Knee Osteoarthritis: Your Knees Shouldn’t Hurt in Old Age

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Knee pain is a common medical ailment among the elderly, but it doesn’t have to be. With the correct knowledge and treatment, a large majority of elderly would not have to put up with unnecessary chronic pain. In an article in The Straits Times’ The Doctor Is In supplement, we answered some frequently asked questions about knee osteoarthritis, the most common form of knee pain.

What is knee osteoarthritis?

Core Concepts’ principal physiotherapist Chng Chye Tuan said: “Knee osteoarthritis is the most common form of chronic knee pain. It affects the older generation as our cartilage naturally thins as we age. As the cartilage wears out, it becomes frayed and the protective space between the bones is reduced.”


What is your knee made up of?

Your knee is made up of the lower end of the thigh bone, upper end of the shin bone, and the knee cap.

The ends of the three bones are covered with cartilage, a firm, rubbery substance that protects and cushions the bones as you bend and straighten your knee.

How does knee osteoarthritis feel like?

Osteoarthritic knee pain increases when you are walking, running or simply on your feet for an extended period of time. It is usually better when you rest.

But stiffness may soon set in after rest, though it eases after a minute.

Knee osteoarthritis can also cause your knee to give way due to weak muscles or the joint being less stable.

What causes it?

Obesity is the most common factor that leads to knee osteoarthritis. Excessive body weight increases the pressure and stress on your knee joints, speeding up the rate of osteoarthritis.

Mr Chng said: “When the muscles surrounding the knee are not able to work together, it leads to a muscular imbalance. Knee muscles often deteriorate due to misuse, like when you unconsciously lean your weight on one knee due to poor posture or an old injury.”

This leads to a growing weakness in one knee, ultimately reducing the effectiveness of your knee joint. This pain, misuse and weakness cycle will continue without treatment.

For more information on managing knee osteoarthritis, please give us a call at 62263632

Experiencing knee pain? Click here to find out more about physiotherapy for knee pain relief and how Core Concepts can help