Stiff Knee After Sitting
While sitting, the muscles relax and there is usually no movement of the joint and the supporting structures. Also, the knee may remain in one position for a long time or bent. When attempting to move after some period of inactivity can cause strain on the muscles and the tissues, making movement of knee difficult and feel stiff. This can be due to degenerative condition or due to excess rubbing of joints from damaged cartilage. Regular exercises and learning appropriate ways of movement can help prevent stiff knee.
Other Joint Protection Tips
- Other exercise tips include wearing shock-absorbent shoes, using appropriate safety equipment such as knee pads or wrist splints, and learning proper techniques such as good swimming form.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Hydration aids joints because it helps with shock absorption and boosts endurance levels. If your muscles tire quickly, you may be dehydrated.
- If you have pain, take acetaminophen as directed. Applying ice packs and topical analgesics can also help with pain.
- If none of these work, ask your doctor about prescription drugs, cortisone injections, or whether its time to consider joint surgery.
How Exercise Loosens Stiff Knees
Exercising can seem counterintuitive when youre feeling stiff and sore. Yet, the right exercises in the right doses can do wonders for loosening up stiff areas. Below are just a few of the reasons that exercise is beneficial for stiff knees:
- Keep the cartilage of the knee joints lubricated to reduce wear
- Promote functional knee range of motion
- Increased circulation to promote healing and tissue extensibility
- Release of endorphins for natural pain relief
- Improved tolerance for daily activity
- Weight management to reduce strain on the knees
- And more!
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What Is Wear And Tear Arthritis
How can you tell if you have osteoarthritis?
If you have pain inside your knee, under your kneecap,especially when kneeling, squatting or going up and down steps, its usuallywear-and-tear arthritis, says Dr. Nickodem.
Cartilage, the cushioning betweenbones, deteriorates throughout life. It can erode more quickly in some peopledue to injury or genetics. As cartilage thins, your bones begin to rubtogether, causing pain, swelling and stiffness.
Sometimes the level of pain does notalways correlate to the severity of the condition.
How To Find Relief
The best way to ease joint stiffness depends on whats causing it in the first place. If stiffness lasts longer than 30 minutes after you wake up or if symptoms are getting worse, its important you seek medical attention.
Diagnosing the underlying problem will help you and your doctor determine the best way to ease stiffness and stop other associated symptoms.
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Possible Cause #: Rheumatoid Arthritis
The most common cause of joint pain is arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis, affecting over 1.5 million Americans. Its symptoms typically appear between ages 30 and 60.
RA is a chronic inflammatory disorder. Its also an autoimmune disease. This means that your immune system attacks healthy parts of your body, such as the lining of your joints. This causes inflammation, pain, and stiffness. Over time, it can also cause joint deformity and bone erosion.
RA has no cure, so its symptoms cant be eliminated entirely. They can be managed through medication and other treatments. However, once the disease is advanced, little can be done to prevent disability.
Why Did I Get Sciatica After My Knee Replacement
You likely have Sciatica after your knee replacement because you arent moving around as much, your circulation is a little limited and you have swelling. Our bodies are made to move, this allows our muscles, nerves, ligaments and tendons to move, too. It allows everything to stretch and glide and not get stuck. Movement also improves your circulation. If youre moving less because you just had surgery then your blood is still circulating, just slower, so it means that different parts of your body arent getting the same amount of new blood to them. New blood to the area brings nutrients to help heal and takes away toxins and inflammation. If you have swelling in any part of your leg it means that those areas have more pressure on them. There is only so much room under your skin for all the muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, arteries and veins. So, if swelling is taking up some of that space it just means that there will be more pressure on everything, which also means pressure on the Sciatic nerve. Pressure on the Sciatic nerve then sends the Sciatica symptoms.
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Malpositioning Of The Implants
Surgeons make an effort to balance the knee at the time of surgery. This means finding the proper size and alignment of the knee replacement so that the knee joint is not too tight, and not too loose, and so this balancing is the same with the knee straight and bent.
This is precisely why a knee replacement is a difficult procedure, and the art of perfecting this takes many years. Errors in the positioning of an implant may not be apparent on the operating table and only become evident when the recovery is stalled.
