What Does Arthritis In The Knee Feel Like
Millions of Americans suffer from chronic or acute knee pain every year.
Getting a proper diagnosis and receiving the needed treatments can be difficult without knowing the cause of your pain.
Many conditions can mimic one another, so its important to seek a medical professionals advice if you have been battling knee pain.
Arthritis is a prevalent cause of knee pain, and there are a few ways to tell if arthritis is causing your pain.
In the article below, we will answer the question: what does arthritis in the knee feel like?
Arthritis is the inflammation of one or more of your joints.
Joint pain, swelling, and stiffness are the main symptoms of arthritis.
Arthritis can affect any joint in your body, but your knee is particularly vulnerable.
Having arthritis in your knee can make it difficult for you to perform everyday activities, like climbing stairs or walking to the mailbox.
While there are many types of arthritis, the most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of knee arthritis.
Knee osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease caused by wear and tear.
Its the most common type of arthritis that occurs most often in people over 50, although younger people can get it as well.
The cartilage in your knee joint gradually wears away, and as it wears away, it becomes frayed and rough, and the protective space between the bones decreases.
Cure : Herbs For Arthritis
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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.
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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.
More On Injections And Arthritis Of The Kneecap
Injections can help in difficult cases. Traditionally, we have used cortisone injections for pain and swelling of arthritis. However, we know that cortisone injections are a short-term fix only. A recent study found that cortisone injections were similar to placebo injections for knee arthritis at 6 months. Also, there are a few concerning trends with repeat cortisone injections such as an acceleration of arthritis. Overall, we should avoid cortisone injections in most arthritis cases.
Next, we use hyaluronic acid injections. Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance found in bones, tendons, and joints. Injecting hyaluronic acid into joints reduces inflammation and pain associated with arthritis in kneecap. In addition, unlike cortisone, the effect can last for 6-12 months.
Finally, platelet-rich plasma or PRP injections have been used by some doctors. We get PRP from whole blood. We spin the blood in a centrifuge and separate the plasma from the red and white cells. Then, the plasma is injected into the knee joint. We think that PRP works by reducing inflammatory cells thereby improving pain and function. Recent evidence suggests that PRP may be better than cortisone or hyaluronic acid.
Most importantly, injections should be done with ultrasound to improve accuracy and effectiveness. We know that injections without ultrasound are less accurate and increase the risk of side effects.
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Diagnosing Arthritis Of The Knee
Your doctor will begin the diagnosis by asking you about your symptoms and your medical and family history. Make sure to describe your symptoms thoroughly. Tell your doctor what makes the pain better or worse. This helps us determine if the problem is arthritis or is something else may be causing the pain. We will also perform a thorough physical examination to determine how well your knee moves.
Other diagnostic procedures include:
- Laboratory tests – We may order a blood test to determine if the arthritis is caused by an infection or rheumatoid arthritis.
- Imaging tests – We use the most advanced imaging technology available. These procedures provide us with a detailed picture of the inside of your body. They help us determine if the problem is arthritis or if another condition is causing the pain. Imaging tests include:
- X-ray shows us the condition of the bone. We can see if the space between your bones has narrowed and if there are calcium deposits in the joints.
- Magnetic resonance imaging scan can provide detailed images of the muscles and tendons that we cannot see on a standard X-ray. Usually, however, we do not need to perform an MRI.
How Is Knee Arthritis Diagnosed
Your doctor may use some of the following diagnostic tests and procedures to determine if you have knee arthritis:
- Medical history and physical examination
- Blood tests for genetic markers or RA antibodies
- X-rays to determine cartilage loss in the knee
- Joint aspiration: drawing out and testing the synovial fluid inside the knee joint
Cartilage cannot be seen on X-ray, but narrowing of the joint space between the bones indicates lost cartilage. X-rays show bone spurs and cysts, which can be caused by osteoarthritis. Other tests such as MRI or CT scans are rarely needed for diagnosis.
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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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Visit A Physical Therapist
Physical therapists work with your doctor to design specific exercises for knee rehabilitation. Many of these will focus on lengthening and strengthening the supporting muscles of the upper and lower legs, such as quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves.
Even one visit to learn the proper form for knee arthritis exercises can help support your recovery.
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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.
- Use a cane.
Most people have stage 4 arthritis when they get 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.
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Pseudogout: Calcium Pyrophosphate Deposition
Pseudogout is a type of inflammatory arthritis that results from the buildup of calcium pyrophosphate crystals in the joints of the body. While less common than gout, pseudogout is more likely to affect the knee.
Like gout, pseudogout is caused by a build-up of microscopic crystals in a joint and can lead to sudden, severe knee pain, swelling, warmth, and redness. Pseudogout is less common than gout but more likely to affect the knee joint.
