There is enough evidence that specific exercises for knee arthritis help with pain control that physical therapy is a recommended first step for most patients with knee osteoarthritis. We now also have evidence that leg exercises work on a biologic level as well. There are certain cytokines, specific chemicals in the body, that are expressed in too high amounts in osteoarthritic joints. We now know that leg exercises can decrease these cytokines as well. The biologic as well as mechanical understanding of arthritis is a major breakthrough in the last 10 years in the knowledge and treatment of the various different arthritic conditions. Older treatments such as steroid injections are first and foremost about pain relief. They do not however treat the root cause of the problem in arthritis. The newer biologic based treatments are meant to work in preventing the progression of damage and eventually repairing existing disease. Whether newer medications for rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis, or state of the art cell based treatments like PRP and Stem cells for osteoarthritis and tendinitis, the biologic treatments are better options.
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