The Most Important Piece Of The Puzzle
If youre overweight or obese, the most effective treatment is weight loss. This isnt surprising. Every extra pound of weight adds two to four pounds of excess pressure on your knees.
Losing weight is probably the most difficult part of the treatment puzzle, but its also the most important, says Dr. Day.
A weight loss program should include both diet and exercise. Some people have difficulty exercising to lose weight because their knees hurt. But any type of exercise can help, even strengthening the upper body.
What Causes The Pain
Knee pain can be caused by a variety of issues, from injury to tendonitis to bursitis . But the primary cause of knee pain, according to Dr. Stearns, is usually a form of arthritis.
People with normal, healthy knees usually dont get pain at night, he says. Theres typically a reason, and its often because they have arthritis, commonly osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is mechanical in nature, caused by wear-and-tear on the joints as well as the cartilage and tendons associated with the joints. This sets the condition apart from rheumatoid arthritis which is inflammation of the joints, typically caused by an overactive immune system.
While osteoarthritis is typically seen in older patients, it can occur in younger patients, too, particularly those who are prone to overuse of certain joints or suffered significant injuries like ligament tears.
When To Contact A Doctor
Below are guidelines to help people decide if their knee swelling requires medical attention. If the person is still unsure whether to seek professional medical treatment, a phone call to a doctor or nurse can help determine whether an office visit is necessary.
A doctor should be contacted if:
- The knee is severely swollen or has a pronounced abnormality
- The knee cannot fully straighten or fully bend
- The knee is severely painful
- The person cannot bear weight on the knee, or feels as if the knee is going to “give out”
- The skin over the knee turns hot or red
- The person has a fever of 100.4° F or higher
- Knee swelling has been present for 3 days or longer
A doctor will examine the patient’s knee and ask the patient several questions. The physical examination and patient interview may provide enough information to make an accurate diagnosis. If more information is needed, the doctor may recommend medical imaging, such as an x-ray, or removing fluid from the knee using an in-office procedure called aspiration.
Leg swelling may be a cause for concernContact a doctor if the swelling affects the leg, not just the knee. Leg swelling can be a sign of a serious health problem.1,2
Seek immediate care if the leg swelling occurs suddenly with no known reason, particularly if it is accompanied by symptoms such as leg pain, chest pain, and/or problems breathing, as these may be signs of a life-threatening blood clot.
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What Are The Key Foods In A Mediterranean Diet
A Mediterranean diet follows the traditional eating habits of people from the countries closest to the sun-soaked shores of the Mediterranean Sea.
There are regional variations but expect your plate to be filled with plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, cereals and grains.
Youll also see moderate amounts of fish and unsaturated fats such as olive oil. And what youll eat less of are dairy products and meat.
The Mediterranean diet is widely linked with many aspects of wellness, including a healthier heart, as well as benefits to some types of arthritis.
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What Kinds Of Arthritis Can Occur In The Knee
In the case of knee pain, one of the most common culprits is arthritis. There are three types of arthritis that can occur in the knee, and it is not unheard for patients to have multiple arthritic conditions present at the same time. The three kinds of arthritis that often develop in the knees include:
- Osteoarthritis : A slow-acting, progressive wear-and-tear process that deteriorates joint cartilage. Middle-aged and older patients are the most likely group to develop OA.
- Rheumatoid arthritis : RA can occur at any age. This inflammatory process can be marked by painful swelling in the joints.
- Post-traumatic arthritis: Patients who have a significant knee injury, such as a fracture, torn ligament, or torn meniscus, may develop post-traumatic arthritis. This can occur many years after the injury itself.
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When Should I See A Doctor
If you ask me, its always best to see a doctor or other reputable health and wellness professionals if youre experiencing anything thats out of the ordinary.
However, I also understand that hiring these wellness professionals is expensive. I dont even follow my own advice because of financial constraints if Im being honest.
So, below is a list of what research considers red flags. If you experience any of them, be sure to get your symptoms reviewed by medically trained folk you trust.
- Losing pulse below your knee
- Partially or fully losing sensation below the knee
- Losing the ability to bear weight on your lef
To add, you should also seek your physicians help if neither of the home remedies and OTC meds works.
Torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament
You hear a pop and cant move after you suddenly change direction often while playing soccer, football, or basketball. You may have torn your ACL, which connects the femur and the tibia and prevents the tibia from moving too far forward. Your knee will hurt and swell and feel unstable.
You can tear or strain any of the tissues that hold your knee together: Ligaments connect bones to each other tendons connect muscle to bone. Irritated tendons from using them too much? Thats tendinitis.
