Dmards For Rheumatoid Arthritis
People with RA, an auto-immune disease, may need drugs that affect the whole system, and not only the knee joint.
A doctor may recommend one of a new class of drugs, known as disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs .
Doctors can also use corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation in the knee joint. However, these usually offer only short-term pain relief, and long-term use can have adverse effects.
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.
What Are The Treatments For Arthritic Knee Pain
After determining that your knee pain is, in fact, caused by arthritis, Dr. Williams and the caring staff at Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta will recommend an appropriate treatment plan to help you as quickly and reliably as possible. Some of the most widely known and used treatments for arthritis and arthritic knee pain include:
- Knee injections
- Fluid drainage
- Weight loss
- Physical therapy
In addition to these methods, Dr. Williams is proud to offer the breakthrough Regenexx family of nonsurgical treatments, which are designed to use a patients own stem cells to treat common and degenerative conditions without the need for going under the knife. While there are certainly some cases in which surgery may be unavoidable, Regenexx treatment has proven to be highly beneficial for chronic pain relief caused by a large number of conditions.
Recommended Reading: How Can You Get Arthritis In Your Back
What Other Symptoms Are Linked With Knee Joint Pain
Symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee are generally limited to the joint itself, whereas inflammatory arthritis causes a wider array of issues. Unlike OA, inflammatory arthritis is a systemic disease, which means it affects the whole body, says CreakyJoints Medical Advisor Vinicius Domingues, MD, a rheumatologist in Daytona Beach, Florida.
In fact, it would be less common for someone with a form of inflammatory arthritis to experience pain in just one knee. Thats because symptoms are usually symmetrical whats more, inflammatory arthritis symptoms usually dont start in the knee.
For example, rheumatoid arthritis generally strikes the small joints in the fingers and toes first, while someone with ankylosing spondylitis is more likely to complain of low back and buttock pain, with knee arthritis pain developing later.
Depending on the type of inflammatory arthritis you have, you may experience other symptoms beyond knee joint pain. People with psoriatic arthritis exhibit the telltale scaly rash and plaques of psoriasis eye inflammation can be a problem for those with psoriatic arthritis as well as ankylosing spondylitis, and people with rheumatoid arthritis may experience weight loss and fevers.
How Can I Prevent Osteoarthritis Of The Knee
While you cant always prevent osteoarthritis of the knee, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk youll develop it:
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- If you jog or run, do so on grass or soft surfaces.
- Vary your fitness routine with low-impact exercises such as swimming or cycling.
- Add light strength training to your fitness routine.
You May Like: How Much Apple Cider Vinegar Should I Take For Arthritis
Level 2 Moderate Arthritis
Symptoms of ‘Level 2’ include more constant aches and occasional severe pains often affecting the whole knee or hip.
At this stage your cartilage is worn and there are some bald patches .
Symptoms: More constant aches and occasional severe pains often affecting the whole knee or hip. The area may remain swollen and sometimes be warm to touch. It may be thickened and change in shape and the muscles may look smaller.
Early Signs Of Arthritis
While some signs of arthritis develop and worsen with time, other symptoms are often present at the onset of the disease. Common early signs of arthritis are morning stiffness,4 fatigue,5tingling,6 and numbness of the joints.
Individuals with early onsite arthritis may feel unusually fatigued doing normal daily activities, and this fatigue may come or go on certain days. Tingling and numbness may be mild sensations in the beginning. Stiffness in the morning that only lasts a few minutes is often an early warning sign of a degenerative form of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis. Meanwhile, individuals who experience morning stiffness that lasts a few hours may be feeling an early warning sign of rheumatoid arthritis or another form of inflammatory arthritis.6
You May Like: How To Alleviate Arthritis Pain In Knee
Knowing If You Have Arthritis Of The Knee
Youre Overdoing The Wrong Exercises Putting More Stress On Your Knee Joints
Although everyone with osteoarthritis is different, Halpern says that exercises that tend to aggravate knee osteoarthritis are deep squats, lunges, and any movement that pounds on the joint. Additionally, some people with osteoarthritis are simply too active, says Wayne Johnson, MD, an orthopedic surgeon in Lawton, Oklahoma. For example, runners might need to cut back on running, while people who do other active things like gardening, for example should spread out their activities instead of trying to do it all in one day. Talk to your doctor about what types of exercise are safe for you given the severity of your osteoarthritis and the amount of pain you experience.
Recommended Reading: How To Pop Your Knee While Lying Down
Also Check: Does Caffeine Help Arthritis Pain
Your Knees Creak Or Grind
You go to do a down dog in yoga and your knee creaks so loudly that the person on the next mat can hear it. Awkwardand painful. Grinding sounds may be the result of exposed bones rubbing against each other popping sounds are more likely caused by fluid moving around in the joint, says Alexis Colvin, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at The Mount Sinai Hospital. If youre familiar with those sounds but dont have any pain or other signs of arthritis, you should still listen up and take these easy steps to protect your knee joints, because having noisy knee joints might be a major predictor of arthritis down the road, according to researchers from Baylor College of Medicine.
