Knee joint osteoarthritis (OA) is a common condition affecting the population. This can be a major cause of pain, resulting in reduced function, mobility and independence.

Knee joint osteoarthritis is typically characterised by gradual wear and tear of the joint lining, resulting in the breakdown of the knee’s articular cartilage.

Exercise is thought to be the best first-line treatment for osteoarthritis, aiding mobility and preserving function. However, some people with osteoarthritis are afraid to exercise, worrying that their knees won’t cope or that their joints will go through further breakdown. Recently, a systematic review of all the current literature regarding knee osteoarthritis has proven this point:

  • Exercises that load the knee joint do not have any further negative effects on articular cartilage breakdown.

Furthermore, some studies suggest that people who have had a long history of weight bearing exercise can have increased thickness of articular cartilage in the knee, with improved load bearing capacity as a result.

This information further strengthens the case for exercise as a first-choice treatment mode for Knee osteoarthritis. If you are worried about exercising with Knee osteoarthritis, our Physiotherapists or Accredited Exercise Physiologists at MD Health can help guide you through a tailored Clinical Exercise program specific to your goals and needs.

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Impact of exercise on articular cartilage in people at risk of, or with established, knee osteoarthritis: a systematic review of randomised controlled trials

Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common joint disease and a major cause of disability and pain.1 The OA prevalence has doubled since the mid-20th century2 with an expected higher incidence in the future.

Author: Will Ryan

Will grew up in Wagga Wagga, NSW, before moving to Albury to study physiotherapy at Charles Sturt University. He has previously worked as a gym attendant and Pool Lifeguard at the Kapooka Army Base near Wagga, and has also had experience in sports training with Jindera and Mangoplah Football Clubs. He is a die-hard Collingwood supporter, currently plays mixed netball and goes waterskiing in the summer. Will has a special interest in the progression from rehabilitating injuries to returning to full function and injury prevention, utilising Strength and Conditioning principles into his programming. Will has completed several courses around this area, including strength and conditioning, spinal and sports physiotherapy courses. He is currently studying a Graduate Certificate in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy at La Trobe University.

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