The Right Tool For The Job
Some items are made with your swollen and stiff joints in mind, like easy-grip pens, spring-action scissors, and nonslip jar openers. Trade in your glass mixing bowls for lighter plastic or melamine versions. Have lever-style faucet handles installed so you dont have to grip and turn for water in the kitchen and bathroom. Look for storage with lids that lift off or flip open easily. Avoid small parts or complicated latches.
How To Treat A Swollen Knee At Home
In many cases, a mild to moderately swollen knee may be treated at home. Home care typically involves Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation and medication. Read the descriptions of these treatments below to help maximize their benefit and avoid mistakes.
The 4-step R.I.C.E. Formula
1.Rest will give the joint time to repair and recover. Take a break from sports and other activities for 24 hours or longer. The joint should not necessarily be immobile people with knee swelling should try to gently flex and straighten the knee several times a day to maintain range of motion.
2.Icing is an easy, effective treatment for excess knee swelling. Cold therapy can ease symptoms by:
- Causing nearby blood vessels to constrict, decreasing blood flow and inflammation
- Slowing down the production of joint fluid in the knee
- Distracting the brain from pain signals to the brain
Apply a cold compress to the knee for no longer than 20 minutes at a time. This can be done several times a day.
Ice should not be applied directly to the skin. Prevent skin damage by placing a towel or another material in between the icepack and skin. Cold therapy may not be appropriate for people who have Raynauds Syndrome or nerve damage.
3.Compression involves wrapping the affected joint in an elastic bandage . Compression may help limit or reduce swelling.
Keep in mind that a compression bandage will not support the knee or protect it from further injury.
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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Treating And Managing Flare
Talk to your doctor about how to handle flare-ups, and let them know if they happen a lot. They may need to change your treatment plan.
Some flare-ups get better after you rest and take over-the-counter pain meds for a couple of days. Call your doctor if they last longer than that, or if your symptoms are intense.
Medication changes. You might need to adjust your medication temporarily, or add a new one. Medicines that can help with flares include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , either prescription or over-the-counter. You may take them as a pill or put them on your skin. Acetaminophen helps some people. Your doctor may also inject steroids into your joints.
Rest. One of the best ways to deal with a flare is to take it easy. Take a sick day if you need to. Ask family members to help out with chores. But try not to stop moving completely. Do a few gentle stretches to keep yourself from getting stiff.
Hot and cold therapies. Moist heat around your joints boosts blood flow and relaxes muscles. A warm paraffin wax dip may make your hands or feet feel better. A special machine heats the wax, which is the same type used in candles.
If too much exercise causes flare-ups for you, use an ice pack right after your workout to ease pain. A cold compress may help at other times, too. Cold constricts your blood vessels, which decreases blood flow. That leads to less pain.
Limit the use of either of these methods to two to four times a day, for no more than 15 minutes at a time.
Adding Or Removing Some Bone Around A Joint
If you have osteoarthritis in your knees but you’re not suitable for knee replacement surgery, you may be able to have an operation called an osteotomy. This involves your surgeon adding or removing a small section of bone either above or below your knee joint.
This helps realign your knee so your weight is no longer focused on the damaged part of your knee. An osteotomy can relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis, although you may still need knee replacement surgery eventually.
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How To Get Moving Every Day
In addition to physical therapy, its critical to incorporate regular exercise into your daily routine.
Joints are built to move, says Dr. Day. The evidence shows that people who are least active have more arthritis pain than people who do some form of exercise. Choose lower-impact activities, such as bicycling, swimming or exercising in a pool.
What Causes Arthritis In The Knee
There are two types of arthritis that affect knee they are rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. Basically, arthritis in the knee can develop because of a combination of several factors such as aging, obesity, heredity, and joint injury. Aging people experience osteoarthritis because this type of arthritis is a degenerative joint disease. When people are getting older, their muscles become weak and the gradual deterioration of cartilage become severe. The older the people are, the higher the chance to develop knee pain or pain behind the knee. People with obesity can be affected by the knee joint because their weight gives more stress to their knee. Joint injury can lead to post traumatic arthritis in which it has the same characteristics as osteoarthritis. Knee arthritis that is caused by joint injury might develop after some years of a knee injury.
Set Reasonable Expectations For Recovery
People often expect the total knee replacement to be a total cure which it is not. It takes work, time, and effort to make the knee feel good again, and even then, it wont be the same knee you had when you were 20 years old, Dr. Chen reminds her patients.
Full recovery can take as much as a year, but the knee will feel better as you begin to heal from surgery.
