Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Knee News

Another good episode of Radio 4's Inside Health:
  • Dr Mark Porter dispels myths about osteoarthritis. It is usually put down to ageing and the result of wear and tear with people told that the condition inevitably leads to surgery. Mark Porter investigates the latest research on the condition and discovers that a third of patients will get better through the natural repair process.

Porter discusses osteoarthritis which is now being considered as a problem of inflammation rather than 'wear and tear'. The general idea amongst doctors and the wider public is that once you succumb to osteoarthritis, things will only get worse and that surgery is inevitable. Pushed further, many would suggest that there is a scenario of bone-on-bone in the affected joint.  This is incorrect!
It is a thinning of the cartilege that causes pain.  It is a whole-joint disease that is subject to a repair process (your body is trying to make it better), hence the inflammatory response.   Furthermore it CAN get better. Research suggests that 1 in 3 people with arthritic knees get better. Another third get no worse.
Muscle strength protects joints. To help yourself in these situations it is recommended to strengthen your muscles which in turn reduces pain, improves function and 'repairs the arthritis'.  (I've been using a similar approach myself to cure a tension in my left hip as you'll see from the routines).

Don't rest your joint, strengthen it!  Work your body.

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