Maintaining A Healthy Weight
Being overweight can put extra pressure on the joints, and excess fat stores in the body can cause further inflammation. Maintaining a healthy weight can lessen the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
Keeping to a healthy weight can be difficult for some people, especially those who have a medical condition that reduces their mobility, such as osteoarthritis. A doctor or dietitian will be able to provide advice.
Including specific foods in the diet can strengthen the bones, muscles, and joints and help the body to fight inflammation and disease.
People with osteoarthritis can try adding the following eight foods to their diet to ease their symptoms:
Decreased Range Of Motion
Pretty much all other signs of arthritis can limit your ability to move about normally. If you have arthritis of the knee, for example, you may find that squatting down or jumping no longer come easily. This can seem like a Catch-22, given that carefully moving your joints is one way to improve circulation and reduce arthritis symptoms.
What Does Arthritis In The Knee Feel Like
If you battle morning stiffness in your knee for longer than an hour, its an indicator that you could have inflammatory arthritis instead of osteoarthritis in your knee.
The pain of inflammatory arthritis is worse in the morning because its triggered by immobility, Dr. Domingues says. Motion alleviates the knee pain, so youll feel better as the day goes on.
The opposite is true for people with OA in their knees: They can experience a brief period of morning stiffness, but their knee pain is at its worst later in the day because long periods of activity exacerbate OA symptoms.
Even the type of knee pain is different. The pain of inflammatory arthritis comes from stiffness, whereas people with osteoarthritis describe sharp pains, Domingues explains. They say its almost like theres a foreign body in their knee, which is the sensation of bone rubbing on bone.
Recommended Reading: How To Help Thumb Arthritis
What Is The Knee Joint
Three bones come together to form your knee joint. They include the:
A smooth substance called cartilage covers the ends of each bone. Its a cushion between the bones that keeps them from rubbing together. The synovial membrane, a type of tissue that surrounds the joint, lubricates the cartilage.
Arthritis of the knee causes pain and swelling in the joint
Does Knee Replacement Get Rid Of Arthritis
Knee replacement is an excellent way to reduce pain in the knees and can solve a number of issues, and is often ideal for people who have tried alternative pain-relief methods to no avail. However, it is not a permanent solution for arthritis. Knee surgery may temporarily relieve pain from arthritis, but it does not cure the condition. Managing your arthritis will still be necessary to reduce pain in the knees, even after joint surgery.
Don’t Miss: Where Can I Buy Arthritis Gloves
How Is Arthritis Of The Knee Treated
Healthcare providers can’t cure knee arthritis. But they have some tips that might reduce the severity of your symptoms and possibly stop the arthritis from getting worse, including:
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Exercise using low-impact activities instead of high-impact activities . Aim for about 150 minutes of exercise per week.
- Wear shock-absorbing inserts in your shoes.
- Apply heat or ice to the area.
- Wear a knee sleeve or brace.
- Physical therapy exercises that help with flexibility, strength and motion.
Most people have stage 4 arthritis when they get surgery.
Limited Range Of Motion
Knee arthritis sometimes limits a persons range of motion so greatly that they need a cane or a walker to help them get around.
OA has such a significant effect on the bone and cartilage in the knee that it takes great effort to move your knee joints smoothly. Just walking or standing up can become difficult.
The pain and swelling associated with RA can also greatly affect someones ability to stand and walk.
Read Also: Is Shrimp Bad For Arthritis
How Will It Affect Me
If you have osteoarthritis of the knee, you will probably feel your knee is painful and stiff at times. It may only affect one knee, especially if youve injured it in the past, or you could have it in both. The pain may feel worse at the end of the day, or when you move your knee, and it may improve when you rest. You might have some stiffness in the morning, but this wont usually last more than half an hour.
The pain can be felt all around your knee, or just in a certain place such as the front and sides. It might feel worse after moving your knee in a particular way, such as going up or down stairs.
Sometimes, people have pain that wakes them up in the night. Youll probably find that the pain varies and that you have good and bad days.
You might find you cant move your knee as easily or as far as normal, or it might creak or crunch as you move it.
Sometimes your knee might look swollen. This can be caused by two things:
- Hard swelling: when the bone at the edge of the joint grows outwards, forming bony spurs, called osteophytes .
- Soft swelling: when your joint becomes inflamed and produces extra fluid, sometimes called an effusion or water on the knee.