Patients often ask when they can return to driving. That depends on which knee received the operation. For the right knee, individuals can usually drive after three-to-four weeks for the left knee, you could drive as soon as two weeks. The important factor is the strength of the quadriceps, which affects your ability to move from brake to gas safely. I tell patients to go to an empty parking lot to practice, and when they feel comfortable enough to hit the brake if they needed to, theyre ready to drive, says Dr. Chen.
Another common question is when patients can return to work. Because it depends largely on the amount of physical labor in a persons job, at-home recovery can range from two weeks to three months.
Dr. Chen reminds patients that recovery takes time: The key is expectations. I always tell patients to remember their pain before surgery, because afterwards it normally feels a lot better than that.
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Injections Are Another Low
If other strategies dont provide enough relief, injection therapy is an option with low risk.
A corticosteroid injection involves delivering this anti-inflammatory drug directly to the knee. The benefits are typically short lived. But it varies from person to person. I tell my patients the pain relief can last anywhere from a week to a year, says Dr. Day. One cautionary note with corticosteroids is the potential to increase blood sugar, which is a concern for people with uncontrolled diabetes.
For a possibly longer lasting effect, an injection of hyaluronic acid can be tried. Hyaluronic acid is a substance that healthy joints have a lot of and arthritic knees dont, says Dr. Day. It takes longer to start working than a corticosteroid injection, but the effect often lasts six months to a year.
Currently, research is being done on the effectiveness of platelet-rich plasma , which is not yet covered by insurance. PRP involves drawing some blood, spinning it in a centrifuge, and injecting part of it into the knee.
If youre not able to get your symptoms under control with a combination of these measures, she says, it could be time to talk to your doctor about surgery.
This article originally appeared in Cleveland Clinic Arthritis Advisor.
Biologic Response Modifiers And Ra
Biologic response modifiers: These agents act like substances produced normally in the body and block other natural substances that are part of the immune response. They block the process that leads to inflammation and damage of the joints. These are targeted treatments that are directed at specific processes in the immune system that are involved in the disease development and progression. Prior to taking biologic response modifiers, patients typically receive screening tests for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and tuberculosis . Live forms of vaccinations are not generally administered while persons are taking biologic medications.
While biologic medications are often combined with traditional DMARDs in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, they are generally not used with other biologic medications because of the unacceptable risk for serious infections.
How Do I Know If My Knee Pain Is Arthritis
If you have knee pain that doesnt go away with time, you might have arthritis. This condition occurs when the protective cartilage that covers the ends of the bones in a joint starts to wear away. The result is bone grinding against bone, which is very painful. Arthritis is one of the most common causes of knee pain, especially in people over 50 years old.
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Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation uses a machine that sends electrical impulses through sticky patches, called electrodes, attached to the skin. This may help ease the pain caused by your osteoarthritis by numbing the nerve endings in your spinal cord which control pain.
Treatment with TENS is usually arranged by a physiotherapist or doctor, who can advise you on the strength of the pulses and how long your treatment should last.
Pineapple: This Fruits Enzymes Can Decrease Swelling
Pineapple is rich in vitamin C and the enzyme bromelain, which has been linked to decreased pain and swelling in both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, Sandon says. So, add this tropical fruit to your diet every chance you get. Try it cubed in fruit salad, baked in savory dishes, blended into a smoothie, or added to stir-fries to give a sweet-and-sour zing.
Bromelain is also available in supplement form, but check with your doctor before taking it because it can increase the risk of bleeding, especially if you also take blood thinners such as Plavix , Coumadin, or aspirin. Bromelain may also interfere with the action of antibiotics and sedatives.
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Creams Gels And Lotions
Topical creams, gels, and lotions can be rubbed directly onto the skin to help ease painful joints. As the skin absorbs the ingredients, you may experience temporary relief of minor joint pain.
Topical ointments can also come in spray form or patches. Products that contain capsaicin, salicylates, camphor, or menthol are standard for treating arthritis.
Theres limited current research on using these treatments for RA. Still, a 2017 study found that a gel containing menthol, benzocaine, and procaine hydrochloride resulted in temporary pain relief in people with RA.
Arthritis medications in the form of creams may also be effective.
According to a 2015 study, etoricoxib cream, piroxicam cream, and diclofenac cream reduced pain and swelling for RA, with etoricoxib cream giving the most relief.
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What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider About Arthritis Of The Knee
It might be helpful to arrive at your healthcare providers office with a list of questions you want or need to be answered. Consider:
- Do I have arthritis in one knee or both?