The microscopic crystals that cause pseudogout are called calcium pyrophosphate crystals. Doctors often refer to pseudogout as calcium pyrophosphate deposition .
Reactive arthritis can result in inflammatory joint pain, most commonly in the knee, fingers, or low back. Other possible symptoms include problems involving the urinary tract, eyes, and skin.
Reactive arthritis commonly affects the knee, though it can affect any joint. Arthritis inflammation can make a knee achy, swollen, and/or red.
Reactive arthritis develops as a reaction to an infection, such as a stomach bug or a sexually transmitted disease . Days, weeks, or even months after the infection has resolved, a person may develop pain in one or more joints, inflamed eyes, and/or other symptoms.
Eating Right For Osteoarthritis Of The Knee
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Osteoarthritis of the knee happens when cartilage wears away in a joint, and the bone starts to erode. Apart from tissue damage, youll probably start to experience pain and inflammation.
Some dietary choices can help you take care of your joints.
In this article, find out what you can eat to help boost the health of your knee joints.
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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.
What Are The Key Foods In A Mediterranean Diet
A Mediterranean diet follows the traditional eating habits of people from the countries closest to the sun-soaked shores of the Mediterranean Sea.
There are regional variations but expect your plate to be filled with plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, cereals and grains.
Youll also see moderate amounts of fish and unsaturated fats such as olive oil. And what youll eat less of are dairy products and meat.
The Mediterranean diet is widely linked with many aspects of wellness, including a healthier heart, as well as benefits to some types of arthritis.
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Other Causes Of Knee Pain
Sprain or strain to the knee
Injuries to the muscles and ligaments in the knee can lead to pain. Strains and sprains are often due to twisting your knee or a blow to the knee. Falling can lead to knee injuries like this. The symptoms of a sprain or strain include pain, swelling, and difficulty in walking.
The tendons in your knee can get inflamed and painful. This is typically a result of over-use injuries. Activities like cycling, running, and jumping can be the cause of tendonitis. The symptoms include pain, particularly when you are using the knee in a way that aggravates inflamed tendons.
The cartilage in your knee protects the ends of the bones and provides stability to the joint. If you have a knee injury, you might do damage to the cartilage and cause additional pain and swelling in the area.
Youre Not Losing Weight If You Need To Which Could Stress Your Knee Joint
The more you weigh, the more stress is placed on the knee joint, which can trigger an increase in pain, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons . Whats more, a study published in August 2017 in the journal Radiology found that when overweight and obese adults lost weight over a two-year period, they significantly slowed down their rate of knee cartilage degeneration.
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Talk To Your Doctor About Knee Joint Injections
Knee joint injections should only be explored when more conservative treatments for knee pain have proven ineffective. Before the procedure, your doctor will inject a numbing agent to reduce pain, followed by a corticosteroid to decrease inflammation. They may also discuss options like PRP injections.
While injections may work to decrease pain, knee joint injections do not treat any underlying knee pain causes or halt progressive joint deterioration. Still, when combined with a healthy diet, regular exercise, physical therapy, and other lifestyle changes, they can provide profound relief. Learn more about this option in the following video.
Who Gets Osteoarthritis Of The Knee
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. While it can occur even in young people, the chance of developing osteoarthritis rises after age 45. According to the Arthritis Foundation, more than 27 million people in the U.S. have osteoarthritis, with the knee being one of the most commonly affected areas. Women are more likely to have osteoarthritis than men.
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Special Cartilage In The Knee
Each knee has two moon-shaped sections of cartilage, each called a meniscus. The lateral meniscus is located in the outer knee near your hands when you are standing up with your arms at your sides and the medial meniscus is in the inner knee. When someone has a torn ACL in the knee, they are also likely to have a torn meniscus.
The more wear-and-tear and injury that is caused to this cartilage, the more likely you are to develop arthritis in the knee. This is because the menisci cannot fully perform their job as a cushion between the knee bones.
How Does Arthritis Affect The Knees
The knee is commonly affected by arthritis, particularly osteoarthritis . You may notice pain and stiffness in your knee, particularly when you first get out of bed in the morning, after sitting for a long period, climbing stairs, walking, kneeling or even when youre just sitting still. Your knee might look swollen, or feel like it might give way or buckle.
There are many things that can help you manage arthritis of the knee. The first steps are regular exercise, weight loss and using medicines wisely.
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/9massage With Essential Oils
Massaging is an excellent way to get relief from the symptoms of knee and joint pain. Using essential oil for massaging your knees is even more effective. As per some studies, ginger and orange essential oils work quite well in getting rid of knee pain. It releases stiffness and reduces pain in the affected part.