is characterized as “pain, stiffness, limited range of motion, and mechanical irregularities of the affected joint.”
So what does a knee joint with arthritis look like? Picture this: a healthy joint is (from the inside) smooth and wet, with cartilage that easily ‘soaks up’ fluid and nutrients to allow easy movement of the joint with little to no friction.
An osteoarthritic joint, on the other hand, has trouble absorbing the necessary fluids, so it begins to ‘dry out’, leading to cracks on the surface. When this roughened cartilage connects with other cracked, dry cartilage, the result is like sandpaper grinding against sandpaper.
Low-impact exercises within the limits of pain (walking, bicycling and aquatic exercises) are typically best. As exercise and injury prevention specialists here at Somerset Family Physical Therapy in Somerset, NJ, we will evaluate you to determine exactly what frequency, intensity, and duration of exercise (‘core components’) is best for you.