Do: Wear Comfortable Knee Joint
There are a fair number of studies that suggest shoe choice matters if you have knee osteoarthritis, Pisetsky says. In fact, flat, flexible shoes that mimic the foots natural mobility can decrease the force placed upon the knee during daily activities, according to a study published in the May 2013 issue of Arthritis and Rheumatology.
Adding Or Removing Some Bone Around A Joint
If you have osteoarthritis in your knees but you’re not suitable for knee replacement surgery, you may be able to have an operation called an osteotomy. This involves your surgeon adding or removing a small section of bone either above or below your knee joint.
This helps realign your knee so your weight is no longer focused on the damaged part of your knee. An osteotomy can relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis, although you may still need knee replacement surgery eventually.
Wearing The Proper Shoes Is Important For Healthy Knees
Supportive and comfortable shoes help take pressure off the knee joint by promoting proper leg alignment and balance. So its no surprise that wearing high heels is a common cause of knee pain.
When high heels lift your heel up, your weight bearing line tips forward so your quadriceps have to work harder to hold your knee straight, which then leads to knee pain, says Bush-Joseph. Whereas, if your heel is closer to the floor in low pumps or flats, your thigh muscles dont have to work as hard to maintain stability, which is easier on the knees.
While strength training and stretching can help build up the muscles around the knees to minimize knee damage from heels, its best to save the stilettos for special occasions.
Proper shoes are particularly important during exercise. If you are taking up running as a newbie or starting a new form of aerobic exercise, getting professionally fitted from someone at a running or sporting goods store can help with knee problems and will certainly lower your incidence of having overuse problems due to footwear, says Bush-Joseph.
Also Check: Does Medicare Cover Knee Surgery
You May Like: What Are The Worst Foods For Arthritis
Foods For Fending Off Osteoarthritis Inflammation
During National Arthritis Month, we have discussed the symptoms of osteoarthritis and ways to help alleviate the pain. Did you know there are a number of foods that can reduce the inflammation and swelling that causes the pain associated with osteoarthritis? The Arthritis Research Institute of America recommends these foods to help decrease inflammation, improve joint flexibility and ease pain. Stock up on these superfoods your next trip to the supermarket!
Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids that can reduce joint pain and shorten the duration of morning stiffness.
Bananas and Plantains are high in magnesium and potassium that can increase bone density. Magnesium may also alleviate arthritis symptoms.
Blueberries are full of antioxidants that protect your body against both inflammation and free radicalsmolecules that can damage cells and organs.
Green Tea has anti-inflammatory properties.
Orange Juice contains Vitamin C, which is important in the development of normal cartilage.
Tofu can reduce pain and swelling in chronic knee joint pain. Try it in a fruit smoothie!
Peanut Butter is rich in vitamin B3, a supplement that may help improve flexibility and reduce inflammation.
Whole Grain Breads and Cereals can alleviate morning stiffness and pain.
Lobster is a good source of vitamin E that may have a protective effect against knee osteoarthritis.
How Can I Protect My Joints
Here are some tips for protecting the joints a priority in any exercise program:
Walking on flat surfaces will help prevent injury in knee, hip, ankle or foot arthritis.
Wearing supportive footwear, including orthotics, can help protect joints. Orthotics can be custom-made by a podiatrist or purchased over the counter. Custom-made orthotics are specific to the person and can provide more relief and protection.
It is important to avoid jarring movements.
Start exercising slowly and build up to a longer routine.
Do not take excess pain medication prior to exercise, as it may mask injury.
Pay attention to posture and alignment.
Don’t Miss: Does Acupuncture Help Arthritis Pain
What Causes Arthritis Of The Knee
Experts have identified some genes that might cause arthritis, including arthritis of the knee. They predict that there are more genes not yet discovered. You could have a gene linked to arthritis without knowing it and a virus or injury could trigger arthritis of the knee.
Though the cause is unknown, some risk factors increase the possibility of arthritis of the knee. Risk factors of osteoarthritis, specifically, include:
- Age. Osteoarthritis happens to older adults more often than younger adults and children.
- Bone anomalies. Youre at a higher risk for osteoarthritis if your bones or joints are naturally crooked.
- Gout. Gout, also a type of inflammatory arthritis, might lead to osteoarthritis.
- Injuries. Knee injuries can cause arthritis of the knee.
- Stress. A lot of stress on your knees from jogging, playing sports or working an active job can lead to osteoarthritis of the knee.
- Weight. Extra weight puts more pressure on your knees.
Heat And Cold Compression
Both heat and cold compression work as an anti-inflammatory. But the treatment you choose depends on the type of pain you have. Heat relaxes muscles and improves lubrication, leading to a reduction in stiffness. For better results, you can use a hot water bottle or a warm pad. Ice can also be a good option at the end of a long day if your knee becomes inflamed. You can wrap an ice cube in a cloth and apply it to the affected part.
