Osteoarthritis (OA) has been described as the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions of people globally. 

What is Osteoarthritis?

It occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones wears down over a period of time. Osteoarthritis can damage any joint, the main affected joints are hands, knees, hips, ankles and lumbar spine. 


What Causes Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis was long believed to be caused by the wearing down of joints over time. However, now it can be viewed as a disease of the joint. The below can increase your risk of developing OA:

  • Age – the risk of developing OA increases with ageing because as we get older, our bones, muscles and joints are also ageing
  • Joint injury – a break or tear, can lead to OA in later years
  • Overuse – using the same joints repeatedly can result in OA
  •  Obesity – extra weight puts more stress on a joint and fat cells promote inflammation
  • Weak muscles – joints can get out of the right position when there’s not enough support
  • Genetics – people with family members who have OA are more likely to develop OA
  • Gender – women are more likely to develop OA than males


Key Symptoms of Osteoarthritis:

  • Pain or aching in the joint during activity, after long duration of physical activity or at the end of a busy day
  • Joint stiffness usually occurs first thing in the morning or after resting for a long period of time
  • Limited range of motion – this can go away when movement begins 
  •  Clicking or cracking sound when a joint bends 
  • Swelling around a joint
  • Muscle weakness around the joint
  • Joint instability or buckling (Knee giving out) 


How Can Physiotherapy Help?

Physiotherapy treatment provides effective results with even severely damaged arthritic joints. The first step is to embark on a thorough assessment for treatment prescription as each case of Osteoarthritis is different. Treatment may comprise of:

  • Joint mobilisation 
  • Exercise prescription to develop an individualised plan of exercises with the goal to improve flexibility, strength, coordination and balance to achieve our client’s optimal physical function
  • Dry needling 
  • Hydrotherapy 
  • Manual therapy 
  • Proper education on Osteoarthritis 
  • Activity modification 
  • Joint loading 


Our muscles, ligaments, bones, tendons and cartilage love to be loaded (correctly) – which is how we overcome imbalances and achieve change! 


Our job as Physio’s is to achieve optimal loading to provide physical function. We prescribe the correct amount depending on the severity of each client’s Osteoarthritis, too much load can cause your tissues to break down faster than they can recover. Too little load and it won’t be effective enough to make a difference in your tissues. 


Elin, is an alumni of St. Edward’s University and holder of a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology, furthered her academic journey by attaining a Doctor of Physiotherapy from Macquarie University in 2022.

Her passion for sports, particularly football (soccer), is evident in both her academic pursuits and personal endeavors. Specialising in the comprehensive well-being of athletes, Elin focuses on restoring them to peak performance while actively preventing future injuries.

Elin’s professional expertise is centered on musculoskeletal rehabilitation, with a specific emphasis on addressing and preventing knee injuries. Her approach integrates expert treatment with a commitment to educating and empowering patients, fostering their active involvement in enhancing their health and overall quality of life.

As an active participant in NPL football with SD Raiders, Elin brings firsthand experience and a profound understanding of the sport’s demands. Beyond the field, she extends her influence by contributing sports coverage over the weekends.

Christopher (Chris) Han graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Therapy, and then completed the Doctor of Physiotherapy program at Macquarie University in 2018. Chris is currently undertaking his PhD at the University of Sydney and Institute for Musculoskeletal Health in the field of low back pain and is due to complete this in early 2024. 

Chris is currently an assistant Physiotherapist for the NRL Referees. Chris has previous experience as the head Physiotherapist at Panthers Premier League Netball and a number of elite sporting athletes in the private setting.

Through Chris’ experiences, he has a particular interest in all areas of the body and musculoskeletal physiotherapy, sports, vestibular rehabilitation, and Men’s Health (pre and post prostate surgery).

Suzanne graduated from Western Sydney University with a Bachelor of Health Science (Sports and Exercise Science) in 2015. She then went on to continue her studies at Macquarie University graduating from the Doctor of Physiotherapy post-graduate degree in June 2019.

Since graduating, Suzanne has worked in the local Penrith area in both private practice and Sports Physiotherapy. Suzanne has worked with sporting teams including Penrith District Netball Association, Mt Druitt Rangers (NPL), Penrith Valley Figure Skating Club, and local dance and cheer schools. 

Suzanne has a particular interest in working with artistic athletes including cheerleaders and dancers. She has a professional background in both cheer and dance and has previously worked as both a cheer coach and dance teacher. Suzanne’s previous experiences are an invaluable resource to her as a physiotherapist, as she has a thorough understanding of the level of physical fitness and skill acquisition that these athletes must have in order to be successful on stage and in competition.

Suzanne’s other areas of clinical interest reside in lower limb musculoskeletal injuries, spinal pathologies and women’s health.

Nathanial graduated as a physiotherapist in 2012 which saw him work in private practice and hospital settings gaining experience in all areas of physiotherapy including hand therapy, splinting/casting, pre/post-operative care, Men’s Health and general musculoskeletal, occupational and sports physiotherapy. Since then he has gone on to complete further studies in physiotherapy enabling him to be the only dual titled Musculoskeletal, Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist in Penrith.

Nathanial has a strong background in sports physiotherapy achieving accreditation with NSWIS as a service provider and working with many elite sports teams.

Nathanial has a particular interest in working with elite athletes, complex cases and in particular assessment and management of knee, hip and shoulder pain.

Andrea graduated from the Australian Catholic University completing her Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science in 2018 and Master’s of Clinical Exercise Physiology in 2020. After graduating she attained accreditation with ESSA as an Exercise Physiologist.

During her studies she gained clinical experience in both hospital and private practice settings, in cardiac rehabilitation, neurological conditions, cancer and chronic musculoskeletal injuries.

Since working at Progressive, Andrea has a specialist interest in treating musculoskeletal injuries, helping people in the mid-late stage of rehab to get them to return to sport or work. As well as helping people manage chronic conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis and diabetes.