Osteoarthritis (OA) of the Knee


osteoarthritisRecently, Bodyworks Subiaco hosted Merrithew Health and Fitness to teach a course on Injuries and Special Populations. Majority of our instructors and physiotherapists were in attendance for both weekends, which included learning innovative ways to modify exercises for different conditions. One of the conditions discussed was Osteoarthritis. 

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the degeneration, wear and tear of joint cartilage due to loading of the tissues. Cartilage is present to aid in smooth movement of one bone on another, so when this is damaged, it can become painful to move and load that joint in everyday activities. One of the most common joints in the body to develop OA is the knee. This joint takes the transmission of force coming down with gravity from the trunk, pelvis, hips and thighs through the knees with everyday activities. Clinically it can sound like a crunching sound when moving the joint , you can have a reduction in the range of motion and complaint of pain and stiffness with weight bearing. Radiological investigation can aid in final diagnosis of this condition. 

Risk factors for OA:

  • Age – Older > younger
  • Overweight 
  • Type of sport e.g. AFL 
  • Previous Injuries e.g. meniscal tear to knee 
  • Poor biomechanics e.g. knock knee’s 
  • Hyperextends knee’s (reduces joint space at end of range) 
  • Prolonged use and compression e.g. long periods of standing

Joints are designed to move. It is movement that promotes healthy flow of nutrients in the joint space. Therefore, getting moving with some low impact exercise such as pilates on the reformer is a great option for exercise. This will help improve your strength and function at that joint and surrounding areas, whilst making you feel good for exercising. You will be able to exercise at a higher intensity with less pain due to the reduction in compressive load. It is easy to modify the exercises to ensure you are not exercising with pain. 

At Bodyworks Subiaco we have rehabilitative pilates or fitness reformer pilates classes on offer for exercise. All of our knowledgeable physiotherapists will be happy to give you additional tips and exercises specifically suitable to you and your joint pain. We also have a dietician who will be able to provide you with dietary information to improve joint and bone health. 

If you aren’t sure which classes are appropriate, give our wonderful receptionists a call and we can help you decide on the most suitable option for your specific needs. 

Christina James


BSPTS C1 Schroth Scoliosis Physio 

STOTT PILATES Rehab Instructor

AAP Dry Needle Therapist

AMTA Pelvic Girdle/SIJ Specific Therapist 

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Our patient-centred and holistic approach to Physiotherapy means we have a strong connection with our patients, and individually tailor treatment programs to deliver the best outcomes throughout your recovery process.