Gradual Increase In Pain
Arthritis pain usually starts slowly, although it can appear suddenly in some cases.
At first, you may notice pain in the morning or after youve been inactive for a while.
Your knees may hurt when you:
- climb stairs
- stand up from a sitting position
- walk on a flat surface
- sit down for a while
Knee pain that wakes you up from sleep can be a symptom of OA.
For people with RA, the symptoms often start in the smaller joints. They are also more likely to be symmetrical, affecting both sides of the body. The joint may be warm and red.
With OA, symptoms may progress rapidly or they may develop over several years, depending on the individual. Symptoms can worsen and then remain stable for a long time, and they can vary day to day.
Factors that may cause worsening of symptoms include:
- cold weather
- excessive activity
With RA, symptoms usually appear over several weeks, but they can develop or worsen in a few days. A flare can happen when disease activity increases. Triggers vary and can include changes in medication.
What About Glucosamine And Chondroitin
Glucosamine and chondroitin are components of healthy cartilage. Both are produced naturally in the body. They are also available in supplement form.
Researchers have long studied the effects of glucosamine and chondroitin supplements on arthritis. Many studies have found mixed resultssome have shown pain relief and function improvements compared to a placebo, while others showed no benefit from using these supplements.
Because of the lack of confirmatory evidence on the effectiveness of glucosamine and chondroitin supplements, the 2019 ACR/Arthritis guidelines recommend that people with knee OA not use these supplements.
There has been little or no research on the effects of glucosamine and chondroitin supplements in people with knee arthritis related to RA.
Most supplements are generally safe to use. Talk to your healthcare provider about whether it is safe for you to start a supplement with your current knee arthritis treatment plan.
While supplements have few severe side effects attached to them, it is still possible to experience these. Supplements can also interact with prescription drugs, can make other treatments less effective, and affect other health conditions you may have.
Support From Family And Others
The stress of having a chronic illness may make it hard for you to see problems and their solutions as clearly or as positively as you might otherwise see them.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by problems brought on by arthritis talk with your family and friends. Also consider seeking outside support from your clergy family social worker or counseling psychologist. These professionals are trained to help people break problems down into manageable parts discover ways to solve problems ease frustrations and find constructive ways to work through their problems. Arthritis clubs and support groups are another way in which both men and women who have arthritis are able to get the support they need. These groups are helpful because most people find it easier to share their concerns and experiences with other people who have arthritis.
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Making Daily Activities Easier
Cooking and cleanup
- Plan meals ahead to lessen last-minute tasks.
- Use electric appliances such as can openers, mixers, crock pots, microwave ovens, and dishwashers to get the job done with less energy and stress on your joints.
- Place a mixing bowl in the sink while stirring. A damp cloth underneath will help keep it from slipping. Hold the mixing spoon like a dagger to take stress off your hands.
- Hammer rustproof nails through a cutting board to secure vegetables while cutting.
- Use a French chef’s knife which keeps hands in good position for cutting slicing and chopping.
- Use disposable aluminum baking pans for easier cleanup.
- Spray a non-stick product on pans or line with foil before baking or frying. Use lightweight baking dishes, plates, pots, and pans and serve from them. Use a wheeled cart to move heavy items from place to place. Sit on a high stool while cooking or washing dishes. Store appliances within easy reach. Use long-handled reachers.
Laundry and housecleaning
In the bathroom
In the bedroom
- Keep files and supplies within easy reach.
- Use vertical files on your desk for current work.
- Install work assist arms or wrist rests at your keyboard.
- Use a glare screen and paper holder on your monitor.
- Use lateral file cabinets for easier access.
Physical Therapy Guide To Osteoarthritis Of The Knee
Osteoarthritis of the knee is the inflammation and wearing away of the cartilage on the bones that form the knee joint . The diagnosis of knee OA is based on 2 primary findings: radiographic evidence of changes in bone health , and an individual’s symptoms . Approximately 14 million people in the United States have symptomatic knee OA. Although more common in older adults, 2 million of the 14 million people with symptomatic knee OA were younger than 45 when diagnosed, and more than half were younger than 65. Physical therapists treat knee OA to reduce pain and improve range of motion.
Physical therapists are movement experts. They improve quality of life through hands-on care, patient education, and prescribed movement. You can contact a physical therapist directly for an evaluation. To find a physical therapist in your area, visit Find a PT.
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Find Out What Type Of Arthritis You Have
Learn about the type of arthritis you have and your treatment options. Ask your doctor about creating a tailored management plan and team care arrangement for you. This includes subsidised care from a team of healthcare professionals such as physiotherapists, dietitians, and others. Your local Arthritis office may also run self management courses to help you develop skills to manage your symptoms, communicate with your healthcare team and lessen the impact of arthritis on your life.
