General info

Data about the condition

Knee osteoarthritis (OA), also known as degenerative joint disease, is typically the result of wear and tear and progressive loss of articular cartilage. It is most common in elderly people and can be divided into two types, primary and secondary:

  • Primary osteoarthritis – is articular degeneration without any apparent underlying cause.
  • Secondary osteoarthritis – is the consequence of either an abnormal concentration of force across the joint as with post-traumatic causes or abnormal articular cartilage, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Osteoarthritis is typically a progressive disease that may eventually lead to disability. The intensity of the clinical symptoms may vary from each individual. However, they typically become more severe, more frequent, and more debilitating over time. The rate of progression also varies for each individual.

            OA is the most common disease of the joints worldwide, with the knee being the most commonly affected joint in the body.  It mainly affects people over the age of 45.

OA can lead to pain and loss of function, but not everyone with radiographic findings of knee OA will be symptomatic: in one study only 15% of patients with radiographic findings of knee OA were symptomatic.

  • OA affects nearly 6% of all adults
  • Women are more commonly affected than men
  • Roughly 13% of women and 10% of men 60 years and older have symptomatic knee osteoarthritis.
  • Among those older than 70 years of age, the prevalence rises to as high as 40%.
  • Prevalence will continue to increase as life expectancy and obesity rises


  • Hip injuries
  • Inactivity
  • Bone fractures
  • Occupations involving high pressure on the joints
  • Genetic inheritance
  • Obesity


  • Pain on movement
  • Stiffness, especially early morning stiffness
  • Loss of range of motion
  • Pain after a long period of stay or lying
  • Pain on palpation of the joint line and extension of the joints


The treatment will aim at slowing down the arthritic process and
latently restoring decompensated osteoarthritis.

Protecting the joint at the first symptoms is recommended and can be achieved by weight loss (in case of obesity), decreased stress, use of a cane, solutions designed to delay the progression to a disabling knee osteoarthritis. (Dumitru, M., 1982).

The objectives of the Recovery Program

  • Fighting pain in the knee joint;
  • Prevention of vascular disorders and improvement of circulation;
  • Restoring and increasing the range of motion;
  • Increase muscle strength of the lower limbs;
  • Improving stability;
  • Improving static and dynamic balance.

The content of the recovery program

Ex. 1. From supine position, triple flexion of the lower limbs, alternately; (10 repetitions)
Ex. 2. From supine position, bicycle; (repeat for 30 seconds)
Ex. 3. From sitting on the chair, rolling a ball with the sole of the foot, alternately; (10 repetitions)
Ex. 4. From standing, on the balance plate the subject tries to maintain his balance;
Ex. 5. From standing, facing the fixed ladder with support in one lower limb on the boss, slightly bent, he must maintain this position in one leg as long as possible then change lower limb.
Ex. 6. From standing, with an elastic band around the pelvis, the subject climbs with one limb on the boss, and the physiotherapist opposes the movement, pulling on the elastic band;
Ex. 7. Semi squats on the balance plate supported with the hands on a fixed scale;

Methodical indications

  • The exercises are performed slowly, rhythmically and without abruptness.
  • The exercises will be performed progressively from easy to hard, from simple to complex.
  • The dosage of each exercise will consist of 10 repetitions of 2 sets.
  • Make sure that muscle toning is always performed on the full range of motion.


It is not possible to completely prevent gonatosis. However, you may be able to minimize the risk of developing the disease by avoiding injury and staying as healthy as possible if you follow these tips:

Avoid exercise that puts pressure on the joints and forces them to bear an excessive load, such as running and weight training. Instead, try exercises such as swimming and cycling, where the joints are better supported and the tension of the joints is more controlled.

Try to do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (such as cycling or walking) each week to build muscle strength and stay healthy.

Adopt a correct posture. If you work at an office, make sure your chair is at the correct height and take regular breaks to move around.

Maintaining a normal body weight If you are overweight or obese then it can increase the tension of the joints and increase the risk of knee osteoarthritis. Weight loss will help reduce your chances of developing the condition.

Did you know that

  • Women have higher rates of osteoarthritis than men — especially after age 50, men have a 45% lower risk of knee osteoarthritis and a 36% lower risk of hip osteoarthritis than women.
  • Osteoarthritis accounts for approximately 6% of arthritis-related deaths.
  • Modifiable risk factors can help manage osteoarthritis.
  • Genetics may play a significant role in osteoarthritis.

You can also read about Lumbar disc herniation.

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1. Balint T, Evaluation of the locomotor system, Tehnopress publishing house, Iași, 2007.
2. Jaroslav Kiss, Physio-kinetotherapy and medical recovery in musculoskeletal disorders, Medical Publishing House, Bucharest, 1999.
3. Manole V., Manole L., Motor and functional evaluation in physiotherapy, Aim Publishing House, 2009
4. Raveica G., Anatomy of the musculoskeletal system and elements of topographic anatomy – Osteology. Arthology, EduSoft, Bacău, 2006.
5. Rinderu E, Practical course for the students of the faculties of kinetotherapy, Printing house of the University of Craiova, 2003
6. Stroescu I., 1979, Functional Recovery in Rheumatological Practice, Medical Publishing House, Bucharest;

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