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.
What Are The Symptoms Of Knee Osteoarthritis
Symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee may include:
- pain that increases when you are active, but gets a little better with rest
- feeling of warmth in the joint
- stiffness in the knee, especially in the morning or when you have been sitting for a while
- creaking, crackly sound that is heard when the knee moves
Make Your Own Capsaicin Cream
Capsaicin, the compound in chili peppers that gives them their heat, is an ingredient in many over-the-counter pain relief ointments. It works by reducing levels of a compound called substance P, which transmits pain signals to your brain. You can whip up your own massage oil by mixing a few dashes of ground cayenne with 2-3 teaspoons of olive oil. Apply it with gauze to unbroken skin on your painful joints several times a day. The first few doses will cause a mild burning sensation on the surface of your skin, but youll become desensitized to that feeling after a week or so. Just be sure to keep it away from your mouth, eyes, and other mucous membranes, where it will really sting.
Also Check: Dcf Compression Knee Sleeve
What Can Be Done
Poor joint movement and strength of the muscles around the joint causes most pain. This instability to the joint and greater pressure on the cartilage causes more inflammation and pain. Physical therapy is the preferred method of treatment, because it discovers the abnormal movement in the joint and naturally corrects it. With hands-on therapy, special strengthening and balance exercises, knee or hip pain can typically be completely relieved. For more information on natural ways to relieve arthritis pain, call us today!
How To Care For A Swollen Knee
When does a swollen knee require medical care, and when can it be treated at home? Mild to moderate knee swelling and knee effusionsometimes called water on the kneecan usually be treated at home. Medical attention is recommended if the knee is persistently swollen or accompanied by severe pain or other serious symptoms.
Read on to learn when to contact a doctor, how to treat a swollen knee at home, and how doctors can remove fluid from a knee using a process called aspiration.
Recommended Reading: How To Reduce Swelling After Total Knee Replacement
Causes Of Knee Arthritis And Pain
The most common cause of pain is knee osteoarthritis. Known as a wear-and-tear disease, osteoarthritis occurs as the knee joint gets used over time. The structures that once supported and eased movement may begin to wear out, causing knee pain with movement.
Other common causes of knee pain include the following:
- Injury: Injury such as torn ligaments and tendons, bone fractures, bursitis, and tendinitis can cause knee pain both at rest and during activity.
- Mechanical problems: Mechanical problems occur when something in the joint fails. This might include dislocated kneecap, iliotibial band syndrome, or a foreign body in the joint .
- Other forms of arthritis: There are over 100 forms of arthritis, many of which can cause knee arthritis pain. In addition to osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and septic arthritis can cause knee pain.
Finally, a less common cause of knee pain is patellofemoral pain syndrome. This pain between the patella and the femur is most often seen in young athletes but can develop as a consequence of arthritis in the kneecap.
Use Meditation To Cope With Pain
Meditation and relaxation techniques may help reduce the pain of arthritis by lowering stress and enabling you to cope with it better. Reducing stress may also help lower inflammation and pain.
Studies have found that practicing mindfulness meditation is helpful for some people with RA. Anxiety, stress, and depression are all common complications of conditions that involve chronic pain, such as arthritis.
Refer this if looking for a:Knee Surgery Patna
You May Like: Knees Cracking While Squatting
Breath In Fragrant Spices
Pleasant aromas like lavender can alter the perception of pain, studies show. Japanese researchers found that lavender reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can make you feel relaxed and less aware of pain. But lavender isnt the only pleasant aroma that works as a natural home remedy for arthritis pain relief. Korean researchers found that arthritis patients experienced less pain and were less depressed when they were exposed to the aromas of a variety of kitchen spices, including marjoram, rosemary, and peppermint. For a pain-soothing aromatherapy treatment, add a teaspoon of one of these dried herbs to a quarter-cup of olive, coconut, or vegetable oil. Take a whiff periodically. Dont miss these other soothing essential oils for arthritis pain relief.
Protection Rest Ice Compression And Elevation
Rest, ice, compression, and elevation may help treat mild knee pain that results from a soft tissue injury, such as a sprain.
Protection refers to protecting the knee from further injury, for example, by taking a break from the activity that caused it.
Rest can reduce the risk of further injury and give tissues time to heal. However, stopping all movement is not advisable, as this can lead to stiffness and, in time, muscle weakness.
Ice can help reduce swelling and inflammation. It should be wrapped in a cloth and applied for 20 minutes several times on the first day of injury. Never put ice directly the skin, as this can lead to further damage.
