Knee Osteoarthritis and you.

At The Melbourne Sports Medicine Centre we are continually looking for new and more effective ways to treat people with knee pain using appropriate exercise therapy. A common case of knee pain, especially in the mature population, is osteoarthritis. We are currently seeking volunteers to be involved in a study that is looking at some biomechanical issues related to exercise in people with an osteoarthritic knee.

Osteoarthritis is the most common musculoskeletal disorder affecting Australians, the leading cause of pain and disability in the community, and the main condition leading to joint replacement surgery. A number of modifiable factors, including quadriceps strength and dynamic control of motion at the knee joint contribute to both the onset and progression of osteoarthritis of the knee.  Actually, it’s only the minority of people who require a joint replacement and most people can improve with an exercise program.

 Exercise therapy is universally recommended for patients with knee osteoarthritis as it has been determined that it improves pain levels and overall function. In order to be effective, therapy must be individualized and based on a thorough assessment. Clinical guidelines strongly recommend that people with knee osteoarthritis participate in cardiovascular, resistance land based and/or aquatic exercise.

Often people with knee pain enjoy exercising in water – which can be more comfortable on the joints than exercising on land - as a result knee movement improves along with the strength of related muscles.  But more needs to be known about the how the body actually responds to functional exercises in water compared to on land.

Our Physiotherapist, Sophie Heywood, is completing her PhD in the biomechanics of rehabilitation exercises for people with knee osteoarthritis. Sophie is undertaking novel clinical research comparing the forces and muscle activity involved in aquatic and land based functional exercise in people with knee pain and osteoarthritis.

Currently Sophie and her research team are recruiting volunteers for clinical testing for 3 hours at St Vincent’s Hospital in Fitzroy. Volunteers need to be over 60 years of age, have knee pain with daily activities but no other back, hip or ankle pain.

Primarily those involved in the study would contribute to our pool of scientific knowledge in this field. Rather than receiving a direct benefit, the study’s volunteers receive some limited education about exercise, knee osteoarthritis and their movement patterns.

If you have an interest in being involved in this research (and fit the above criteria and can be tested in March or April) Sophie would greatly appreciate your participation. Sophie can be contacted here at The Melbourne Sports Medicine Centre.  Also you can also view a video here which gives an overview of the study and shows what’s involved in the clinical testing.

Our physiotherapists at The Melbourne Sports Medicine Centre are well placed to help you explore the potential benefits of exercise for your or knee pain and osteoarthritis.  To arrange an appointment please phone 9650 9372 or book online.