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Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that can affect anyone.

Whilst there is no definitive root cause as to why some people get OA and some don’t, there are a number of contributing factors, which when combined can increase the likelihood of you experiencing the condition at some stage in your life.

A number of items identified as preventative measures are also considered treatment options in order to slow down the degradation of the knee joint and ultimately delay the need for surgery in the long term and these are:

  • Watching your weight
  • Eating the right foods
  • Keeping active
  • Wearing the right shoes

Watching your weight

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important full stop.

When considering the knee joint, the heavier you are the greater the stress imposed on the joint, which in time can have a negative effect. If you like running then these stresses are amplified. If you lose a few pounds then that is a few less pounds of stress on the knee joints.

Watching your weight can not only help your knee joints but your overall wellbeing, giving you more energy and helping you to feel fitter, healthier and ready for action.

To find out if you’re a healthy weight check out the NHS BMI Healthy Weight Calculator.

Prevention - Secondary Prevention - Exercise Class - OA Knee Pain Exercise will help you stay fit, healthy and also lose weight

Eating the right foods

This goes hand in hand with maintaining a healthy weight.

If you have a poor diet then it’s harder to maintain your weight, regardless of exercise, not to mention the impact on your body from eating things which don’t carry the necessary nutrients and vitamins.

Long term there is also a risk of experiencing diabetes, with the latest research suggesting it is a contributing factor of osteoarthritis.

When looking at the right foods you should focus on vitamin C and D, which are known to improve cartilage development, along with omega-3 and spices which can work to decrease inflammation.

For more information on selecting the right foods visit our nutrition page.

Prevention - Secondary Prevention - Nutrition - OA Knee Pain Eating the right food is important

Keeping active

It may sound counterintuitive when suffering from knee pain to be told to exercise but this releases endorphins into the body which act as natural painkillers.

When considering exercise as a preventative measure you can consider low impact sports whilst also working on strengthening exercises.

Running is a high impact activity, whereas swimming or cycling can still offer a great workout without putting as much strain on the knee joints.

The knee joint is extremely important but by strengthening the leg muscles you can reduce the strain on the joint itself. Working on your hamstrings and quads mean that these muscles will take some of the strain when you’re active to help reduce the stress on the knee. Yoga is also a great way of improving your flexibility.

There are a variety of exercises available from flexibility and stretching to aerobic to muscle strengthening available on our knee exercises page.

Prevention - Secondary Prevention - Keeping Active - OA Knee Pain Staying active will keep you healthy

Wearing the right shoes

Shoes can be a modifying factor when it comes to minimising pain and maximising your ability to get out and about and do things.

Wearing the wrong shoes can exacerbate problems that already exist and can cause complications and long term damage to a variety of joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments beyond the feet. Wearing the right shoes can eliminate or reduce foot pain, which also affects the body’s mobility and function.

For more information visit our footwear page.

The things mentioned above are not just things to consider to potentially avoid (or delay the onset of) osteoarthritis but things we should be doing anyway in order to look after our bodies.

For more information on getting started with a healthy lifestyle visit the NHS get fit for free pages.

Prevention - Secondary Prevention - Footwear - OA Knee Pain Selecting the right footwear is important
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​Occupational risk OA


There is a strong link between our work and our health. We all spend a lot of time in our jobs and so it is important to analyse the risks involved and understand how our job can affect our health. With osteoarthritis, there can be many risk factors to consider at work. It is vital to assess what factors increase the risk of developing OA and how OA can be managed at work.

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​Cloudy With A Chance Of Pain


Many people experiencing knee pain express concerns or complaints about certain weather condition causing painful episodes or an increase in usual chronic pain. As this is quite common, it was a surprise to find that there doesn’t currently exist any scientific data or research on the existence of a relationship between the weather and pain; that is until now.

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​5 things you're experiencing that may be a result of OA


Cartilage plays an incredibly important role in joints, being firm and flexible, but softer than bone. Cartilage covers bone surfaces where they intersect and move against each other, to allow smooth joint movement. However, like other parts of the body, cartilage can wear down over time and this can lead to degenerative arthritis, which is also known as osteoarthritis. This condition is one of the most common joint disorders in the Western world.

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Top 10 Lifestyle & Healthy Eating Tips for Before & After Surgery


Written for OA Knee Pain by Registered Dietician Nichola Ludlam-Raine. Nichola works as an NHS, freelance and private dietician and has appeared on BBC breakfast a number of times to provide her expert opinion. Here she tells us about the top 10 lifestyle and healthy eating tips for before and after surgery.

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS)


Patellofemoral pain syndrome, also known as chondromalacia patella or anterior knee pain, is a common injury amongst runners both experienced and beginner. It is an overuse injury that is difficult to determine, but could be a result of biomechanics or muscular faults. The condition is not limited to one knee and can be linked to other injuries.

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Patella Fracture


A broken kneecap is one of the less likely knee injuries but can be incredibly painful and debilitating to those that do suffer from one. They are usually caused by the result of a direct blow to the knee, which can happen by falling forward, in a car accident or while playing sports such as football and rugby.

Torn Cartilage Injury


A torn cartilage injury, also referred to as a meniscus tear injury, is one of the most common knee injuries amongst those aged over 65 and athletes who play contact sports, like football and rugby, or those that involve jumping, such as basketball.

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​What causes OA


Although the precise cause of osteoarthritis is not known, predisposing factors include injury to the joint, other conditions such as gout or rheumatoid arthritis, congenital abnormalities, age, family history and obesity. Secondary osteoarthritis can occur if the condition is caused by another disease or condition.

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Osteochondritis Dissecans


Osteochondritis dissecans, or OCD, is a rare condition caused when a fragment of bone becomes loose in the joint. The condition’s cause differs depending on your age. For adults, OCD forms after the physis or epiphyseal plate has closed, while for young people, it can occur while still growing.

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Osgood-Schlatter Disease


Osgood-Schlatter disease, sometimes referred to as Osgood's or OSD, is a condition that causes the bones, cartilage and tendons at the top of the shinbone or tibia where the patellar tendon is attached to become inflamed. The syndrome is most commonly found amongst active young people aged 8 to 15 years old but has also been known to affect some adults too.