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Common myths and misconceptions about OA

Learn about the myths out in the community about osteoarthritis

People with knee OA typically present with some knowledge of their condition- and the knowledge may or may not be factually based!

Myths and misconceptions about OA include7:

  • Knee OA is “bone on bone”.
  • Knee OA is caused by “wear and tear”.
  • Exercise and loading the knee joint will cause further damage.
  • Pain due to knee OA will inevitably get worse over time.
  • Physiotherapy, exercise and physical activity will increase knee pain.
  • Experimental and/or surgical treatments will replace lost cartilage and cure knee pain.
  • Knee joint replacement is inevitable.

Clinicians seeking to encourage engagement with nonsurgical interventions should explore and target misconceptions that patients hold about the identity, causes, consequences, timeline, and treatment of knee OA.

Clinicians should ask patients about their understanding of knee OA, its causes and consequences, as well as their beliefs about treatment and recovery, to identify and target any misconceptions and encourage uptake of nonsurgical interventions.

Common myths (Adapted from Bunzli et al, 2019)7

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Physiotherapy Exercise and Physical Activity for Knee Osteoarthritis (PEAK)

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