By Adam Pliskow, MSPT and Maria Carmela de Luna DPT, ATC
Do you find walking or moving difficult for you first thing in the morning? Do your knees hurt after sitting down too long? You’re not alone. Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common chronic condition that can affect any joint in the body but especially the knees, hips, spine, and hands. Osteoarthritis is the breakdown or “wear and tear” of the cartilage in our joints. Cartilage is a protective layer that covers bones to allow them to move smoothly over another and absorbs the shock of movement.
OA is considered a condition related to aging but there are contributing factors that can increase your chances of developing osteoarthritis. These factors include, but are limited to, being over weight, having weak or tight muscles, overuse at work or with sports, and previous injury to the joint.
Commonly related symptoms of OA include:
•Pain and stiffness in the morning or after long periods of sitting/standing
•Crunching feeling or sound as bones rub against one another
•Limited motion in the joint
Benefits of Low Impact Activities
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, consult with your doctor to determine whether you have osteoarthritis and how it should be treated. Most people will seek conservative treatment with a physical therapist to learn about the condition and initiate an exercise program. This exercise prescription should be designed to promote joint health and functional movement.
Swimming, bike riding, stretching and straight leg raises and other low impact exercises that can improve your quality of life. For more info on osteoarthritis and other forms of arthritis, visit the Arthritis Foundation website at www.arthritis.org or call us for a consultation at 914-488-5540.
Adam Pliskow, PT, MSPT, co-owner/founder of New Castle Physical Therapy and Personal Training, and his associate, Maria Carmela de Luna, DPT, ATC are both highly skilled providers of unparalleled physical therapy and sports rehabilitation services.