Compression with a knee support, for example, can increase comfort levels. The support or bandage should be firm but not tight.
Elevation, or keeping the leg raised, will encourage circulation and reduce swelling. Ideally, the knee should be above the level of the heart.
Don’t Miss: Shower After Knee Surgery
Exercise And Physical Therapy
Exercise is essential for reducing the risk of osteoarthritis and slowing its progress. Exercise not only helps you manage your weight, but it also improves strength, flexibility, and mobility.
Low-impact exercises are less likely to put strain on a damaged joint. Experts strongly recommend tai chi for people with hip osteoarthritis.
Other options include:
Regular stretching can help relieve stiff, achy, or painful joints. Here are some tips to help you stretch safely:
- Start by asking a physical therapist for suggestions and guidance.
- Do all stretches gently and build up flexibility slowly.
- Stop if you feel pain.
- Increase intensity slowly.
If you dont feel pain after the first few days of an activity, gradually spend more time on it. At first, you may find it hard to stretch very far, but your flexibility will increase over time, as you practice.
Here are a few possible stretches:
Start with your feet shoulder-width apart or sit in a chair. Slowly lean forward, keeping your upper body relaxed. You should feel the stretch in your hips and lower back.
Lie on your back. Pull your bent knee up toward your chest until you feel a stretch. If your body allows it, use your other leg to deepen the stretch.
Extended leg balance
This is the same exercise as the knee pull, but you start from a standing position. Place one hand along the wall for support.
Here are some other stretches you can ask your healthcare provider about:
- standing hip flexors
What Is The Long
Some knee pain, especially pain caused by osteoarthritis, will likely be permanent. Thats because the structure of the knee is damaged. Without surgery or another type of extensive treatment, youll continue to feel pain, inflammation, and swelling in your knee.
The long-term outlook for chronic knee pain involves managing pain, preventing flare-ups, and working to reduce irritation to the knee.
Don’t Miss: How To Remove Scar Tissue From Knee Surgery
What Causes A Swollen Knee
Knee inflammation can have a multitude of causes, from osteoarthritis to overuse injuries and bursitis. This symptom results from fluid buildup in or around the knee joint, explains the Mayo Clinic. Most times, it’s accompanied by pain, swelling and limited range of motion.
As the Mayo Clinic notes, damage to any part of the knee may cause inflammation. Sometimes, this issue is due to a torn ligament. Other times it may indicate an underlying condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Meniscal injuries, for example, cause swelling 24 to 36 hours after the incident, according to a July 2013 review featured in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. Another common cause is prepatellar bursitis, an inflammatory condition of the knee. In this case, you may experience pain when moving around and rapid swelling on the front of your kneecap.
Read more:Swelling of the Knee After Exercise
Knee inflammation can also be a sign of osteoarthritis, a chronic disease affecting more than 30 million Americans. This chronic disorder can damage any joint, especially the knee, reports Harvard Health Publishing. Over time, it may cause pain and swelling, limiting your ability to move around and perform everyday tasks.
Learn How To Get And Stay Fit At Home Without Gym Equipment With Tips From Voltaren
Text: Knee Exercises To Relieve Arthritis Pain
Text: 1. Straight Leg Raise
VO: First, lie on the floor with your left knee bent. Keep your right leg straight, and slowly raise your right leg. Hold for 3 seconds, then switch legs. Do two sets of 10 repetitions, switching legs after each set.
Text: 2. Heel Raise
VO: Stand behind a chair for support. Lift both heels up for 3 seconds, then lower. Repeat. Do two sets of 10 repetitions.
Text: 3. One Leg Lift
VO: Stand behind a chair without grabbing it. Slowly lift one foot off the floor and stay balanced for 20 seconds without grabbing the chair. Repeat with that leg, then switch sides and do two reps on the other leg.
VO: In addition to these exercises, Voltaren Arthritis Pain Gel can be used for the temporary relief of arthritis pain in the knees, ankles and feet.
Text: Use as directed
Text: The joy of movement
According to the Arthritis Foundation, obesity is the number one preventable risk factor for arthritis in the knee.1 But when it comes to a painful patella, it can be debilitating, and the last thing most people want to do is be active. If you have arthritis in the knees, sitting at the kitchen table and feeling sorry is the worst thing you can do, explains Jordan Metzl, MD, sports medicine physician at Hospital For Special Surgery. Instead, you have to try to be active and improve muscle strength. The stronger the muscles are around your knees, the stronger and better you will feel.
