Dealing with arthritis in your knees

April 1, 2010 1:54:50 PM PDT
How can an arthritic knee change your life? "There were days when every step was painful," said Marilyn Daley-Weston who has Osteoarthritis in her right knee.

To get Ms. Weston back to activity, her doctor sent her for physical therapy to strengthen her leg muscles. Treating knee problems with physical therapy and exercise improved 80 percent of patients with Osteoarthritis of the knee, according to a new report in the Journal Arthritis Care and Research.

"You can make arthritis pain signifigantly better not by taking a pill, but by conditioning by exercise, by being active," said Dr. Steven Meed.

For patients like Ms. Weston, that means simply doing her favorite exercise of walking may be able to take the place of a pill to ease her symptoms, pills that may have serious side effects.

One of the ways that exercise works is to build up the muscles around the joints which act as natural shock absorbers.

For Ms. Weston, the therapy has restored her knee and her self image.

"It has freed me, made me feel like I can function again," she said. " I'm not an old grandma falling apart, I feel like a human being again," adds Weston.

For many of Dr. Meed's patients, there is often that same reaction.

"The idea that they have some control over this that by doing something on their own to make it better, It's at first a surprise and then a delight," he said.

To contact Dr. Steven Meed, you can call 212-583-2960