- What type of arthritis do I have?
- Whats a possible cause of my arthritis?
- What treatments do you recommend?
- What medications should I take?
- Do I need physical therapy?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Knee arthritis can affect people of all ages. Its painful, impairs movement and causes swelling of the joint. Some people are so disabled by it that they cant work anymore. Others can only work after surgery. Meanwhile, for others, the pain isnt necessarily as bad, but it still prevents them from regular activities like cleaning, gardening and running after their kids.
Arthritis of the knee can decrease your quality of life. The good news is that treatments can lessen the severity of your symptoms. The pain and swelling might not be as bad. See your healthcare provider for evaluation and treatment if you have symptoms.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/18/2021.
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Do Gentle Exercises With Your Knees
Try this exercise a few times throughout the day to reduce the swelling:
- Lie down and extend the injured knee with a pillow or a towel under the joint.
- Then, try to push the pillow against the bed with the backside of your knee joint. This will activate your quadriceps muscles.
- Repeat 10-15 times, holding it for a few seconds.
This is called a quadriceps setting exercise which, as you might have guessed, works the quadriceps one of the biggest muscles that support your knee.
Doing this will increase the blood flow to your knee and help to get rid of the inflammation.
How To Treat Arthritis In The Knees
This article was medically reviewed by Troy A. Miles, MD. Dr. Miles is an Orthopedic Surgeon specializing in Adult Joint Reconstruction in California. He received his MD from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 2010, followed by a residency at the Oregon Health & Science University and fellowship at the University of California, Davis. He is a Diplomat of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and is a member of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, American Orthopaedic Association, American Association of Orthopaedic Surgery, and the North Pacific Orthopaedic Society.There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 71,932 times.
Research suggests that treatment may slow down arthritis and relieve your symptoms, though there’s no cure for it.XTrustworthy SourceNational Health Service Public healthcare system of the UKGo to source Arthritis occurs when your joint becomes inflamed, causing pain, stiffness, and swelling. Osteoarthritis happens when the cartilage in your joint wears away, while rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition where your body attacks your joints. Experts say arthritis in the knee is very common because it’s a weight-bearing joint, but you can get arthritis in any joint.XResearch source Although arthritis may interfere with your life, you may be able to manage your condition.
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Jak Inhibitors And Ra
- Tofacitinib is the first in a new class of small molecule medications used to treat rheumatoid arthritis called JAK inhibitors. Tofacitinib is a treatment for adults with moderate to severe active RA in which methotrexate was not very effective. Patients can take tofacitinib with or without methotrexate, and this prescription drug is taken by mouth two times a day. Tofacitinib is a targeted drug that only blocks Janus kinase, special enzymes of inflammation, within cells. This is why it is referred to as a JAK inhibitor. JAK inhibitors are not used with biologic medications.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Arthritis Of The Knee
There are many signs and symptoms of arthritis of the knee:
- Creaking, clicking, grinding or snapping noises .
- Difficulty walking.
- Joint pain that changes depending on the weather.
- Joint stiffness.
- Knee joint pain that progresses slowly or pain that happens suddenly.
- Skin redness.
- Your knee locks or sticks when its trying to move.
- Warm skin.
Pain and swelling are the most common symptoms of arthritis of the knee. Some treatments might reduce the severity of your symptoms or even stall the progression. See your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of knee arthritis.
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Gla: D Program For Hip And Knee Oa
There has been a strong push in the media recently for an increased awareness of the best practice and treatment of osteoarthritis in Australia. The link below to the SBS takes snippets from an insight episode that reinforces that it is important and often very beneficial to exercise when you have hip or knee OA. We have known about the benefits of exercise in OA since 2002 – and at Southside Physio have always strived for our clients to achieve their goals without surgical intervention.
Southside Physio is proud to offer the GLA:D program for those who suffer from osteoarthritis of the hip or knee. This exercise program has been developed by researchers in Denmark, and has been proven to reduce pain and improve quality of life by combining an active approach of education and group exercise.
Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent lifestyle condition in people 65 years and older, but can also affect people as young as 30 years of age. The most recent international clinical recommendations for the first-line treatment of OA are education, exercise and weight loss. Unfortunately a surgical approach is very common in Australia. The GLA:D® Australia program offers a safe and non-invasive alternative.
GLA:D® Australia training program outline:
· Initial appointment with a Physiotherapist explaining the program and collecting individual, functional data
Benefits of GLA:D®:
· Provides reductions in pain