What Are Bone Spurs
Bone spurs are of two basic types. One is the kind that arises near a joint with osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease. In this situation, the cartilage has been worn through and the bone responds by growing extra bone at the margins of the joint surface. These spurs carry the formal name osteophytes. They are common features of the osteoarthritic shoulder, elbow, hip, knee and ankle. Removing these osteophytes is an important part of joint replacement surgery but removing them without addressing the underlying arthritis is usually not effective in relieving symptoms.
The second type of bone spur is the kind that occurs when the attachment of ligaments or tendons to bone become calcified. This can occur on the bottom of the foot around the Achilles Tendon and in the coroacoacromial ligament of the shoulder. These spurs often look impressive on X-rays, but because they are in the substance of the ligaments rarely cause sufficient problems to merit excision.
Top 10 Ways To Reduce Knee Arthritis Pain
Knee arthritis pain is a common problem.
Approximately 11% of people over the age of 64 have arthritis.
Osteoarthritis of the knee is when there is wear and tear of the bones and cartilage of the knee.
In knee arthritis, the cartilage that lines the knee joint thins, while the bone underneath thickens. This produces bony spurs known as osteophytes, which makes the joint surface all bumpy rather than being nice and smooth and flat. This often results in knee pain and stiffness
Here are the top 10 things you can do to reduce arthritis knee pain and improve how the knee moves.
Eating Right For Osteoarthritis Of The Knee
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Osteoarthritis of the knee happens when cartilage wears away in a joint, and the bone starts to erode. Apart from tissue damage, youll probably start to experience pain and inflammation.
Some dietary choices can help you take care of your joints.
In this article, find out what you can eat to help boost the health of your knee joints.
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The Future Of Oa Treatment
Unlike rheumatoid arthritis, OA hasnt had any major breakthroughs that have dramatically improved its medical treatment. Drug development for this type of arthritis has been slow because the disease itself follows a slow process. It takes time to track whether a treatment can halt joint damage when that damage occurs so gradually. Joint replacement surgery has been successful, but medical treatments for OA have been limited, Dr. Aliprantis says.
Hopefully, strontium or another disease-modifying therapy will prove its merit in future studies. But it could be several more years before any approach revolutionizes the treatment of this condition. I think were just starting to understand OA, Dr. Aliprantis says.
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The Importance Of Knee Stability
You may be thinking that that the fact that your knee feels unstable is not a big deal. Is knee instability important? Absolutely, as it can lead to significant injury and possible surgery. A great example of instability is a cars wheel whose lug nuts have become loose. The wheel is unstable and over time the tire will wear abnormally and most likely sustain damage to the sidewall and tread. Furthermore, the car will lack optimal control at higher speeds and in rain and snow. A knee that is unstable either due to ligament laxity or muscle weakness, is at risk for cartilage, ligament and meniscus injury, and the possible need for knee replacement.
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Knowing If You Have Arthritis Of The Knee
Talk To Your Doctor About A Knee Brace
Often a knee brace can help. Theres evidence to show that even a simple compression sleeve can decrease pain, says Dr. Day. These are a good way to start because you can get one at the drugstore.
You can also talk to your doctor about a more customized unloader brace. These take pressure off a portion of the joint. The brace thats right for you will depend on the severity and location of arthritis, whether primarily in the inner or outer side of the joint or in the kneecap.
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Cure : Herbs For Arthritis
Herbs are naturally occurring substances which originated from plants or plant derivatives. They have shown immense potential in curing a lot of diseases effectively, including cerebral disorders, muscular problems, and digestive problems. Herbal remedies are easily accessible and dont bear any side effects.
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Deformities Of The Knee
The appearance of the knee can change during a flare and as damage progresses.
In RA, swelling and redness are common during a flare. In the long term, persistent inflammation can result in permanent damage to the cartilage and the tendons. This can affect the shape and appearance of the knee.
With OA, the muscles around the knee can weaken, resulting in a sunken appearance. The knees can start to point toward each other or bend outward.
Knee deformities range from barely noticeable to severe and debilitating.
Treatment will depend on the type of arthritis a person has.
