You might want to get up more…

Case of the week from Dr. Cheung:

Over the past few weeks I’ve been treating a 60-year-old lady that’s had knee pain for the past 30+ years. Due to a complicated eye condition, she’s now blind and spends most (if not all) of her time sitting and resting at home. After doing a thorough examination on her, I concluded that it would be important to have x-rays taken of her knees. After seeing the x-rays I was very surprised and it showed that she has severe osteoarthritis in her knees. Based on the x-rays, I would’ve expected that this lady was 80+ years old!

There’s a combination of processes that occur with prolonged sitting for years. Here’s a few of them: 

1) Chronic stiffness of the iliotibial band in combination with weakness of the quadriceps muscle leading to a traction enthesopathy (bone spur)

2) Excessive compression of the knee joint leading to deterioration of the joint cartilageoldman

3) The patella shifts to the side (laterally) and causes further degeneration and pain

4) Chronic tendoninitis forms in the muscles surrounding the knees

This might be a bunch of random words to you, but these processes are terrible and lead to early arthritis. Luckily with proper care and lifestyle changes, this lady is pain free and doing well. The biggest change for her long term will be to increase her movement and general activity.