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Does Going Upstairs Hurt Your Knees? That could be an Early Sign of Knee Osteoarthritis

Knee pain while going upstairs might be an early sign of knee osteoarthritis and an opportunity for early intervention, according to a study in the January 2015 journal Arthritis Care & Research.

Researchers referred to a study of more than 4,700 adults who were diagnosed with osteoarthritis using radiographic images or who were at high risk of developing osteoarthritis. They focused on 491 study participants who reported no pain at the start of the study, but developed pain over time.

They found that pain when using stairs was most often the first reported symptom of osteoarthritis among a list of activities researchers had studied. The potentially pain-causing activities included: using stairs, walking, standing, sitting, sitting/lying and “in bed.” The next clue was pain while walking, followed by pain while standing. Pain while sitting/lying emerged later, with pain experienced while in bed consistently reported last.

Since knee pain while climbing stairs can occur before images show osteoarthritis, yet indicate a person is at risk for developing the degenerative disease, this finding presents an opportunity to intervene and, possibly, prevent worsening of the disease.

Physical therapists are trained to help people of all ages to improve and preserve joint function and joint health. Physical therapists also are trained to rehabilitate people suffering from knee pain, from osteoarthritis, or knee injury or knee surgery, including total knee joint replacement. For more about what physical therapy can do to improve physical function, strength, balance, posture, independence and quality of life, contact A Physical Therapist, Inc.

A Physical Therapist, Inc., is a one-on-one physical therapy clinic in Delray Beach, Fla., and Harrisburg, Penn. For patients in Palm Beach County, A Physical Therapist, Inc., is easily accessible from Boca Raton or Boynton Beach. For patients in Dauphin County, A Physical Therapist, Inc., is easily accessible from Hershey and Marysville.

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