Cracking Or Popping Sounds
When you bend or straighten your knee, you may feel a grinding sensation or hear cracking or popping sounds. Doctors call this crepitus.
These symptoms can occur when youve lost some of the cartilage that helps with smooth range of motion. Both OA and RA can result in cartilage damage.
When cartilage is damaged, rough surfaces and bone spurs develop. As you move your joints, these irregular areas rub against each other.
Don’t Miss: Does Popping Your Fingers Give You 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.
Will I Always Need Medical Treatment For Osteoarthritis Of The Knee
You might always need pain medication to ease your symptoms. Many people find exercise and physical therapy helps their symptoms. People also benefit from self-management programs that provide information about living with osteoarthritis of the knee. Talk to your healthcare provider about ways you can use exercise and other self-care to manage your symptoms.
Read Also: What Is Best Otc For Arthritis
What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that causes chronic inflammation. With RA, your immune system attacks your bodys tissues and causes painful swelling of the joints. Without treatment, RA can severely damage joints.
There are many ways that rheumatoid arthritis can appear, but some of the most recognized signs are in the hands and feet. However, many different joints can be affected, with varying severity.
Imaging tests, like X-ray, computed tomography scan, and magnetic resonance imaging help doctors take a close look at your joints and assess any damage.
RA can also affect other parts of the body, including skin, blood vessels, eyes, and lungs. People with RA may deal with fatigue and general weakness as well.
Diagnosing Osteoarthritis Of The Knee
Osteoarthritis of the knee is a progressive condition that causes aching pain, stiffness, and loss of mobility in the knee joint. The knee is the largest joint in the body, and is one of the strongest. Its composed of three bones: the bottom part of the thighbone, called the femur the top part of the shinbone, called the tibia and a large, round bone that covers and protects the joint, called the patella or kneecap. The ends of these bones are lined in a protective material called cartilage, a smooth material that acts like a shock absorber and helps the bones to move easily while the body is in motion.
The cause of knee pain and other osteoarthritis symptoms is often bone-on-bone friction, which happens when the cartilage has begun to erode. Over time, cartilage may wear away completely, leaving the joint vulnerable to permanent damage.
New research suggests that not everyone experiences osteoarthritis symptoms as a result of cartilage wear and tear. Knee pain results in many people from an inflammation in the membrane lining the knee joint, called the synovium. In a healthy knee, the synovium secretes a gel-like substance called synovial fluid that lubricates the joint and helps absorb stress during movement. Pain and stiffness related to osteoarthritis have been linked to a thinning of synovial fluid, which further contributes to joint degeneration.
Also Check: Can Arthroscopic Surgery Help Knee Arthritis
How Do I Know If I Have Osteoarthritis
Unlike other types of arthritis, the pain from osteoarthritis usually develops gradually over many months or years. Often it increases with activities that put stress on the joint, such as running or prolonged walking. Pain and joint swelling tend to increase slowly over time. Sometimes, especially in more advanced disease, a sensation of crunching or grinding may be noticed in affected joints. Prolonged morning stiffness is not a prominent symptom in OA as compared to inflammatory arthritides, such as rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis. Osteoarthritis does not usually cause fevers, weight loss, or very hot and red joints. These features suggest some other condition or type of arthritis.
Your healthcare provider can typically diagnose osteoarthritis by obtaining a complete history of your symptoms and examining your joints. X-rays may be helpful to make sure there is no other reason for the pain. Magnetic resonance imaging is generally not needed except in unusual circumstances or in cases when the cartilage or surrounding ligament tear is suspected. There are no blood tests that diagnose osteoarthritis. If a joint is particularly swollen, a doctor may need to drain fluid from that joint. Tests can be performed on the fluid to look for clues for other types of arthritis, such as gout.
Read Also: How Long After Knee Replacement Can You Fly
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.
Read Also: What’s Better For Arthritis Heat Or Ice
Youre Trying To Cope With Knee Osteoarthritis By Yourself
People with knee osteoarthritis often know that healthy lifestyle habits like exercise and weight control are recommended, but they arent implementing them, Dr. Garver says. His research, which was published in the October 2014 issue of The Journal of Rheumatology found that meeting with others who have osteoarthritis and sharing similar challenges can help motivate people to change their habits and add an exercise routine into their life.
Support For People With Ra
Receiving a diagnosis of RA can result in people feeling overwhelmed and lonely. If possible, they should find emotional and physical support from family and friends as they learn to navigate life with a chronic condition.
Individuals may also find it valuable to reach out to others living with RA and learn from their experiences.
Many hospitals and nonprofit groups, such as the Arthritis Foundation, provide online and in-person support groups. At the meetings, people with RA can connect with others and share information and insights without pressure or embarrassment.
You May Like: How To Make Arthritis Pain Go Away
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.