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Wear and tear on joints, to exercise or not?

We get a steady stream of patients here at Plym Physio with wear and tear joints, degenerative joints or osteoarthristis. These are all ways to explain the same thing- a joint which has degeneration as a result of ageing and lifestyle and is now considered ‘normal’ in the medical world. We intervene when symptoms from this ‘disable’ us i.e it is having a detrimental effect on your quality of life.

There have been many statements made about arthritis over the years, activities and tablets that should or shouldn’t be taken. So we thought we would clear up a few things for our lovely PP followers!

  • You can have arthritis and not have any pain or symptoms
  • The amount of arthritis does not correlate to the amount of pain someone experiences
  • Exercise helps
  • Lots of young people have it on XR or scans but have no pain/limitation as a result
  • Joint replacement has significant risks and is not always 100% successful and isn’t the first treatment of choice for arthritis
  • Running and exercise can improve the quality of cartilage and bone and doesn’t cause further injury (even with marathons!!)

Exercise helps is probably the most important message. Why? The stronger your muscles are, the better the joint moves the more you are taking pressure through structures that can take it so essentially the less pain and better function people have.

Some people are going to need replacements but the dissatisfaction rate post-surgery is pretty high in knees (15%) and will inevitably leave you with a knee that won’t bend more than 90/100′. We now know that people that engage with rehab (specific exercise and treatment) do better post-operatively than those that don’t. This makes sense really; if you stop doing ‘stuff’ you get weaker and stiffer, more pressure through joints, more pain and then you have an even bigger mountain to climb after surgery.

Here at PP we know the inevitable will happen for some but we can send you there in a better state and delay the inevitable for others. We feel it’s win win -feel better, get in the habit of looking after your joints, get better quicker and have a more fulfilled life.

We’ve put a couple of videos together for you – or any relatives or friends, that might be struggling to get you started. A more tailored approach is always better but have a go and see how you get on.






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