Who Is At Risk For Osteoarthritis
Anyone can get osteoarthritis, but it is more common as people age. Women are more likely than men to have osteoarthritis, especially after age 50. Other factors that may make it more likely to develop osteoarthritis include:
- Overweight or obesity
- History of injury or surgery to a joint
- Overuse from repetitive movements of the joint
- Joints that do not form correctly
- Family history of osteoarthritis
Each of these risk factors can cause tissues within the joints to break down and lead to osteoarthritis. You can decrease your chances of developing osteoarthritis by changing the risk factors you can control.
Everyday Management Tips For Arthritis
You should certainly see a doctor or health professional if you have persistent symptoms of osteoarthritis so they can confirm the diagnosis and prescribe any necessary treatment.
Treating Inner Knee Pain
When it comes to knee pain, most of us think about the outside and front of the knee. But did you know that pain on the inside of your knee is actually relatively common? The inside of your knee , where your thighbone meets your shinbone can get hurt just as easily as other parts of your knee. In many cases, this type of inner knee pain can be treated without needing surgery, but its important to identify the cause so that you can get appropriate treatment for long-term recovery.
The most common causes of inner knee pain are patellar tendonitis and a tear in the medial collateral ligament or MCL. This ligament runs from top to bottom along the outside edge of the tibiofemoral joint and serves to support and stabilize it during movement.
It is also subject to wear and tears over time from overuse or age-related wear and tear on the cartilage around it. A torn MCL often causes inner knee pain when you bend or straighten your leg due to tension being placed on the weakened ligament during these movements.
Fortunately, treating inner knee pain usually involves one or more fairly simple treatment methods such as rest, compression wrapping, ice therapy, activity modification, strengthening exercises, and stretching exercises. If these dont work after a few weeks, more serious or more involved treatment options may need to be considered such as corticosteroid injections into soft tissues around the site of injury, shockwave therapy, or surgery if more extreme cases.
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What Are The Stages Of Arthritis Of The Knee
There are five stages of osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis that affects your knees:
- Stage 0 . If youre at stage 0, your knees are healthy. You dont have arthritis of the knee.
- Stage 1 . Stage 1 means that youve got some wear and tear in your knee joint. You probably wont notice pain.
- Stage 2 . The mild stage is when you might start to feel pain and stiffness, but theres still enough cartilage to keep the bones from actually touching.
- Stage 3 . If youre at the moderate stage, youll have more pain, especially when running, walking, squatting, and kneeling. Youll likely notice it after long periods of rest . You’re probably in a great deal of pain because the cartilage has narrowed even further and there are many bone spurs.
- Stage 4 . Severe osteoarthritis means that the cartilage is almost gone. Your knee is stiff, painful and possibly immobile. You might need surgery.
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.
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
Is Exercise Helpful Or Should I Rather Rest The Knee
Exercising a knee that causes you pain may seem counterproductive. But research shows that staying active relieves pain, swelling, and stiffness of joints afflicted by arthritis, gout, or other chronic diseases.
Moderate exercise helps you keep full motion of the knee and strengthens the muscles supporting the joint. These positive effects can be achieved with different types of exercise, such as cardio, strength, and coordination.
If you exercise for at least 30 minutes per day, five days per week, you should experience better mobility and less pain within four to six weeks. You can even break the half-hour down into three 10-minute sessions each day if that works better for you.
If the pain gets worse during or after exercise, you should consider
- Lowering the intensity
Diagnosis Of Knee Osteoarthritis
Diagnosis begins with a physical examination and x-rays. During the physical exam, the doctor looks for joint swelling, range of motion, muscle strength, tenderness, and gait problems. The x-rays might show narrowing joint space, bone changes, or the formation of bone spurs all signs of an arthritic knee. Other tests may be needed to determine the cause of your knee pain. These may include an MRI, CT scan, or bone scans.
Southern Cross Medical Library
The purpose of the Southern Cross Medical Library is to provide information of a general nature to help you better understand certain medical conditions. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. This information is not intended to relate specifically to insurance or healthcare services provided by Southern Cross. For more articles go to the Medical Library index page.
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When To Contact A Doctor
Although it is not always necessary to contact a doctor during an osteoarthritis flare-up, symptoms that persist for more than a few days may need medical treatment.
The doctor may request imaging tests, such as X-rays or MRI scans, to check for changes to joints and other damage. They will likely recommend medications to treat pain.
If necessary, the doctor may suggest additional treatments to address triggers, such as CBT for stress.
Osteoarthritis flare-ups are not always preventable, but some strategies can help minimize risk.
For example, people with osteoarthritis may find the following tips helpful:
- Maintain a moderate weight by making healthy dietary choices and getting plenty of exercise.
- Reduce stress through meditation, mindfulness, and deep breathing exercises.
- Take measures to get enough sleep.
- Engage in regular exercise to strengthen the bones, lubricate the joints, and increase muscle mass.
- Wear supportive braces to help protect and stabilize the joints.
- Use assistive devices to reduce stress on the joints.
