Do: Incorporate Strength And Flexibility Training To Strengthen Your Leg Muscles
A fitness plan for osteoarthritis should include strength and flexibility training along with aerobic exercise, says James Wyss, MD, a sports physiatrist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City and an assistant professor of clinical rehabilitation medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. Strengthening exercises help support the muscles around the joint, while stretching can maintain and sometimes improve flexibility around the knee, Dr. Wyss says.
Arthritis Foods: How Your Diet Can Help Or Hurt
The medical profession treats arthritis like it treats most other diseases with drugs. Anti-inflammatories, pain relievers, and corticosteroids are among the most commonly prescribed drugs for arthritis management. This approach can provide relief from symptoms, at least for a while, but it doesnt address the root causes of disease. No form of arthritis is caused by a prescription drug deficiency. And while there are many factors that contribute to the development, progression, and severity of arthritis, one of the most powerful and fortunately within our control is diet.
There are two dietary approaches to the management of arthritis: foods to get rid of, and foods to add. Certain foods appear to spark inflammation in the joints and are thus commonly referred to as trigger foods. Removing these foods from the diet can reduce pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.
Dont Let Stress Get The Best Of You
When you spend your life fearing pain and avoiding activities that might trigger a flare-up, you end up making things worse. Its easier said than done, but try not to let the fear of pain hold you back when you are feeling your best. Ive learned to keep my stress levels in check and adopt a more easygoing approach to life, says CreakyJoints follower Kel Johan. No sense in making myself feel worse and causing more flares for things I cannot control.
Fear itself is debilitating, says Dr. Alade. Most of the time, the pain wont be as bad as you think, so for once proving yourself wrong is a good thing.
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Dont: Ignore New Or Worsening Knee Osteoarthritis Symptoms
Knee osteoarthritis is a chronic condition, which means that pain is always possible, Pisetsky says. However, if pain grows more severe and occurs at rest instead of after periods of activity, or if it awakens you from sleep, it could mean that your knee osteoarthritis is progressing, he says. Other symptoms such as swelling, a locked knee, or one that just gives way are concerning, too. Let your doctor know about new or worsening symptoms, as an adjustment to your treatment plan may be necessary.
What Is A Joint And How Does It Work
A joint is where two or more bones meet, such as in the fingers, knees, and shoulders. Joints hold bones in place and allow them to move freely within limits.
Most of the joints in our body are surrounded by a strong capsule. The capsule is filled with a thick fluid that helps to lubricate the joint. These capsules hold our bones in place. They do this with the help of ligaments. These are a bit like very strong elastic bands.
The ends of the bones within a joint are lined with cartilage. This is a smooth but tough layer of tissue that allows bones to glide over one another as you move.
If we want to move a bone, our brain gives a signal to the muscle, which then pulls a tendon, and this is attached to the bone. Muscles therefore have an important role in supporting a joint.
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Pain Relief With Physical Therapy
There is no one solution to pain, but at least one expert says physical therapy is highly effective. âI recommend it to almost all of my patients,â says Hayes Wilson, MD, chief at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta, and national medical adviser to the Arthritis Foundation.
Physical therapists teach people how to take care of themselves. âIf you give a man a fish, he eats for a day. If you teach him how to fish, he eats for the rest of his life,â says Wilson, noting physical therapists are like fishing instructors.
He is not far off. According to the American Physical Therapy Association, physical therapists teach patients self-management skills. In the case of arthritis, therapists show people how to deal with pain in day-to-day life. They show people how to build up strength and improve range of motion, and how to make sensible decisions about activities to prevent arthritic flare-ups.
Yet physical therapy is far from a panacea. In patients with severe rheumatoid arthritis, a condition that can shave 10 to 15 years off life, Wilson sees immune-modulating drugs as a first choice of treatment, and physical therapy as an adjunct.
In patients with osteoarthritis, the condition could worsen if swelling isnât fully addressed. âI think physical therapy does decrease inflammation to a certain extent, but I think the most dramatic changes to inflammation are made pharmacologically ,â says Wilson.