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Gout Frequently Flares In Your Knee But You May Not Always Know That Your Knee Pain Is Due To Gout Heres How To Tell Since Prompt Treatment Can Reduce Your Risk Of Complications
Knee pain can be a common symptom of several types of arthritis, as well as many other conditions or injuries. If your knee stiffness is accompanied by a burning pain and is warm to touch, you may have a gout flare in the knee.
Though gout is most often associated with the big toe, gout tends to flare in areas that already have arthritis, says Robert Keenan, MD, a rheumatologist with Articularis Healthcare in Summerville, South Carolina. Although gout can strike in many different joints, as a general rule, gout works its way up the body. If its not treated, it works its way up from the big toe, through the ankle, to the knee, and then to the lower spine and so on.
Gout can affect both knees, but typically is felt more strongly in one knee say, where you may have arthritis wear-and-tear to begin with.
Learn more about what causes gout in the knee, as well as ways to treat the pain and prevent it in the future.
Lower Leg Pain Caused By Veins And Nerve Issues
1. Blood Clot
When blood thickens in veins, it can develop a clot. This typically happens in the thigh or lower leg, commonly leading to pain from knee to ankle. There is a higher risk if you are overweight, on certain medicines, or inactive for a long car ride or flight.
2. Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are caused by weakness in the vein walls or valves and can lead to a dull ache, particularly after standing.
3. Lower-Extremity Peripheral Arterial Disease
This occurs if your legs arteries get damaged and harden. The legs begin to miss needed blood flow, leading to pain or cramps when walking or climbing stairs.
4. Narrowed Spinal Canal and Sciatica
When the spinal canal narrows due to a herniated disc, arthritis of the spine, or another cause, it can lead to weakness, fatigue, numbness, tingling, or cramping, burning leg pain when you sit or stand. It may start in the hip and the back before extending down the leg.
5. Diabetic Neuropathy
This diabetes complication can be due to high blood sugar levels and leads to pain in both legs. It also features less sensation and numbness in lower legs.
When to See a Doctor
You should see your doctor for pain from knee to ankle if you have the following symptoms:
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How To Prevent Knee Effusions
You can keep healthy knee joints by doing 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity and strength training twice a week.
Also, try to keep your BMI below 25. Some studies show that the higher the BMI, the more risk of having excess knee fluid.
If you have arthritis or any other medical condition, follow the indications of your doctors before starting any physical activity regime.
Is Surgery Used To Treat Knee Osteoarthritis
If your doctor wants to treat the osteoarthritis in the knee with surgery, the options are arthroscopy, osteotomy, and arthroplasty.
- Arthroscopy uses a small telescope and other small instruments. The surgery is performed through small incisions. The surgeon uses the arthroscope to see into the joint space. Once there, the surgeon can remove damaged cartilage or loose particles, clean the bone surface, and repair other types of tissue if those damages are discovered. The procedure is often used on younger patients in order to delay more serious surgery.
- An osteotomy is a procedure that aims to make the knee alignment better by changing the shape of the bones. This type of surgery may be recommended if you have damage primarily in one area of the knee. It might also be recommended if you have broken your knee and it has not healed well. An osteotomy is not permanent, and further surgery may be necessary later on.
- Joint replacement surgery, or arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure in which joints are replaced with artificial parts made from metals or plastic. The replacement could involve one side of the knee or the entire knee. Joint replacement surgery is usually reserved for people over age 50 with severe osteoarthritis. The surgery may need to be repeated later if the prosthetic joint wears out after several years. But with today’s modern advancements, most new joints will last over 20 years. The surgery has risks, but the results are generally very good.
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Other Ways To Relieve Joint Pain
There are also many simple measures that can help relieve arthritis pain and stiffness:
Heat and cold. Take a warm bath, apply cold compresses, or wrap some frozen vegetables in a towel and hold them to your painful joints. Heat, cold, or alternating the two can be very effective at relieving pain.
Massage. Gently rubbing the joints can increase blood flow to the affected area and ease sore spots. Because arthritic joints can be sensitive, see a massage therapist who specializes in treating people with arthritis.
Glucosamine and chondroitin. Although these nutritional supplements have been “fairly debunked as a potential disease-modifying therapy,” Dr. Aliprantis says, they may improve arthritis pain in some people. However, he points out, “if these supplements are not helping your pain, you should not continue to spend your money on them.”
And don’t forget about exerciseit’s one of the most effective ways to treat OA. Exercise can reduce pain, improve flexibility, strengthen the muscles that support the joints, and help you lose some of the weight that’s straining your joints. “I think it’s pretty clear that exercise is important for maintaining joint health and decreasing pain in patients who have OA,” Dr. Aliprantis says. Swimming and riding a stationary exercise bicycle are good exercises for people with OA, because they don’t put undue stress on already painful joints.