Some foods and beverages that may help prevent inflammation include:
- fresh fruits and vegetables, as they are good sources of antioxidants
What Is Knee Osteoarthritis
4.1million people in England have osteoarthritis of the Knee. 18% of the population aged over 45 years old has the condition.
Arthritis Research UK suggest that only 18% of people with arthritis have a care plan to help them manage their symptoms. Sub-optimal management of osteoarthritis permits people to suffer symptoms unnecessarily.
Not everyone who has arthritis will suffer with symptoms, but those that do can experience pain, stiffness, reduced mobility and function. The experience of OA is often unique to each individual.
Some people may just have pain, whereas others may simply have stiff joints. Typically, symptomatic people with knee OA will have a combination of symptoms. Stiff knees often hinder daily functional tasks like walking, getting in and out of the bath or car, and putting on shoes .
Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disease and a leading source of chronic pain and disability in the United States. Knee osteoarthritis comprises over 80% of the diseases total burden and affects almost 20% of Americans over the age of forty-five.
The knee is the largest and most solid joint in the body. It is the connector between the lower end of the femur , the upper end of the tibia , and the kneecap.
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How Food Helps Oa
How and what you eat may affect the development of osteoarthritis.
Scientists say that when inflammation occurs, the body produces molecules known as free radicals. Free radicals form in the body in response to toxins and natural processes, including inflammation.
When too many free radicals build up, oxidative stress results. Oxidative stress can contribute to cell and tissue damage throughout the body.
This includes damage to the synovium and cartilage, which play a role in cushioning the knee joint. Oxidative stress can also trigger further inflammation.
Antioxidants are molecules that can help protect the body from free radicals. Theyre present in the body, and you can also obtain them from plant-based foods.
Researchers dont know exactly how free radicals and oxidative stress affect OA, but some have suggested that consuming antioxidants may help.
Various nutrients may help boost joint health and reduce inflammation.
The following foods may help delay the onset or progression of osteoarthritis:
- fruits and vegetables, which provide antioxidants
- low-fat dairy foods, which contain calcium and vitamin D
- healthy oils, such as extra virgin olive oil
These foods are a part of an anti-inflammatory diet.
Some foods can increase the risk of oxidative stress.
Foods that may have this effect include:
Ways of reducing or managing weight include:
Ways of doing this include:
Set Reasonable Expectations For Recovery
People often expect the total knee replacement to be a total cure which it is not. It takes work, time, and effort to make the knee feel good again, and even then, it wont be the same knee you had when you were 20 years old, Dr. Chen reminds her patients.
Full recovery can take as much as a year, but the knee will feel better as you begin to heal from surgery.
Patients often ask when they can return to driving. That depends on which knee received the operation. For the right knee, individuals can usually drive after three-to-four weeks for the left knee, you could drive as soon as two weeks. The important factor is the strength of the quadriceps, which affects your ability to move from brake to gas safely. I tell patients to go to an empty parking lot to practice, and when they feel comfortable enough to hit the brake if they needed to, theyre ready to drive, says Dr. Chen.
Another common question is when patients can return to work. Because it depends largely on the amount of physical labor in a persons job, at-home recovery can range from two weeks to three months.
Dr. Chen reminds patients that recovery takes time: The key is expectations. I always tell patients to remember their pain before surgery, because afterwards it normally feels a lot better than that.
Antonia F. Chen, MD, MBA, is an orthopaedic surgeon in the Department of Orthopaedics at Brigham and Womens Hospital.
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Symptoms Of Severe Osteoarthritis
If you suffer from severe osteoarthritis, pain may take place with motion and activity, along with when you take rest. Your motion range of the affected joints will remain limited if you suffer from severe osteoarthritis. Besides, you may experience joint locking or joint buckling problems. Even though, locking or buckling joints seem to be nuisances, they lead to severe consequences, especially when your joint locks or buckles. Along with this, you may experience a few of the additional symptoms, such as-
- Stiffness while walking
Why Go To An Orthopedic Clinic
Orthopedic clinics have doctors who are experts in treating conditions like arthritis. Orthopedic physicians work closely with other specialized professionals with a wealth of experience treating musculoskeletal conditions, and this combination of knowledge and expertise are beneficial to patients like you.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Osteoarthritis In The Knee
Pain is the most common symptom of osteoarthritis in the knee. Your knee might hurt when you move it, or even when you are just sitting still. Other symptoms are:
- Your knee feels stiff, particularly when you first get up or when youve been sitting for a long time.
- Your knee looks swollen or feels puffy.
- You hear a cracking or grinding noise when you move your knee.
- Your knee feels wobbly, as if it could buckle or give out.”
- Your knee might lock up, or feel as if it is stuck.
A Holistic Approach May Improve Your Arthritis
Natural arthritis remedies may not work as fast as a pill, but their effects can last a lifetime. These remedies can reduce the number of medications that you have to take. If you need help with any aspect of managing your arthritis, please call us. We will help you find treatment and remedies that can improve your quality of life.
Request an appointment here: or call Freeman Orthopedic and Sports Medicine at for an appointment in our Manalapan Township office.
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