Newer patient-specific knee replacements are tailor-made and may reduce the risk of malpositioning.
Get Rid Of Stiff Knees
While joint stiffness of the knees is quite common, you dont have to settle for living with constant tightness in your joints. Taking the time to give your knees what they need with a little movement can slowly change the way your knees function and feel. As you have now learned, exercises for knee stiffness dont have to be complicated, just consistent. If your knee stiffness is affecting your quality of life, its time to try some exercise and other home treatment modalities.
If that exercise doesnt seem to be helping, then its definitely time to talk to your orthopedic doctor, physical therapist, or another healthcare provider for further medical advice. They may need to order an x-ray or other tests to rule out more serious issues like a fracture or autoimmune disease.
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Pain Swelling And Knee Stiffness
First lets talk about pain: Its the bodys way of preventing you from making an injury worse. Since pain may limit movement, it can cause stiffness in the knees, as can any ongoing injury.
Knees become swollen when excess fluid builds up inside the knee due to an injury, overuse, or medical condition. This can cause sensations of tightness as well as pain. Swelling may be subtle, so you may not always notice it unless its a severe injury. Since the swelling may not be visible, you may feel this as stiffness in the knee.
Any type of swelling will cause limited movement since theres less space in the knee. Irritation, internal bleeding, and injuries in the knee can lead to fluid buildup. Arthritis, gout, and tumors or cysts are conditions that can also cause swelling.
Pain and swelling are two mechanisms your body uses to protect itself. Together they can lead to stiffness in your knee. Next, lets look at possible causes.
Top 10 Ways To Get Rid Of Morning Stiffness
There is no need to lose heart, as the causes of morning stiffness can be rectified or avoided so that you can lead a relatively pain free and easy life. Following the below mentioned tips along with making minor lifestyle changes helps greatly in getting rid of the dreaded morning stiffness.
Here are some top 10 easy methods which you can do to get rid of morning stiffness and make a difference in your life.
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Two Stretches Can Help Knees Bend With Less Stiffness And Pain
Your knee needs to bend to do many daily activities, including walking and sitting down. However, tightness in the leg muscles can cause the knee to feel stiff or painful. Even tightness in the hip flexors or glutes can lead to these symptoms in your knee. Physical therapists can show you many therapeutic exercises that can help reduce stiffness and pain in your knee and allow you to bend it more easily. Here are two of the exercises commonly used to treat knee stiffness and pain:
1. Figure four stretch
There is a long piece of connective tissue called the iliotibial band that runs from the buttock and hip and crosses the outside of your knee. The IT band is attached to muscles like the gluteus maximus and tensor fasciae latae in the butt and hip, respectively, and tightness in these muscles can pull on the IT band. In turn, increased IT band tension can cause stiffness and pain when bending the knee. The figure four stretch is an exercise that can help reduce tension in muscles the IT band is connected to, which can help your knee symptoms.
Add Cloves To Your Diet
Cloves contain an anti-inflammatory chemical called eugenol that interferes with a bodily process that triggers arthritis. In one animal study, eugenol prevented the release of COX-2, a protein that spurs inflammation . Cloves also contain antioxidants, which are important in slowing the cartilage and bone damage caused by arthritis. Aim for ½ to 1 teaspoon a day for joint pain relief.
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Get Relief From Stiff Knee Pain
Identifying the cause of your stiff knee is critical to the effectiveness of your treatment. However, here are some common ways that may help you find some relief:
- Cryotherapy, or cold therapy, is becoming an increasingly popular treatment method for joint pain, especially with professional athletes. The extreme cold activates the bodys nervous, immune, and endocrine systems to quickly reduce pain and inflammation.
- Aspiration: If a significant amount of fluid is present, your physician may relieve the area of pressure using a needle to remove the excess blood and fluid. This procedure is done using a local anesthetic.
- Physical therapy: One of the most common methods to relieve stiff knee pain is to strengthen the muscles surrounding the knee. A physical therapist can recommend exercises to help increase your range of motion.
