What’s The Best Way To Treat Osteoarthritis Knee Pain?

What’s The Best Way To Treat Osteoarthritis Knee Pain?

Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most common types of arthritis. It is also one of the biggest causes of knee pain. In this article I’ll teach you what exactly osteoarthritis is, and how to reduce the impact of it when leads to knee pain.

First, let’s address the mechanics behind osteoarthritis . Your knee is composed of the bottom of your thigh bone, the upper end of your shinbone, and your kneecap.  Lining each of these surfaces, there is a smooth substance  called the articular cartilage. This cartilage is what allows the bones to move against each other without friction and keeps the joint safe when you bend or straighten your knee.

In between the 2 surfaces of the shin bone and thigh bone there is a piece of tissue the called meniscus which acts as a shock absorber.  It helps evenly share the weight across your knee joint when walking and running. It also works to stabilize your knee when you rotate your leg like you would when pivoting.

When you have Osteoarthritis the cartilage starts to wear away and become less resilient. This process can place cause there to be more stress placed upon the joint, leading to pain and dysfunction in the knee.

Osteoarthritis can affect anyone, but usually starts to impact people in their 50’s in older. This is because the cartilage begins to break down at this time, but also because our muscles begin to weaken, creating less support for our knees. Being overweight (at any age) can also contribute to OA because it places extra stress on your knee joints. 

Common Osteoarthritis knee symptoms people generally tend to experience include:

  • Pain and stiffness in your knee. You will feel this when you wake up in the morning, or after you have been stationary (eg. sitting) for a prolonged time. 
  • Decreased mobility in the knee
  • Pain may be behind the knee-cap, on the outside of the knee or the inside of the knee
  • Knee swelling
  • Thinner muscles above the knee because of weakening in your thigh muscle. This is a major contributor to Knee OA pain

How Treat Osteoarthritis of The Knee

While there is no cure for Osteoarthritis there are things you can do to reduce you pain and improve your function without painkillers.

Physiotherapy is a very effective knee OA treatment. Physiotherapy can help ease the pain, reduce stiffness, and improve the function of your knee, making it easier to walk, bend, squat, sit, and perform your daily activities. The hallmark of a physiotherapy program is exercise. Your physiotherapist will give you exercise to improve the mobility and strength of your knee. They may also guide you through an aerobic exercise program for weight loss.

Physiotherapists may also teach you about appropriate symptom control techniques such as:

Cold therapy to reduce inflammation and swelling in the knee. This can help reduce the pain.

Heat therapy improves blood circulation to the stiff knee joints and muscles around it which can help with stiffness.

Hydrotherapy (a.k.a aquatic therapy) which uses water to reduce osteoarthritis symptoms. Hydrotherapy doesn’t aggravate your joints which allows you to do gentle exercises.

Check out this swipe post to learn more baout Osteoarthritis courtesy of BeActive Physiotherapy and Wellness (Read the caption)

Common Active Treatments that physiotherapist employ include:

Osteoarthritis knee exercises to strengthen the muscles around your knee joint to make it stronger and more stable. This can help decrease the pain associated with OA.

Knee Flexibility exercises – Having OA makes it difficult to move your knee joint and that’s where flexibility exercises come in. They help increase your range of motion, making your knee joint more flexible. This can help restore normal function in your knee.

These two types of exercises combined together help take the strain off of your knee and help manage your symptoms.

Also, a physio may recommend a custom knee brace to reduce stress on the knee.

If your osteoarthritis is giving you problems, why not schedule a free consultation with one of our Physiotherapists near you to see how they could help you. You can do so by clicking the “find a clinic near me” button on this page.

Check out this post from Full Function Rehab & Wellness:

Monster Walks to reduce knee pain courtesy of Kenaston Common Physiotherapy


This appointment is your opportunity to tell us what hurts and discover whether physiotherapy or chiropractic care is a good fit for you! During this session, you will talk with a physiotherapist or chiropractor on a phone call (or online) and create the right care plan specifically for your pain. There is no obligation on this session is to find out whether physiotherapy or chiropractic care can help you getting back to doing the things you love in life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes walking is a low impact exercise that reduces stiffness and improves range of motion.

Being overweight can place extra stress on your knee joint worsening the symptoms.

OA is a progressive condition where cartilage breaks down over time,  causing pain. However, physiotherapy can help slow the progression and reduce your pain.

Medical Disclaimer:

The information presented in this blog post is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, treatment or a diagnosis, consult with a medical professional such as one suggested on this website. The Clinic Accelerator Inc. and the author of this page are not liable for the associated risks of using or acting upon the information contained in this article.

Book Your Free Consult

Or Fill Out This Form & Get A Call Back

By submitting this form you are consenting to receiving appointment reminders, exercise plans, plans of care, and any relevant services from Integra Health Centre and painhero.ca. Your email will never be sold and you can unsubscribe at any time.