Sometimes osteoarthritis of the knee can cause the muscles in the thighs to weaken, so your leg may look thinner. This weakness can make the joint feel unstable and could cause the knee to give way when you put weight on it.
Symptoms Of Knee Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis of the knee usually affects both knees, although you may only notice symptoms in one.
- You may have knee pain thats in and around your knee, which becomes worse when youre active. You wont usually feel pain in your knee when youre in bed at night, unless you have severe osteoarthritis.
- Your knee may be stiff for a while after youve been resting or when you first get up in the morning. If you have it in the morning, it will be for less than 30 minutes after you get up.
- You may find that your knee sometimes gives way, or locks and you cant straighten it.
- Because of the pain, stiffness and swelling, you might not be able to move your knee as much or as easily as you would usually.
- Your knee may creak or grind when you move it this is called crepitus.
Recommended Reading: What Causes Early Onset Arthritis
What Causes Osteoarthritis
For most people, joint damage can occur when otherwise healthy joints are exposed to heavy workloads over a long period of time. This leads to joint injuries due to repeated overuse. Frequently performing a particular task or sport or carrying around excess body weight can lead to osteoarthritis. Eventually the joint cartilage, the cushion at the ends of the bones, wears away. As a result, the bones rub together, causing a grating sensation.
Osteoarthritis often affects three main areas of your hand:
- the base of your thumb
- the joints closest to your fingertips
- the middle joints of your fingers
Your fingers may become stiff, painful and swollen and you may develop bumps on your finger joints. Over time, the pain may decrease and eventually disappear altogether, although the bumps and swelling can remain.
Your fingers may bend sideways slightly at your affected joints or you may develop painful cysts on the backs of your fingers.
In some cases, you may also develop a bump at the base of your thumb where it joins your wrist. This can be painful and you may find it difficult to perform some manual tasks, such as writing, opening jars or turning keys.
Page last reviewed: 19 August 2019 Next review due: 19 August 2022
Reduced Range Of Motion
Physio.co.uk defines the reduced range of motion in your knee as diminished action due to stiffness or pain that limits the joints ability to maneuver as usual. Range of motion can be reduced both actively and passively. Active range of motion refers to movements you do through muscle control and is limited by pain, weakness, or something in the way. Passive range of motion requires someone else to take your knee through the actions and is often done during physical therapy. Passive range of motion gets restricted when the joint is swollen, deformed, or contains a foreign object.
Additionally, for the best use of your legs, the range of motion in both knees should be the same .
Medical professionals at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai point to dislocation, fractures, infections, and tears within the joint as causes of reduced range of motion. Additionally, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and a chronic form of arthritis known as ankylosing spondylitis can also lessen your ability to move your knees.
Unless your problem is due to a meniscus tear, doctors usually treat a reduced range of motion in your knees using a directed rehabilitation program. Tears to the meniscus require arthroscopic surgery .
Also Check: Is Honey Good For Arthritis Pain
How Ra Affects The Knees
Over time, the swelling can damage the cartilage and ligaments of the knee joints. These help your knee move and keep bones from grinding on each other.
As they become damaged, cartilage wears away and bones start to push and grind against each other. This results in pain and bone damage.
Damage from RA also raises the risk of breaking or wearing down bones more easily. This makes it difficult or impossible to walk or stand without pain or weakness.
A hallmark symptom of RA is tenderness, pain, or discomfort that gets worse when you stand, walk, or exercise. This is known as a flare-up. It can range from a mild, throbbing pain to an intense, sharp pain.
More common symptoms of RA in your knees include:
- warmth around the joint
Here are a few of the methods your doctor will use to diagnose RA in your knees:
What Is Knee Arthritis
Knee arthritis is inflammation and deterioration of knee joint cartilage. Cartilage is the slippery coating on the ends of bones that serves as a cushion and allows the knee to smoothly bend and straighten. Knee cartilage coats the end of the thighbone , top of the shinbone and the backside of the kneecap . When cartilage wears away, the space between the bones narrows. In advanced arthritis, bone rubs on bone and bone spurs may form.
Damage to the joint cartilage over time may result in the development or worsening of deformities of the knee, including knock knees and bowleg.
Also Check: Can Arthritis Affect Your Lungs
What Age Does Knee Arthritis Strike
Its possible to develop either category of knee arthritis at virtually any age. However, osteoarthritis of the knee most commonly occurs in people over age 40. Thats because its most often caused by the wear and tear that occurs in your knee joint as you age. As a result, the cartilage that cushions your knee begins to break down.