Say Hello To Your New Best Friend: The Heated Mattress Pad
A change in the weather, a late night on the town, an unexpected work trip, a call from your mother-in-law once youve been diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis you suddenly become aware of all the strange things that can trigger a flare. But while some arthritis triggers are individual, theres one that seems common to almost everyone living with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and other types of inflammatory arthritis: dawn.
Morning stiffness, pain, and immobility are so common that having these symptoms for an hour or more after waking up is part of the diagnostic criteria for rheumatoid arthritis .
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Simple Home Exercises And Stretches Can Help Ease Some Common Types Of Knee Pain
If youve got sore knees, exercise might seem like the hardest thing you can do but its also one of the best.
“Exercise is one of the most important things you can do for knee pain,” says Dr. Lauren Elson, an instructor in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School.
The right combination of strengthening and stretching exercises can relieve pain by helping to improve the way the joint moves and functions.
“The knee is often an innocent bystander between the hip and the foot. Knee pain is often caused by problems occurring above or below,” says Dr. Elson.
For example, weak hip muscles may cause more strain on the knee, intensifying your pain. Strengthening the muscles around the hip joint can help relieve it, says Dr. Elson.
In addition, knee pain is sometimes caused or aggravated by tight muscles around the knee, a problem that is often successfully addressed by stretching. If the muscles arent flexible, the knee joint sometimes wont move properly, says Dr. Elson.
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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Joint Pain Is A Common Denominator
Arthritis can be separated into two types: inflammatory, such as rheumatoid arthritis , versus mechanical disease , such as osteoarthritis. Both are often characterized by joint-related symptoms. Pain involving joints knees, hips, wrists indicates the problem is arthritis, explains Andrew D. Ruthberg, MD, assistant professor of medicine in the division of rheumatology at Rush Medical College in Chicago. Back pain, neck pain, and joint swelling are also markers of arthritis.
Selective Nsaids Vs Otc Nsaids
- Do not block the production of a stomach-protecting compound called prostaglandin. Because of this, these drugs do not have the same adverse gastrointestinal side effects.
- Do not impact your bloods ability to clot, which makes them more appealing for individuals with bleeding disorders.
Both of these are a concern with OTC NSAIDs.
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What Are Bone Spurs
Bone spurs are of two basic types. One is the kind that arises near a joint with osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease. In this situation, the cartilage has been worn through and the bone responds by growing extra bone at the margins of the joint surface. These spurs carry the formal name osteophytes. They are common features of the osteoarthritic shoulder, elbow, hip, knee and ankle. Removing these osteophytes is an important part of joint replacement surgery but removing them without addressing the underlying arthritis is usually not effective in relieving symptoms.
The second type of bone spur is the kind that occurs when the attachment of ligaments or tendons to bone become calcified. This can occur on the bottom of the foot around the Achilles Tendon and in the coroacoacromial ligament of the shoulder. These spurs often look impressive on X-rays, but because they are in the substance of the ligaments rarely cause sufficient problems to merit excision.
Best Ways To Treat Knee Arthritis Without Surgery
If youre like a lot of people over age 50, knees that have served you well for years gradually start hurting and swelling. They may start making cracking or popping sounds, and you may even feel a grinding sensation in your knees as you move. Most likely, youve developed arthritis of the knee, something we see quite often at Westchester Health.
The term arthritis simply means inflammation of a joint and is used to describe 200 rheumatic diseases and conditions that affect joints, the tissues that surround the joint, and other connective tissue. Healthy cartilage is shiny white and smooth, and its function is to allow joints to glide and move smoothly. Arthritis is the damage or loss of this cartilage between bones in a joint. When it is damaged, it results in pain and swelling.
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Ra Vs Oa Epidemiology
The primary difference between RA and OA is the underlying nature of the disease. RA is an autoimmune disorder that produces inflammatory joint symptoms throughout the body. OA is a degenerative condition that is the result of increased wear and tear on joints. OA may produce inflammatory symptoms as well, but it primarily destroys joint cartilage over time.
OA affects an estimated 27 million Americans while only 1.3 million Americans have RA. Both RA and OA are more prevalent in women than in men. RA can develop in patients anytime between the ages of 30 and 60 years old. OA generally develops later in life.