- Diet and nutrition: In cases where weight is a contributing factor to your knee stiffness, your physician may recommend changes to your diet to help facilitate weight loss. Dietary changes may also help reduce the amount of uric acid in the body when gout is the source of pain.
What To Do If You Have Painful Joints After Tka
Total Knee Arthroplasty , also known as total knee replacement, is an orthopedic surgical procedure performed on the knee. TKA is a treatment option for those with a worn-out knee joint, one of the most common causes of which is the wear and tear associated with arthritis. When a TKA is performed, the defective cartilage is removed between the joint, the ends of the bones that meet at the joint are reshaped and fitted with metal implants, and a plastic piece called a spacer is put in between the metal implants so the bones can move smoothly without touching each other.
There is significant rehabilitation required after a TKA, and it can take a few months before patients are able to get full functionality of their knees. While it is normal to feel significant pain after a TKA procedure, some people feel joint pain that is not associated with the healing process after a TKA. Here are some reasons why a patient may feel joint pain after a TKA.
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How To Reduce Swelling After Knee Surgery
This article was medically reviewed by Erik Kramer, DO, MPH. Dr. Erik Kramer is a Primary Care Physician at the University of Colorado, specializing in internal medicine, diabetes, and weight management. He received his Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine from the Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2012. Dr. Kramer is a Diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine and is board certified.There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 32,352 times.
Swelling may be moderate to severe in the first few days after knee replacement surgery, but it will gradually subside as you recover. Still, you might experience some mild to moderate swelling in the weeks and months following your recovery. Luckily, there are several strategies you can try to reduce swelling, such as following your doctors instructions after surgery and trying out exercises meant to reduce swelling. If you experience an increase in swelling, tell your doctor right away.
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Use Your Knee Brace And Crutches
If youve been fitted for a knee brace or had one recommended to you, make sure it fits properly. You should be able to insert two fingers under the strap. If its difficult to fit two fingers or if you can fit a third finger, youll need to adjust the tightness. Usually youll wear the brace for two to six weeks.
Use crutches if theyve been given and avoid putting any pressure on your knee until your doctor says its okay. Wait at least two weeks or until your doctor gives you the go-ahead before you bathe, swim, or use a hot tub. Follow a healthy diet and drink plenty of fluids. Eat high-fiber foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables to ensure you have regular bowel movements. This will help while you may not have the benefit of moving around as much as usual.
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Joint Pain And Stiffness In The Morning And How To Reduce It
Have you ever wondered why your joints are stiff in the morning? There are many reasons you may be feeling this — some are just part of a normal process and others may be cause for concern.
For people who suffer from arthritis, this morning pain or stiffness may be caused by a lack of lubrication in the joint spaces, or from a breakdown in the cartilage that covers the ends of the bones. This can happen in your back, fingers, wrists, knees, ankles, or feet.
Many who experience this morning pain find it is short-lived, resolving on its own within 10 or 15 minutes. For others, though, it may linger and begin to affect the rest of the day.
Fortunately, there are some ways you can prevent or reduce the amount of morning stiffness you experience.
Exercises And Stretches That May Help
In some cases, people with a stiff knee should avoid exercising. Some knee injuries need time to heal and would benefit from rest instead of exercise.
However, a stiff knee that occurs due to a form of arthritis may benefit from exercise. The Arthritis Foundation state that different exercises and stretches could help in different ways:
- Strengthening exercises: Increasing muscle strength around the knee reduces the stress on the joint. Examples of these exercises include leg lifts and hamstring curls.
- Range-of-motion exercises: Stretches and exercises that increase the knees range of motion keep the joint moving to reduce stiffness. Examples of these exercises include heel slides and stretching with a yoga strap.
- Aerobic exercises: Cardio exercises can boost a persons energy levels and reduce any excess weight that may put extra pressure on the knee. Examples of these exercises include cycling and swimming.
- Balance exercises: These exercises strengthen the muscles around the knee while also reducing the risk of falling, which could damage the joint further. Examples of these exercises include single leg standing and standing on a foam pad.
A person with a form of arthritis may want to discuss any new exercise plans or programs with their doctor before starting.
The following tips can also help prevent or alleviate knee stiffness and pain:
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