When we do see knee osteoarthritis in younger people its usually because they experienced trauma to the knee that triggered cartilage loss, says Dr. Domingues.
Certain types of inflammatory arthritis, in contrast, are more likely to develop earlier in life. Ankylosing spondylitis frequently develops between ages 20 and 40, while the age of onset of psoriatic arthritis is usually between 30 and 50.
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: What Is The Best Remedy For Arthritis Pain
What Osteoarthritis Pain Feels Like
Pain is pain, right? It just plain hurts. But for your doctor to figure out whether your joint pain stems from osteoarthritis, which develops as cartilage wears away, youll need to be specific about when the pain occurs, how bad it is, and the ways its affecting you.
Here are some common signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis that may help you identify and better describe your pain to your doctor:
- Pain that aches deep into the joint
- Pain that feels better with rest
- Pain that isnt noticeable in the morning but gets worse throughout the day
- Pain that radiates into your buttocks, thighs, or groin
- Joint pain that affects your posture and gait and may cause limping
- Pain that occurs after using the joint
- Swelling in the joint
- Not being able to move the joint as much as usual
- Feeling a sensation of bones grating or catching on something when moving the joint
- Pain during certain activities, like standing from a seated position or using stairs
- Pain that interferes with work, daily activities, and exercise
- Joint stiffness first thing in the morning that improves with time
- Stiffness after resting the joint
Early Warning Signs Of Arthritis Of The Knee
Although there is more than one type of arthritis that can occur in the knee, the most common is Osteoarthritis . OA affects over 30 million people worldwide. This particular issue occurs when cartilage of the joints wears away. Firm and slippery, cartridge allows for nearly friction-less joint motion. Without it, the bones begin to rub together.
Because Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease, the breakdown of tissue doesnt happen overnight. Similarly, the symptoms associated with arthritis of the knee also build slowly over time. OA isnt reversible once it progresses. However, there are early warning signs means that can help pinpoint the problem early on and aid in managing difficult symptoms before they spiral out of control. Read on to discover the most common early warning signs of arthritis of the knee. Also, weve included a few key ways to combat these indicators without surgery.
Early Warning Sign #1: Pain
Pain is the number one indicator that arthritis might be set up in the knee joints. Most people with early warning signs of arthritis of the knee only pay attention when it begins to hurt. How the pain presents itself varies from person to person, body to body. Your knees may hurt while you are actually moving (i.e., while walking or running. Or they may only ache after you sit down. Some peoples knees feel tender only when pressure is applied. Finding ways to relieve arthritis pain naturally is essential, especially as the disease progresses.
Also Check: What Can You Take For Arthritis In Hands
Is The Pain Continuous
Gout, OA, post-traumatic, reactive, and infectious arthritis can cause continual discomfort during the acute phase of the flare or attack. However, symptoms may be worse on some days than others.
Other forms of arthritis may have symptoms alternating between flare-ups and periods of remission where symptoms improve, such as:
- rheumatoid arthritis
- arthritis due to lupus
Can Osteoarthritis Be Prevented
You can reduce your risk of developing osteoarthritis by avoiding significant damage or overuse of a joint. Maintaining a healthy weight will make osteoarthritis easier to manage if it develops in a weight-bearing joint, such as the knees, hips or feet.
Be careful of any product or treatment that claims to prevent osteoarthritis completely check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medication or supplement.
Read Also: What Kind Of Doctor Do I See For Arthritis
Get A Professional Diagnosis
Although these symptoms are all present with arthritis, they dont definitively diagnose you. Only a trained medical professional like Dr. Kimes can do that. He uses X-rays and CT scans to either pinpoint your arthritis or rule it out.
If you dont have arthritis, he gets to the bottom of your pain and other symptoms so he can identify and treat the underlying cause.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Arthritis Of The Knee
There are many signs and symptoms of arthritis of the knee:
- Creaking, clicking, grinding or snapping noises .
- Difficulty walking.
- Joint pain that changes depending on the weather.
- Joint stiffness.
- Knee joint pain that progresses slowly or pain that happens suddenly.
- Your knee locks or sticks when its trying to move.
Pain and swelling are the most common symptoms of arthritis of the knee. Some treatments might reduce the severity of your symptoms or even stall the progression. See your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of knee arthritis.
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.