When our joints are working well we don’t notice them but as we get older or as a result of injuries they can become stiff and sore so that simple movements like getting out of a chair or climbing the stairs can be painful. X-rays may show “degenerative changes” or “wear and tear” which sounds alarming but really just means that you are getting older! Many people worry that because a joint has become painful or stiff or they have been diagnosed with “degenerative changes” that nothing can be done to improve things but this is not true. A large amount of evidence exists which shows that the right type and amount of exercise helps the joints to be less painful and stiff. This in turn means that less painkillers are needed and normal activities can be maintained. At Stranmillis Physiotherapy we can help you to manage your joint symptoms so that you can maintain and improve your function.
Maureen is in her sixties and is a keen walker. Over the past few years she has noticed increasing stiffness in both knees especially in the mornings. Her right knee started to hurt when she knelt down or when she used the stairs so she went to her GP who organised x-rays of her knees. These showed mild degenerative changes and she was prescribed pain killers which made little or no difference to her symptoms. Maureen visited Stranmillis Physiotherapy as she was worried that she would have to stop walking and wanted to keep active for as long as possible. Maureen’s knee pain and stiffness was addressed using joint mobilisation, LASER and targeted exercises. Her pain and stiffness settled down within 3 sessions. Maureen was taught easy self-help measures to control her pain and stiffness and she was advised that although “wear and tear” cannot be reversed, these simple measures would keep her symptoms under control. Maureen said she was now less worried about the future because she felt more in control of her situation and knew what to do if the pain and stiffness returned.