Living with Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis affects 40% of the adult population but only 10% seek medical advice. It is a misconception that osteoarthritis affects only the elderly population. It is more common in women and people aged over 40, however there is a rising trend in the younger, increasingly active population.

What causes knee osteoarthritis?

The knee is made up of 3 compartments, medial (inside), lateral (outside) and patellofemoral (between knee cap and thighbone). The meniscus, articular cartilage and ligaments work together to provide stability while the synovial membrane lubricates the cartilage reducing friction in a healthy knee. An injury or disorder in any of these components can result in pain, weakness and decreased function.

‘Wear and tear’ The cartilage that serves as a cushion softens and wears away.

Rheumatoid arthritis.The synovial membrane surrounding the joint becomes inflamed.

Post-traumatic arthritis. Fractures of bones around the knee or ligament tears damage the cartilage over time.


  • Joint pain and stiffness after prolonged use or a period of inactivity.

  • Knees may become bent and bowed.

  • Bony lumps forming around the joint.

  • Redness, warmth and swelling around the joint.

  • Everyday activities become restricted.


Early causes of osteoarthritis can be treated with:

  • Lifestyle modification such as weight loss and smoking.

  • Physiotherapy and exercise to improve muscle strength and flexibility.

  • Medication such as painkillers or glucosamine.

  • Anti-inflammatory injection.

Surgery is offered for severe cases when conservative treatments are not helpful.

In the next few articles we will share with you more about Physiotherapy rehabilitation after different types of surgical operations.

If you read through all the above and still have any concern please feel free to contact me +65 8550 5466 as I do provide FREE Physiotherapy consultation over the phone.

Written by: Naazreen Edited by: Bernice

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