It is now accepted that the best way to diagnosis osteoarthritis in your knee (and many other joints for that matter) is your health practitioner interviewing you thoroughly about your problem and closely examining your knee – especially how it looks, feels, moves and most importantly, determining what you can and can’t do easily.

In most cases X-rays and/or scans are not necessary for diagnosis, and are not helpful for determining the severity of your problem or what treatment is best for you.


The most important person involved in managing your knee arthritis is you!

A Physiotherapist’s role is to educate and advise you on the nature of your problem and how best to manage it so you can minimize its effect on your daily life. So, in a way, your physiotherapist acts like your personal “body” coach!

In the case of knee osteoarthritis, there are three main areas of management that are the key to a good outcome:

1.      Keeping your joint healthy – Learning how to protect your knee from exacerbations, what best to do if such a flare up occurs and maintaining your knee joint in as good a condition as possible. Your physiotherapist can advise you on all of these important strategies.

2.      Exercise – this includes strengthening and stretching exercises and increasing your general fitness – your physiotherapist will design a program especially for you and your lifestyle. Research has shown that exercise is as effective as drug treatment for management of knee osteoarthritis and, of course, has less side-effects and great side benefits!

3.      Weight loss and load management – knees are very sensitive to weight gain, so even a small loss of weight can reap great benefits for your knee. Your physiotherapist can give you advice on modifying your activity, exercise and/or sport routines so you are not overloading the knee.

Good management of knee osteoarthritis means less pain and disability and hopefully puts off or negates the need for surgery in the future.




Are you middle-aged, a tad overweight, and suddenly experiencing soreness and stiffness in your knee(s)?  This may have come on after a jarring incident, an increase in weight bearing activity, or for almost no reason at all.  Don’t panic! This does not necessarily mean you are on the slippery slide to a knee replacement!

The most common causes of knee pain in later life that comes on without a significant injury, are the normal aging changes that occur in our joints. Just as we look older on the outside – we also change on the inside!

In the knee, the surfaces of our joints and the menisci (‘cartilages’), which normally cushion our joints, undergo aging processes. In the case of the menisci, they stay in place even though they may wear down or even crack and split. Many of us will not experience any symptoms at all. Some will experience episodes of stiffness and aching when they walk or run, use stairs, or even after periods of rest.

The good news is that in most cases, modifying activity, losing weight, and doing some simple stretching and strengthening exercises for your legs and pelvis, can help to settle symptoms and keep you active for longer.

Physiotherapists at Albert Park Physiotherapy can help assess what your ‘sore knees’ need and prescribe advice and a tailored exercise program.

The important thing to remember is that even if your x-rays/scans show ‘tears in your cartilages’ and/or ‘arthritis’, most people can be helped by non-surgical treatment and either significantly delay or avoid joint replacement surgery in the future1,2.

1Yim JH, Seon JK, Song EK, Choi JI, AU: Kim MC, Lee KB, Seo HY. (2013) "A comparative study of meniscectomy and non-operative treatment for degenerative horizontal tears of the medial meniscus." The American Journal of Sports Medicine 41: 7, 1565-70

2Katz JN1, Brophy RH,(2013) “Surgery versus physical therapy for a meniscal tear and osteoarthritis.” N Engl J Med. May 2; 368(18):1675-84