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.
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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.
How Is Osteoarthritis Diagnosed
There is no specific test for osteoarthritis. Your doctor will confirm or rule out osteoarthritis based on your symptoms and a physical examination. Some signs they may look for are:
- swelling around the joints in your body
- damage to joint cartilage cartilage is the smooth, cushion-like surface that covers the ends of your bones to allow them to move smoothly
- spurs extra bone growing around the edge of a joint
- weakness in the ligaments and tendons the connective tissue that holds your joints together or attaches muscles to bones
Your doctor may refer you for an x-ray to look for narrowing and changes in the shape of your joints. A blood test may help to rule out other types of arthritis .
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If Youve Got Arthritis Youve Probably Experienced The Intense Pain Of Flares Heres How To Handle Them
Youre feeling good, barely thinking about your chronic pain, and then wham an arthritis flare hits you like a Mack truck. These periods of increased disease activity take a toll on you physically and emotionally, especially because they can come on unexpectedly. If youve got either osteoarthritis or an inflammatory type of arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis, you probably know what were talking about.
So how can you deal with an arthritis flare-up when it happens? I remind myself, This, too, shall pass, arthritis patient Beth Bloomfield told us on Facebook. Like a kidney stone! another patient, Katie Resnick, joked back. Although arthritis flares are never pleasant, there are techniques that can help shorten their duration. Also important: Being able recognize when a flare is starting and avoid the triggers that may cause your flare-ups in the first place.
What Does Knee Pain Caused By Arthritis Feel Like
With the immense amount of pressure and strain put on our knees day after day and year after year, it is not surprising that knee pain is such a widespread complaint in men and women of all ages in Atlanta, GA. While there are certainly some more serious causes of knee pain, in a large number of people, knee pain is temporary and, relatively, harmless. However, if you think the pain in your knees may be caused by arthritis, here are a few telltale signs and symptoms to watch for:
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How Is It Diagnosed
Knee OA is diagnosed by 2 primary processes. The first is based on your report of your symptoms and a clinical examination. Your physical therapist will ask you questions about your medical history and activity. The therapist will perform a physical exam to measure your knee’s movement , strength, mobility, and flexibility. You might also be asked to perform various movements to see if they increase or decrease the pain you are experiencing.
The second tool used to diagnose knee OA is diagnostic imaging. Your physical therapist may refer you to a physician, who will order X-rays of the knee in a variety of positions to check for damage to the bone and cartilage of your knee joint. If more severe joint damage is suspected, an MRI may be ordered to look more closely at the overall status of the joint and surrounding tissues. Blood tests also may be ordered to help rule out other conditions that can cause symptoms similar to knee OA.
How Is Severe Osteoarthritis Diagnosed
Medical professionals can diagnose osteoarthritis in a number of ways but X-Rays and MRI machines are two of the more common methods. X-rays and MRIs are both used to help see the distance between the bones in the affected joint, and in the case of MRIs, the state of the cartilage. X-Rays are fantastic at producing images of bone by using light that is invisible to our eyes but can pass through skin and other soft tissue but cannot pass through bone. This effect is also why the cartilage cannot be seen in an X-ray so medical professionals will instead measure the space between the bones in the affected area. MRI Machines use powerful magnets that face different levels of resistance from the different materials in the body to deliver detailed slices of the observed area. These slices are high-resolution images that can show cartilage, bone and other types of tissue in much greater detail than an X-ray. MRIs are however much more costly so their use is much less common depending on the severity of the condition as well as access.
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How Is Arthritis Treated
Theres no cure for arthritis, but there are treatments that can help you manage the condition. Your treatment plan will depend on the severity of the arthritis, its symptoms and your overall health.
Conservative treatments include:
- Medication: Anti-inflammatory and pain medications may help relieve your arthritis symptoms. Some medications, called biologics, target your immune systems inflammatory response. A healthcare provider may recommend biologics for your rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis.
- Physical therapy: Rehabilitation can help improve strength, range of motion and overall mobility. Therapists can teach you how to adjust your daily activities to lessen arthritic pain.
- Therapeutic injections: Cortisone shots may help temporarily relieve pain and inflammation in your joints. Arthritis in certain joints, such as your knee, may improve with a treatment called viscosupplementation. It injects lubricant to help joints move smoothly.
