Knee Osteoarthritis: Do I need an operation?

This month we’re joined on the Gym Plus blog by guest contributor Eoin Naughton, Managing Director and Principal Therapist at Peak Physio who shares his expert insights on dealing with the knee pain associated with osteoarthritis.

What is osteoarthritis & do I need an operation?

Osteoarthritis, commonly known as wear-and-tear, is a condition in which the natural cushioning between joints & cartilage becomes worn. When this happens, the bones of the joints rub more closely against one another with less of the shock-absorbing benefits of cartilage. The rubbing results in pain, swelling, stiffness, decreased mobility and, sometimes, the formation of bone spurs.

As with all conditions, it is always important to have exhausted conservative means of treatment before opting for a surgical remedy, in many cases losing weight and developing strength can be more effective at reducing long term knee pain than opting for surgery. When conservative measures fail and pain is becoming more uncontrolled, this is often when surgery becomes necessary. But before you make that big decision, always make sure you come to chat with a physiotherapist first.

Unloaded exercise

Often exercising with knee pain can be difficult due to symptoms becoming irritated. Swimming or cycling can help, as there is reduced load through the joint. These types of exercise will reduce pain, improve muscle strength, mobilise the joint and can help facilitate weight loss.

What physiotherapy can do to help?

Physiotherapy is recognised as one of the most effective ways to improve the symptoms associated with osteoarthritis of the knee. There is a wide range of exercises and techniques that can help such as the following:

1. Strengthening

Developing strength in the muscles of the thigh (quadriceps, hamstrings and gluteals) helps to reduce the force through the joint and as a result can help to reduce pain.

2. Mobility exercises

Regularly stretching the joint through its range of movement promotes the production of synovial fluid within the joint, to allow smooth movement. Pain relief: Acupuncture/ Dry Needling is recognised to promote the release of naturally existing analgesic and anti-inflammatory chemicals.

3. Weight loss

Reducing body weight by 10% can be seen to improve pain symptoms by 60% alone. Losing 10 pounds of weight reduces the load through the knee by 40 pounds.


What should I do next?

Contact us today for a full assessment and expert advice. Peak Physio is a Chartered Physiotherapy, Sports Injuries & Pilates Clinic. They are located on-site in Gym Plus in Ballsbridge, Clarendon St. and Rathfarnham. Their ethos is to bring you from Pain to Performance, they look to achieve this by using the latest in medical research & technology together with a friendly hands-on approach. This ensures the best results in reducing pain, increasing function and improving performance.

Members of Gym Plus Ballsbridge, Clarendon Street and Rathfarnham can avail of the following special offers at Peak Physio until January 2020:

1. 10% off a Full Biomechanical Screen

2. Free 15 minute Postural Analysis

To book call us on 016670111 and quote ‘Gym Plus’ or email


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