Recommended Reading: How Do You Treat Arthritis In The Fingers
Gout And Calcium Crystal Diseases
Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis that can cause painful swelling in joints. It typically affects the big toe, but it can also affect other joints in the body.
Joints affected by gout can become red and hot. The skin may also look shiny and can peel.
Its caused by having too much urate, otherwise known as uric acid, in the body. We all have a certain amount of urate in our body.
However, being overweight or eating and drinking too much of certain types of food and alcoholic drinks can cause some people to have more urate in their bodies. The genes you inherit can make you more likely to develop gout.
If it reaches a high level, urate can form into crystals that remain in and around the joint. They can be there for a while without causing any problems and even without the person realising they are there.
A knock to a part of the body or having a fever can lead to the crystals falling into the soft part of the joint. This will cause pain and swelling.
There are drugs that can reduce the amount of urate in the body and prevent gout attacks. Examples are allopurinol and . If youre having a gout attack, youll also need short-term pain relief. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as well as paracetamol can be good drugs to try first.
Men can get gout from their mid-20s, and in women its more common after the menopause. Taking water tablets can increase the risk of gout.
There are also conditions that cause calcium crystals to form in and around joints.
If Youre Not Satisfied With The Information Your Provider Gave You Please Speak Up
To make things easier, you can use these questions to help you get valuable information during consult:
- How severe is my knee OA?
- What treatments are available for me?
- Will I need steroid injections?
- Do I need knee joint replacement surgery? Will it be a partial or total knee replacement?
- Apart from exercise and weight loss, what else can I do for pain relief?
Pro tip:Take 10 min to brainstorm your worries and fears around knee OA. Write everything down without a filter. Turn that into questions to bring to your next appointment.
Also Check: Can And Bottle Opener For Arthritis
Preserve Knee Function With Exercise & Changes In Your Lifestyle
Exercise, including water aerobics, strength training, and yoga, can help preserve knee function to ultimately relieve pain and swelling. The same exercises will help you lose weight, lessening the pressure on your knees. Exercise also helps maintain full range of motion in the knee joints, strengthens the muscles supporting the joints, and absorbs shock impacting the joints.
Walking is the most beneficial form of exercise. Its low-impact, and because its a weight-bearing exercise, it helps strengthen muscles and builds bones. Start out slow, gradually increasing your pace and distance for best results. Water exercises or walking in the shallow end of the pool are also great for muscle strength and knee flexibility. Because the body is buoyant in water, it lessens impact to near zero as it makes you work a little harder to move.
What Not To Do
- Do not let the back arch during the exercise.
- Do not jerk or bounce the leg or lift it above the knee on the bent leg.
- People who have osteoporosis or a back compression fracture should not perform this exercise.
Muscles involved: Hamstrings and gluteal muscles.
Also Check: Is Mackerel Good For Arthritis
Do: Incorporate Strength And Flexibility Training To Strengthen Your Leg Muscles
A fitness plan for osteoarthritis should include strength and flexibility training along with aerobic exercise, says James Wyss, MD, a sports physiatrist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City and an assistant professor of clinical rehabilitation medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. Strengthening exercises help support the muscles around the joint, while stretching can maintain and sometimes improve flexibility around the knee,” Dr. Wyss says.
What Are The Symptoms Of Osteoarthritis
The main symptoms of osteoarthritis are:
- joint pain and stiffness
- grating sensations when moving a joint
- less joint flexibility than before
You may only notice symptoms in your joints after doing an activity such as walking, climbing stairs or opening a jar. Some people have mild symptoms, while others may experience more severe, ongoing symptoms.
Read Also: Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Cause Night Sweats
When To See Your Doctor
There are treatments available from your doctor is the home remedies arent enough.
The earlier you seek treatment, the better off you will be.
Seeking treatment as soon as you can will help you avoid surgery down the road.
You should see ee your doctor if:
- your pain or inflammation are not responding to home treatments
- your symptoms get worse, or you develop other symptoms like a fever
- your symptoms affect your daily life
Your doctor will ask you many questions about your pain during your initial appointment, like how it affects your life, when it occurs, and how bad it gets.
They will also ask you to rate your pain on a scale from 1 to 10.
They will also review your medical history, complete a physical exam, perform imaging tests to identify the cause of pain and mobility loss and conduct blood tests for other conditions that may be causing your joint pain.
Recommended Reading: Relief For Rheumatoid Arthritis In Hands
Stop Thinking You Cant Exercise
Many people who have arthritis are afraid if theyre active theyll have more pain and so they just dont get any exercise. This may be one of the biggest misconceptions about arthritis.