Can Arthritis Represent A Medical Emergency
In the situation that the patient presents high fever, severe inflammation and leg pain, he/she might suffer from what is known as septic arthritis.
This is a medical emergency, requiring immediate intervention if the condition is not treated in due time, life-threatening symptoms can occur and the risk of death becomes considerably higher.
It is common for the joints of the hip and knee to be affected by this infection, with a negative impact on the entire leg.
This condition is present in both children and adults, especially in those who have a compromised immune system.
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Dont: Be Afraid To Use Assistive Devices If You Have Knee Osteoarthritis
Canes and knee braces can play a role in decreasing knee osteoarthritis pain and improving function, Pisetsky says. There can be a period of time when knee pain is disabling but its not the right time for surgery, so thats when assistive devices can make a difference, he explains. An occupational therapist can work with you to choose appropriate assistive devices.
Meditation And Yoga For Arthritis
Yoga and meditation are simple techniques that have been used in India since the past 5000 years to treat and cure several health ailments ranging from stress, mental disorders to arthritis, and obesity. This ancient discipline of alternative therapy could hold the key to help you with your arthritis pain.
Why Does It Work?
Yoga and Meditation are known to help control the blood flow in the body, and it also helps in increasing the flexibility of the body and additionally, it helps in increasing the pain threshold of the body and teaches the user to pain management.
According to a study conducted in 2015 on 75 sedentary adults that were suffering from some form of arthritis and these patients were assigned 8 weeks of yoga
After studying the vital signs in these individuals, it was concluded that yoga was able to boost the physiological and psychological condition of the patient and it was also noticed that there increase in mobility and reduction in pain amongst the patients.
How to Use?
They are several poses that you could perform to help you with your arthritis, and John Hopkins Arthritis Center recommends these poses.
For performing this asana, you would need to slowly roll down the spine to hand forward, while your weight is in the middle of the feet . It is to be noted that you dont lock your knees or rolling in/out with the feet. Your upper body should be suspended without tension, including your head.
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Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, commonly known as TENS, interrupts pain signals sent to the brain with a weak electrical pulse. For some people with arthritis in the knee, this non-invasive treatment works wonders. TENS machines can now be purchased cheaply over the counter, which makes it an easy option to try.
Ways To Manage Arthritis
There are a lot of things you can do to manage your arthritis. The day-to-day things you choose to do to manage your condition and stay healthy are self-management strategies and activities. CDCs Arthritis Program recognizes five self-management strategies for managing arthritis and its symptoms.
Practice these simple strategies to reduce symptoms and get relief so you can pursue the activities that are important to you. These strategies can even help you manage other chronic conditions you have.
Use these 5 strategies to manage your arthritis at any age.
Join a self-management education workshop, which can help you learn the skills to manage your arthritis and make good decisions about your health.
How can a self-management education workshop help me?
Learning strategies to better manage your arthritis can help you:
- Feel more in control of your health.
- Manage pain and other symptoms.
- Carry out daily activities, like going to work and spending time with loved ones.
- Reduce stress.
- Improve your mood.
- Communicate better with your health care provider about your care.
Learn about CDC-recognized self-management education programs that improve the quality of life of people with arthritis.
Stay as active as your health allows, and change your activity level depending on your arthritis symptoms. Some physical activity is better than none.
Unsure about what kind of activity is safe?
The focus of arthritis treatment is to
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Fish Oil Supplements For Arthritis
Youve probably already heard that fish oils containing omega-3 are good for your joints, brain and heart health.
Thats due to omega-3 is made up of two compounds called DHA and EPA which have been linked to reducing cell inflammation.
As arthritis causes inflammation, upping your intake of fish oil supplements packed with omega fatty acids could help thanks to their natural anti-inflammatory effects.
Studies have also shown that fatty acids could help to reduce joint pain and stiffness.
Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and trout are great sources of omega-3.
If you dont eat fish, omega-3 is also found in nuts, seeds and vegetable oils or supplements like Algal oil or Ahi Flower.
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How To Help Arthritis In Knees
If you are experiencing severe knee arthritis that is impacting your quality of life, its important to talk to your doctor first. They can help diagnose any underlying causes and design a treatment plan to improve your daily life.
For mild to moderate pain, here are our tips for how to help arthritis in the knees. As always, talk with your doctor before starting a new treatment.
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Joint Pain Is A Common Denominator
Arthritis can be separated into two types: inflammatory, such as rheumatoid arthritis , versus mechanical disease , such as osteoarthritis. Both are often characterized by joint-related symptoms. Pain involving joints knees, hips, wrists indicates the problem is arthritis, explains Andrew D. Ruthberg, MD, assistant professor of medicine in the division of rheumatology at Rush Medical College in Chicago. Back pain, neck pain, and joint swelling are also markers of arthritis.