What Blocks Pain Signals
Many scientists think pain control methods help reduce pain by blocking pain signals. Pain signals are sent through a complex system of nerves in the brain and spinal cord.
There are many things that can block these signals and thus prevent the pain message from reaching your brain.
Pain signals are blocked by chemicals made by the brain called endorphins. There are several things that can cause the brain to produce endorphins. These include “natural” controls, such as your own thoughts and emotions, or “outside” controls such as medicines.
A father driving with his children is hurt in a car accident. The father is so worried about his children that he doesn’t feel the pain from his own broken arm. The concern for his children somehow blocked the pain signal and kept the pain from affecting him.
Certain medicines such as morphine imitate the body’s endorphins and block the pain signal. Other pain control methods, such as heat and cold treatments, physical therapy, exercise, relaxation and massage can stimulate the body to release its own endorphins or to block the pain signal in other ways.
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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.
What Are The Complications Of Knee Surgery
Infection: The risk of infection is less than 1-2% and peri-operative antibiotics are given to prevent this from happening.
Deep vein thrombosis : This is prevented by giving blood thinners and the use of compressive stockings. Also mobilising as soon as possible after the surgery is a good way of preventing a clot in the leg. If a clot occurs it will be treated with specific blood thinners. Very rarely a clot can move to the lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism.
Nerve and blood vessel damage: It is unlikely that any major nerve or vessel will be damaged. An area of numbness to the outside of the incision is however very common but few patients find this is a problem.
Prosthesis failure: The prosthesis may fail due to the plastic wearing out and it may require revision.
Reflex sympathetic dystrophy: Very rarely a condition can occur where the leg becomes stiff, hypersensitive and painful. This requires specific treatment by a pain management specialist.
Excessive bleeding: This usually settles but may require an operation to remove the haematoma .
Excessive scarring: Some skin will scar up significantly .
Pain with kneeling: Kneeling following total knee replacement is the exception rather than the rule. Some patients can and some canât. Most knee replacement are not designed for kneeling.
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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.
Apple Cider Vinegar And Other Foods
According to some sources, apple cider vinegar has anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve arthritis and other types of pain.
However, there is a lack of scientific evidence to support this. The Arthritis Foundation refers to ACV as a food myth.
Other popular advice for arthritis includes:
- consuming collagen, gelatin, or pectin, and raw foods.
- avoiding dairy, acidic foods, and nightshade vegetables, such as tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant
There is no evidence to suggest that these are helpful or even advisable.
It commonly affects teenagers, especially young female athletes. It is the most common overuse syndrome in sportspeople.
Most cases of front knee pain are injuries from overuse, or from poor preparation for exercise. The problems usually go away on their own, and sporting activities can resume after the pain subsides.
The pain varies but tends to:
- be a dull ache that starts gradually, and is linked to activities
- produce clicking or other sounds
- come on when going upstairs, or when getting up after a long time sitting, squatting down, or kneeling
- produce a weakness in the legs
Recommended treatments for front knee pain include:
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Adjust Your Computer Screen
If you do need to sit at a computer for long periods, having the wrong setup will only make the effects of sitting worse. Make sure your keyboard and monitor are set up so that you can keep your back and neck straight, recommends Dr. Torralba. Keep your feet flat on the floor and set your monitor so your head can stay straight while you look at the screen, the keyboard set where your shoulders can relax.
What Else Can Help With Knee Pain
Finding relief from knee pain depends on the cause or issue thats making it difficult for you to go about your daily activities. Carrying excess weight puts extra stress on your knees, which may lead to osteoarthritis.
In this case, the most effective treatment, according to the Cleveland Clinic, is weight loss. Your doctor may recommend a combination of diet and exercise to help you lose weight and strengthen the muscles in your lower body, especially around your knees.
A 2013 study found that adults with overweight and knee osteoarthritis experienced a reduction in weight and knee pain after 18 months of a diet and exercise program.
But if overuse is the culprit, your doctor will likely suggest RICE which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation and physical therapy. A physical therapist can work with you to develop a program that includes range of motion exercises, stretches, and muscle strengthening movements.
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