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What Are The Signs Of Needing A Knee Replacement
Surgery to Replace the Knee
- Knee pain that prevents you from doing the things you want to do every day.
- Day to night, moderate or serious knee pain while sleeping.
- Knee swelling and inflammation that does not go away through rest or treatment.
- A bending of the leg inward or outward.
- NSAIDs dont work for me or I cant handle them.
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The Role Physical Therapy Plays In The Process
Physical therapy is definitely beneficial. Improving range of motion and strength in the knee are helpful, but physical therapy for knee osteoarthritis has a large focus on strengthening the hips, explains Dr. Day.
Weak hips put more pressure on the knees. If your hips are strong, when you get up from a chair or go up and down stairs your knees have less work to do.
Everyone with knee osteoarthritis should consult a physical therapist, according to Dr. Day. Not only will you be taught the right kinds of exercises, a physical therapist also provides valuable instruction about using assistive devices and modifying activities to reduce pain.
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Muscle Impairments And Knee Oa Initiation And Progression
Lower extremity muscles provide functional stability to the knee joint and act as a shock absorber., Quadriceps strength is related to the rate of lower extremity loading in healthy women subjects with weaker quadriceps have higher loading rates. Higher loading rates may initiate knee OA or cause progression of existing disease. On the contrary, quadriceps strength shows a bivariate relationship with rate of loading, but this relationship was lost after controlling for potential confounders including gait speed.
The question is, does knee OA cause quadriceps weakness, or does quadriceps weakness precede the disease onset and contribute to the initiation and progression of the disease?,, The development of incident radiographic knee OA was monitored over a mean period of 31 months in 280 subjects with no radiographic evidence of OA in 1 knee. Women who develop incident knee OA had weaker quadriceps relative to body weight.
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Dont Let Stress Get The Best Of You
When you spend your life fearing pain and avoiding activities that might trigger a flare-up, you end up making things worse. Its easier said than done, but try not to let the fear of pain hold you back when you are feeling your best. Ive learned to keep my stress levels in check and adopt a more easygoing approach to life, says CreakyJoints follower Kel Johan. No sense in making myself feel worse and causing more flares for things I cannot control.
Fear itself is debilitating, says Dr. Alade. Most of the time, the pain wont be as bad as you think, so for once proving yourself wrong is a good thing.
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Exercise And Other Knee Arthritis Remedies
For both OA and inflammatory knee arthritis patients, exercise is a key component of treatment, particularly if youre overweight or obese
Physical therapy may be a necessary first step for some to strengthen the muscles surrounding your knee joint and improve range of motion. Low-impact exercises walking, cycling, or swimming are usually best for those with arthritis of the knee, but you may be able to do higher-impact exercises if dont have much joint damage.
To help make activity more comfortable, your doctor may recommend using assistive devices such as a cane or a knee brace or sleeve. Wearing well-cushioned, shock-absorbing shoes or inserts is also key unsupportive styles such as flip-flops and flimsy flats only exacerbate knee joint pain. High heels, which throw off your alignment and place added stress on your knees, should also be avoided.
Its also a good idea to talk to your doctor about how to get more rest, since many people with arthritis experience sleep disturbances that studies suggest can lead to pain, depression, and greater disability. Simply practicing good sleep hygiene sticking to a regular bedtime, keeping your bedroom quiet and dark, exercising during the day, etc. can help in many cases.
Diagnosing Arthritis Of The Knee
Your doctor will begin the diagnosis by asking you about your symptoms and your medical and family history. Make sure to describe your symptoms thoroughly. Tell your doctor what makes the pain better or worse. This helps us determine if the problem is arthritis or is something else may be causing the pain. We will also perform a thorough physical examination to determine how well your knee moves.
Other diagnostic procedures include:
- Laboratory tests – We may order a blood test to determine if the arthritis is caused by an infection or rheumatoid arthritis.
- Imaging tests – We use the most advanced imaging technology available. These procedures provide us with a detailed picture of the inside of your body. They help us determine if the problem is arthritis or if another condition is causing the pain. Imaging tests include:
- X-ray shows us the condition of the bone. We can see if the space between your bones has narrowed and if there are calcium deposits in the joints.