At the same time, its an ironic idea because inactivity actually makes pain and disability from arthritis worse over time, while regular exercise keeps joints moving and prevents stiffness, strengthens the muscles around the joints, and improves mobility.
So if youve been sedentary out of fear youll make your arthritis worse, talk to your healthcare provider to make sure its OK to exercise. Then start slowly with gentle, joint-friendly movements. Its fine to respect your arthritis pain, but you dont have to let it stop you.
Don’t Miss: Does Magnetic Therapy Work For Arthritis
Fixing Knee Pain At Home
Is Walking Good For Arthritis In The Knee
If you are experiencing the painful, frustrating symptoms of arthritis in your knees and other joints, you are probably thinking that increasing your activity level is the last thing youd want to do. However, you may be surprised to learn that regular walking, stretching, and other movements can actually help relieve your arthritis pain and improve your overall mobility. Experienced orthopedic provider Dr. Christopher Williams and the knowledgeable team at Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta are dedicated to providing the most personalized level of care to help patients rid themselves of debilitating arthritis pain and regain control of their lives. Find out more about your options for minimizing knee pain related to arthritis, including how increased physical activity may actually benefit you.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Latest Treatment For Psoriatic Arthritis
Yet If The Feelings Get Too Heavy Please Seek Help
Discuss your fears and worries with a healthcare professional. Having an honest conversation with your doctor or physio about your prognosis can help a lot with this.
You may also need to work with a psychologist. These professionals will help you find coping strategies for those emotions, more so if your symptoms are affecting your self-esteem.
How Common Is Osteoarthritis
Women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis than men. Australian studies show that about 1 in 10 women report having the condition, compared with about 1 in 16 men.
Osteoarthritis can develop at any age, but it is more common in people aged over 40 years or in those who have previously injured a joint. One in 5 Australians over the age of 45, and one in 3 over 75 years have osteoarthritis.
Recommended Reading: Do Tomatoes Make Arthritis Worse
Dont: Engage In Repetitive High
Joint-pounding exercises such as running and tennis can tax your already damaged knees, Dr. Pisetsky says. Its a vicious cycle because this type of exercise causes more pain. You stop using your muscle because it hurts, you lose strength, and then your alignment isnt good either, he says. This can also result in needing joint replacement surgery. Listen to your body, he says. If it is painful, dont do it.
What Are Treatments For Knee Arthritis
Though neither category of arthritis is curable, both kinds of knee arthritis can be managed well, particularly when caught early. Thats especially true for those with inflammatory arthritis.
We know a lot more about inflammatory arthritis than we do about OA, Dr. Domingues says. And we have drugs that target the root cause of inflammatory arthritis disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, or DMARDs which decrease inflammation, help preserve the joint, and ease pain. Biologics, a more targeted type of DMARD, may be recommended for those who dont get sufficient relief of knee pain and other symptoms from traditional DMARDs.
As for what to take for knee osteoarthritis, doctors often first recommend over-the-counter analgesics such as acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , which are also sometimes used to alleviate the pain of inflammatory arthritis.
If those dont help your knee OA, steroid injections may be a good next step for managing knee joint pain, or your doctor might suggest hyaluronan injections, which provide some of the cushioning lost by cartilage breakdown in your knee joint.
But because OA is a degenerative disease, which means it will likely get worse over time, these options mostly buy you time before you may ultimately need a knee replacement, which is the definitive treatment for moderate-to-severe knee OA, Dr. Domingues says.
Exercise And Physical Therapy
Exercise is essential for reducing the risk of osteoarthritis and slowing its progress. Exercise not only helps you manage your weight, but it also improves strength, flexibility, and mobility.
Low-impact exercises are less likely to put strain on a damaged joint. Experts strongly recommend tai chi for people with hip osteoarthritis.
Other options include:
Regular stretching can help relieve stiff, achy, or painful joints. Here are some tips to help you stretch safely:
- Start by asking a physical therapist for suggestions and guidance.
- Do all stretches gently and build up flexibility slowly.
- Stop if you feel pain.
- Increase intensity slowly.
If you dont feel pain after the first few days of an activity, gradually spend more time on it. At first, you may find it hard to stretch very far, but your flexibility will increase over time, as you practice.
Here are a few possible stretches:
Start with your feet shoulder-width apart or sit in a chair. Slowly lean forward, keeping your upper body relaxed. You should feel the stretch in your hips and lower back.
Lie on your back. Pull your bent knee up toward your chest until you feel a stretch. If your body allows it, use your other leg to deepen the stretch.
Extended leg balance
This is the same exercise as the knee pull, but you start from a standing position. Place one hand along the wall for support.
Here are some other stretches you can ask your healthcare provider about:
- standing hip flexors