In the UK, around five million people suffer from knee osteoarthritis, which is the leading cause of knee replacements.
While replacing the damaged joint can reduce pain and improve mobility and quality of life, new research suggests it may be possible to avoid or prevent the need for a knee replacement.
A recent study has shown that stronger quad muscles can help reduce the need for knee replacement surgery. Here, we look at what the recent study found, and offer practical advice on how to build up quad muscle strength.
Exploring the Findings of the Latest Study
The recent study examined 134 patients diagnosed with knee arthritis, with half of these participants eventually requiring knee replacement surgery.
Over a period of four years, researchers closely analysed scans to evaluate the strength of the participants’ leg muscles before they underwent surgery. What they discovered was striking. Those with stronger quad muscles were less likely to need a knee replacement.
By focusing on building up the strength of the quads, patients could potentially reduce the impact of knee osteoarthritis and delay, or even avoid, the need for knee replacement.
How to Strengthen the Quads
Strengthening the quad muscles can be achieved through various exercises. Simple activities such as walking, cycling, and swimming are excellent for building muscle strength without putting excessive strain on the knees.
For more targeted strengthening, exercises like leg presses, squats, and lunges are particularly effective. It’s also beneficial to incorporate exercises that improve balance and flexibility, as these can help support and stabilise the knee joint.
It’s important to start slowly and increase the intensity of these exercises gradually, especially if you’re already experiencing knee pain.
Consulting with a physiotherapist can help you determine the most appropriate exercises and ensure they are performed correctly to avoid further injury.
Seeking Treatment for Osteoarthritis
While strengthening the quads can be a proactive step in managing knee osteoarthritis, it’s crucial for those affected by this condition to seek appropriate treatment.
Treatment options include pain relief medications, physical therapy, and in more severe cases, surgical interventions such as robotic knee replacement surgery. These treatments aim to relieve pain, boost joint function, and improve quality of life.
If you’re dealing with knee osteoarthritis, don’t hesitate to book a consultation with an orthopaedic surgeon who can provide you with a comprehensive understanding of your condition and the best treatment options available.