- Magnetic resonance imaging scan can provide detailed images of the muscles and tendons that we cannot see on a standard X-ray. Usually, however, we do not need to perform an MRI.
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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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An Exercise For Knee Osteoarthritis
The Exercise: For someone with knee osteoarthritis, exercises that require deep knee bending aren’t a good idea. Instead, do a modified squat that doesn’t take you down as low. Stand in front of a straight-backed chair and slowly squat as if you’re going to sit in it. As you squat, your knees should remain over your ankles — don’t let them move forward past your ankles. Stop if you feel any pain. Depending on your level of fitness, you might start out doing five semi-squats three times a week, then move up to 10.
The Benefit: “We call this a functional exercise,” says exercise expert Marian Minor. “It gives you an improved range of motion, improved strength, and improved muscular endurance, which we think helps protect the joint from injury.”
Originally published in the March/April 2008 issue ofWebMD the Magazine.
American Geriatrics Society.
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Youre Ignoring Depression Which Can Worsen Pain
Depression, sleep problems, and osteoarthritis pain appear to be linked, according to a study published in March 2015 in the journal Arthritis Care & Research that assessed sleep, pain, and depression symptoms in 288 adults over the course of a year. The anxiety, stress, and worry that can go along with someone whos depressed may minimize their ability to cope with osteoarthritis, Johnson says. If you think you may be depressed, seek treatment immediately.
What Type Of Doctor Treats Knee Arthritis
Osteoarthritis of the knee may be treated by a sports medicine physician or an orthopedic surgeon, depending on your particular condition. A physical therapist may be able to treat less severe cases to help reduce pain and increase your mobility. If you knee pain is a result of rheumatoid arthritis, gout or other form of inflammatory arthritis, you should consult a rheumatologist.
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Pain Relief With Physical Therapy
There is no one solution to pain, but at least one expert says physical therapy is highly effective. Ã¢I recommend it to almost all of my patients,Ã¢ says Hayes Wilson, MD, chief at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta, and national medical adviser to the Arthritis Foundation.
Physical therapists teach people how to take care of themselves. Ã¢If you give a man a fish, he eats for a day. If you teach him how to fish, he eats for the rest of his life,Ã¢ says Wilson, noting physical therapists are like fishing instructors.
He is not far off. According to the American Physical Therapy Association, physical therapists teach patients self-management skills. In the case of arthritis, therapists show people how to deal with pain in day-to-day life. They show people how to build up strength and improve range of motion, and how to make sensible decisions about activities to prevent arthritic flare-ups.
Yet physical therapy is far from a panacea. In patients with severe rheumatoid arthritis, a condition that can shave 10 to 15 years off life, Wilson sees immune-modulating drugs as a first choice of treatment, and physical therapy as an adjunct.
In patients with osteoarthritis, the condition could worsen if swelling isnÃ¢t fully addressed. Ã¢I think physical therapy does decrease inflammation to a certain extent, but I think the most dramatic changes to inflammation are made pharmacologically ,Ã¢ says Wilson.
Reducing The Strain On Your Knees
Apart from keeping an eye on your weight, there are a number of other ways you can reduce the strain on your knees.
- Pace your activities dont tackle all your physical jobs at once. Break the harder jobs up into chunks and do something gentler in between. Keep using your knee even if its slightly uncomfortable, but rest it before it becomes too painful.
- Wear shoes with thick soles and enough room for your toes. Wearing the right shoes can reduce the shock through your knees as you walk and prevent any changes to your feet.
- If you need extra support for your feet or knees when you walk, speak to your physiotherapist, occupational therapist or doctor about getting insoles made for your shoes.
- Use a walking stick if needed to reduce the weight and stress on a painful knee. An occupational therapist can advise on the correct length and the best way to use the stick.
- Use a handrail for support when going up or down stairs. Go upstairs one at a time with your good leg first.
- Think about making changes to your home, car or workplace to reduce unnecessary strain. An occupational therapist can advise you on special equipment that will make things you do every day easier.
Using a heat pack or something similar on a painful knee might help to relieve the pain and stiffness of osteoarthritis. An ice pack can also help but be careful not to put ice or heat packs or hot water bottles directly on your skin wrap them with a tea towel or cover.
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