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How Can I Find Relief From My Knee Pain In Atlanta Ga
If you are interested in getting to the root of your knee pain, finding relief, and enjoying your life to the fullest again, the first step is to be evaluated by a qualified, experienced, and skilled professional. Call Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta to schedule your one-on-one consultation with Dr. Christopher Williams today, and discover how the solution for living a more comfortable life may be closer than your think!
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What Hurts In An Arthritic Knee
Believe it or not, the bone on bone arthritis of the knee may not be a pain generator. There are no nerve endings in the bone itself. So if two bones are rubbing together and all else is well, they wont hurt. The cartilage in the knee also does not have nerve endings in it. So thinning cartilage will not hurt in and of itself.
There are three main contributors to the pain experienced by people with osteoarthritis of the knee. The first is the periosteum. The periosteum is a thin tissue that wraps around the bone. It supplies blood to the bone, and it does have nerve endings. Anyone who has broken a bone knows this very well. It is the tearing of the periosteum that leads to a lot of the pain.
The second issue that can cause knee pain and swelling is the synovium. The synovium is the lining of the knee joint. Its like a balloon that surrounds the bones of the knee. There are many nerve endings there. Synovitis is inflammation of that lining tissue or synovium.
Synovitis can be a very painful process. As an aside, for people with pain due to synovitis that does not respond to time, ice, heat, medications, ,etc a relatively new procedure called a genicular artery embolization has shown significant promise at eliminating that cause of knee pain. You can read about a knee embolization procedure here.
How Does Osteoarthritis Evolve
It is likely that in the early stages, damage to the cartilage might be completely reversible, thanks to the healing capacities of the lesions, especially in the very young.
Once these lesions become significantly established and especially after a certain age, it will be difficult for the body to repair these lesions, osteoarthritis will then evolve to a worsening stage which means that there will be an increasingly greater loss of cartilage.
This loss of cartilage evolves in 3 clinical forms:
- a slow and progressive deterioration over several decades
- or, conversely, a very rapid deterioration leading to loss of cartilage in 12 to 24 months (this is known as rapidly destructive osteoarthritis
- or an intermediate form in which the evolution is punctuated by periods in which the osteoarthritis evolves very quickly and other periods, on the contrary, when the osteoarthritis does not evolve or evolves very little.
Osteoarthritis does not evolve uniformly, it is unpredictable. It can remain silent for a long time and not manifest itself even though the joint looks very damaged on the X-ray. But it can also worsen rapidly over several weeks or months at a stage when the X-rays are almost normal. It is this imbalance between pain and radiographic osteoarthritis which makes it difficult to understand and evaluate.
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How Can A Physical Therapist Help
Once you have received a diagnosis of knee OA, your physical therapist will design an individualized treatment program specific to the exact nature of your condition and your goals. Your treatment program may include:
Range-of-motion exercises. Abnormal motion of the knee joint can lead to a worsening of OA symptoms when there is additional stress on the joint. Your physical therapist will assess your kneeâs range of motion compared with expected normal motion and the motion of the knee on your uninvolved leg. Your range-of-motion exercises will focus on improving your ability to bend and straighten your knee, as well as improve your flexibility to allow for increased motion.
Muscle strengthening. Strengthening the muscles around your knee will be an essential part of your rehabilitation program. Individuals with knee OA who adhere to strengthening programs have been shown to have less pain and an improved overall quality of life. There are several factors that influence the health of a joint: the quality of the cartilage that lines the bones, the tissue within and around the joints, and the associated muscles. Due to the wear and tear on cartilage associated with knee OA, maintaining strength in the muscles near the joint is crucial to preserve joint health. For example, as the muscles along the front and back of your thigh cross the knee joint, they help control the motion and forces that are applied to the bones.
Dealing With Depression And Anger
Feeling depressed or angry when change occurs is normal especially if the change is unexpected and unwanted. You may feel frustrated about not being able to do a favorite activity or you may feel angry if you can’t keep up with your friends housework or job.
Depression often results when a person is unable to express angry feelings and keeps them buried inside. It also can be a side effect of certain medications. In addition depressed feelings can be triggered by chronic pain fatigue too much stress fear of losing the interest and affection of a loved one a sense of loss about changes in one’s body or lifestyle or fear of possible future body or lifestyle changes. But in spite of these many “reasons not all people with arthritis get depressed or angry, and many learn to overcome such feelings.
If you are depressed, how does this condition affect your life? Are you irritable with family or friends? Have you stopped taking care of your arthritis? Are you withdrawing from activities and friends? Are you sleeping less or more, eating less or more, or feeling more pain and fatigue than usual? Are you paying less attention to your personal appearance? Do you find that life has no value and that your thoughts tend to be gloomy and negative? These behaviors are possible symptoms of depression and may require treatment from a professional.
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