New Study Confirms Physical Therapy Reduces Need for Knee Replacement and Creates Better Outcomes When Surgery is Needed

Nobody wants to go under the knife, but everyone wants to feel better. With the rate of knee osteoarthritis on the rise among seniors, a new study reveals the value of physical therapy.

A new five-year study of Medicare data shows that in one million cases of knee osteoarthritis among American seniors, one-third received knee replacement surgery and most patients never tried pre-surgical interventions like physical therapy.

The study also confirmed that physical therapy is both the most effective way to reduce the need for surgery, and to recover faster if surgery is still needed.

Women are more susceptible to developing osteoarthritis, and that risk increases with age, obesity, injury and use. More than just a “wear and tear” injury, it affects the cartilage, bones and connective tissue in the knee, which is why joint replacement becomes necessary.

If you experience common symptoms of knee osteoarthritis, including pain, stiffness, tenderness, loss of flexibility and swelling, a Body Gears physical therapist can help diagnose, then slow and reverse those symptoms.

Here are four reasons you should visit one of our six convenient Chicago-area locations for the relief you need:

Feel Better, Naturally

Pain management through long-term medication is finally shifting course as families and communities grapple with the opioid epidemic. Even if you only use over-the-counter medication, long-term regimens can reduce its effectiveness and produce unwanted side effects. Our goal is to help you reduce or even eliminate the need for pain medication.

While physical therapy may cause temporary discomfort in injured joints, it is designed to deliver relief to patients right away. Our skilled team of certified physical therapists develop personalized treatment plans for every patient, improving flexibility and range of motion while correcting imbalances.

Improve Your Strength For Joint Support

The risk of osteoarthritis symptoms increases with age, which corresponds with menopause and a natural decline in muscle and bone mass. To reduce joint inflammation, we work to strengthen the support muscles around your knees to reduce strain.

While treatment plans differ for each patient, most focus on low-impact exercises, using body weight, hand and leg weights, resistance bands and water-based movements that support and strengthen the joint.

Enhance Your Movement to Improve Quality of Life

Osteoarthritis can make normal movement unbearable, which accelerates the degenerative effects of the condition. Reducing pain is an important step in the process but the goal of physical therapy is to improve your overall health.

Step It Up: Studies have shown a positive relationship between increasing your daily steps and reducing symptoms over time. Body Gears is with you every step of the way, with strategies to help you start and stick with it.

Reduce The Strain: Good nutrition and exercise are key to maintaining a healthy body weight. Every pound of weight loss reduces the strain on your knees by four pounds, reducing symptoms and the likelihood of surgery. Even if surgery is needed, weight loss will ensure a smoother recovery.

Learn to Prevent Further Damage

Think about it: When was the last time you evaluated your walking gait? Do you always lift with your legs when you pick something up? Maybe it’s time to switch from the treadmill to the elliptical or walk on the grass instead of the sidewalk. These are just a few topics to discuss with your physical therapist, as we explore functional ways to prevent further injury.

Body Gears looks at the big picture on your knee injury, which could be caused elsewhere in your body. Injuries tend to have a domino effect, where initial pain causes compensation, modified movement, stiffness, fear of movement and mental resistance. When one area gets thrown out of alignment, we offer holistic treatment to fix the problem.

Request a Free Consult

Contact us today to schedule an appointment at one of our six Chicagoland centers to learn how we can help you live free from osteoarthritis pain, enjoying the things that matter most. Or, give us a try with a complimentary 20-minute mini-assessment.

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