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How Physical Therapy Can Help with Osteoarthritis of the Knee

Person helping another person with strength training

While arthritis can’t be cured, the pain can be managed through physical therapy. Here are some of the ways your PT can help you cope with OA.

What is Osteoarthritis of the knee?

This is when the cartilage between the knee bones on the knee joint wears away. It impacts the entire leg muscles, joints and bones. It can be caused by a traumatic injury, but can also be caused by other factors including weight, age and genetics. It can slowly worsen over time, but thankfully physical therapy can help in the following ways.

Myofascial Release Therapy

This is our specialty at Core PT! It helps improve the functionality of the fascia, a system that surrounds bones, muscles, nerves organs and blood vessels. Your OA has likely made the area tense, which limits your range of motion, flexibility and strength. The PT will be able to manually massage the area to release tension and relieve pain.


Having a brace around the knee may help to reduce pain. They help to distribute the weight and relieve the pressure from directly on the knee. These would be helpful to wear while you participate in activities that may aggravate the pain. There are many different kinds of braces that may help you, but your PT will be able to help find the right one for your knee and lifestyle.


This is a passive treatment that your PT may recommend depending on the pain you are having. Cold compresses can reduce swelling and a hot pack can help with stiffness by improving circulation.


Flexibility is important to OA because it can help your range of motion and assist in making your knee function normally. The less you move your knee, the more painful it can become. Having your PT give you stretches that you can do at home will be able to help your pain levels daily.

Your physical therapist will develop a treatment plan that is specific to your abilities and pain levels. Because OA can change gradually over time, it is important for you to learn how to best manage the condition. We will help to keep you mobile and teach you how to maximize your activity with minimal pain. We’re here to help you get to the core of your pain. Contact us today to set up an appointment to address your knee osteoarthritis.

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