Page 8 - E-Book-Arthritis
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                      Frequently Asked Questions

                             “Why do my joints make noises?”

Often during subjective assessment patients describe hearing popping, clicking, cracking and or grinding
of the joint/joints. This can be a particular worry as they may have previously been told the joint is “​bone
on bone”. ​It isn’t, this audible feeling is called crepitus. This is often described as one of the first signs of
knee OA and a common clinical sign for diagnosis but it is important to note this isn’t always the case! A
study in 2019 demonstrated that individuals with knee crepitus presented slightly higher declines with
trivial effect size in knee extensor strength compared to individuals without. However, knee crepitus does
not seem to affect the physical function or quality of life long-term.


                            “How is arthritis diagnosed?”

An initial and crucial part to any successful assessment is a subjective assessment. This will accumulate
all the relative information including; symptoms, general health, family history, history of the present
condition, daily habits, mediation and special questions. Following, based on the subjective assessment, is
an objective assessment (physical) looking into specifics of the joint such as range of movement,
swelling, heat, redness, strength, asymmetry and capsular pattern. A capsular pattern is a reproducible
limitation of joint movement when the joint capsule is the limiting structure. From this point, if there are
any concerns or questions over the subjective and objective assessment the therapist may refer you to a
specialist such as rheumatology or request you speak with your GP in regards to your medication or
further imaging and tests.

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