Recommended Reading: Knee Popping Out
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.
Make A Ginger Poultice
Applying crushed ginger to a painful join works along the same lines as capsaicinelements in the plant can deplete the bodys stores of substance P, a brain chemical that carries pain messages to your central nervous system. One study of 56 people found that ginger eased symptoms in 55 percent of people with osteoarthritis and 74 percent of those with RA. To treat yourself, peel and finely mince a 3-inch piece of fresh ginger. Mix it with just enough olive oil to form a paste, then apply it to the painful joint. Depending on where the pain is, you may need to wrap the paste in place with a gauze or a length of ace bandage. Leave in place for 10-15 minutes to allow the ginger to penetrate.
You May Like: How To Remove Scar Tissue From Knee Surgery
Managing Osteoarthritis Of The Knee
There are many treatments short of surgical replacement.
If your knees have become painful, tender, or swollen, are stiff first thing in the morning, or are making crackling noises, the probable cause is osteoarthritis, which affects more than two-thirds of women over age 60. Osteoarthritis results from the breakdown of joint cartilage, the tough, slippery tissue that protects the ends of bones . Eventually, the cartilage may wear away completely, permitting bone to rub painfully against bone. The goals of osteoarthritis treatment are to reduce pain and stiffness, limit the progression of joint damage, and maintain and improve knee function and mobility.
About 5% of women in the United States over age 50 have had total knee replacement surgery, the recommended treatment when more conservative measures have failed and pain and disability are intolerable. The number of these procedures has more than doubled over the past decade, according to research presented at the 2012 annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons . This is partly because knee replacement worksmore than 80% of patients say they’re satisfied with the results. But experts say it’s also a sign that people aren’t fully utilizing the many noninvasive strategies that evidence suggests should be tried firstabove all, weight loss and exercise.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Stop If Anything Hurts
Take a break if your joints start to ache sit on a bench for a minute or two and engage in some easy breathing, then walk again, advises Louw. If the pain is sharp and stabbing, or you feel any new joint pain, its time to stop. Talk to your doctor about what pain is normal and when its a sign of something more serious.
Don’t Miss: What Is Nano Knee Surgery
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.
Talk To Your Doctor About A Knee Brace
Often a knee brace can help. Theres evidence to show that even a simple compression sleeve can decrease pain, says Dr. Day. These are a good way to start because you can get one at the drugstore.
You can also talk to your doctor about a more customized unloader brace. These take pressure off a portion of the joint. The brace thats right for you will depend on the severity and location of arthritis, whether primarily in the inner or outer side of the joint or in the kneecap.
Recommended Reading: Bathing After Knee Surgery
Prevention Is Your Best Defense
Regular exercise may also protect against knee injuries by strengthening the muscles in this area, states the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. For example, you can do straight leg lifts, wall squats or hamstring curls from a standing position. Stretching the quads and hamstrings is just as beneficial. Here are some stretches you can try right now:
Move 1: Hamstring Stretch
Move 2: Quadriceps Stretch
Again, it’s important to listen to your body. If, say, you can’t do full squats because your knee hurts, try a partial squat and place your hands on a wall for support. Consider using resistance bands instead of gym machines for leg extensions. Avoid high-impact movements, such as jumping, as they may increase the stress on your knee joints.
Read more:9 Exercises That Can Hurt Your Knees
Managing Arthritis: Strive For Five
There are a lot of things you can do to manage your arthritis. The day-to-day things you choose to do to manage your condition and stay healthy are self-management strategies and activities. CDCs Arthritis Program recommends five self-management strategies for managing arthritis and its symptoms.
Practice these simple strategies to reduce symptoms and get relief so you can pursue the activities that are important to you. These strategies can even help you manage other chronic conditions you have.
Use these 5 strategies to manage your arthritis at any age.
Join a self-management education workshop, which can help you learn the skills to manage your arthritis and make good decisions about your health.
How can a self-management education workshop help me?
Learning strategies to better manage your arthritis can help you:
- Feel more in control of your health.
- Manage pain and other symptoms.
- Carry out daily activities, like going to work and spending time with loved ones.
- Reduce stress.
- Improve your mood.
- Communicate better with your health care provider about your care.
Learn about CDC-recommended self-management education programs that improve the quality of life of people with arthritis.
Stay as active as your health allows, and change your activity level depending on your arthritis symptoms. Some physical activity is better than none.
Unsure about what kind of activity is safe?
The focus of arthritis treatment is to
Don’t Miss: Do Copper Knee Braces Really Work