How Is Osteoarthritis Diagnosed
To make a diagnosis of osteoarthritis, most health care providers use a combination of methods and tests. Your doctor may:
- Ask about your symptoms and medical history
- Perform a physical examination
- Use X-rays and other imaging tests to look at your joints
- Order laboratory tests to rule out other problems that could be causing your symptoms
If you have questions about your diagnosis, talk to your doctor. Your primary care provider may refer you to a rheumatologist, a doctor who specializes in arthritis and other related conditions.
Will Changing My Diet Help My Rheumatoid Arthritis
When combined with the treatments and medications your provider recommends, changes in diet may help reduce inflammation and other symptoms of RA. But it wont cure you. You can talk with your doctor about adding good fats and minimizing bad fats, salt and processed carbohydrates. No herbal or nutritional supplements, like collagen, can cure rheumatoid arthritis. These dietary changes are safer and most successful when monitored by your rheumatologist.
But there are lifestyle changes you can make that may help relieve your symptoms. Your rheumatologist may recommend weight loss to reduce stress on inflamed joints.
People with rheumatoid arthritis also have a higher risk of coronary artery disease. High blood cholesterol can respond to changes in diet. A nutritionist can recommend specific foods to eat or avoid to reach a desirable cholesterol level.
You May Like: Is Icy Hot Good For Knee Pain
Osteoarthritis Of The Knee
Knee OA is a very common source of pain that can limit your mobility.
Causes of Knee OA
The cause of OA is unknown. These risk factors make it more likely you will develop knee OA:
- Age: OA can occur at any time of life, but it is most common in older adults.
- Sex: Women are more likely to have knee OA than men.
- Obesity: Being overweight adds stress to your knees. Fat cells also make proteins that can cause inflammation in and around your joints.
- Injuries: Any knee injury, even old ones, can lead to knee OA.
- Repeated stress: Frequent stress on your knee from your job or playing sports can increase risk for OA.
- Genetics: You can inherit a tendency to develop OA.
- Bone deformities: If you have crooked bones or joints, you are at higher risk.
- Some metabolic diseases: Diabetes and hemochromatosis, a condition in which your blood has too much iron, have been linked to OA
Symptoms of knee OA develop slowly and worsen over time.
- Pain: Movement causes pain. Sometimes your knee will ache while sitting still.
- Stiffness: Your knees may be stiff first thing in the morning or after sitting for a long time.
- Loss of motion: Over time, you may lose the ability to bend and straighten your knee all the way.
- Creaking and grating : You may hear crackling noises or feel a grating sensation.
- Instability: Your knee may give out or buckle, or feel like it could.
- Locking: The knee may lock or stick.
- Swelling: Your knee may get puffy all around or on one side.
Your doctor will check for:
Recommended Reading: How Can I Help Knee Pain
How Arthritis Impacts Sleep
If you have arthritis, chances are youre dealing with chronic pain due to inflammation and swelling of joints. Arthritis comes in many forms, and all of them cause discomfort. Osteoarthritis, the type caused by wear-and-tear on the joints, is the most common, affecting 32.5 million U.S. adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . It gets more common as people age, and the cartilage in the joints can wear down.
Other types include gout and rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune reaction in which the body mistakenly attacks its own tissues. Rheumatoid arthritis affects 1.5 million people in the US, two-thirds of whom are women.
No matter what type of arthritis you have, the associated pain is likely affecting your sleep. According to the CDC, nearly 30 percent of people with arthritis are getting less than the recommended seven hours of sleep a night. A 2018 study published in Arthritis Care & Research found that 34 percent of osteoarthritis patients experienced insomnia as well as moderate-to-severe pain. Another 2018 study in the Journal of Clinical Medicine in RA patients found 57 percent reported getting less than the optimal amount of sleep, which was also linked to pain level.
But, one of the things doctors wish you knew about arthritis is how to increase your chances of getting better sleep with the condition. Read on for tips from our experts.
Recommended Reading: Is Marijuana Good For Arthritis Pain
The Onset Of Symptoms Can Be Sudden Or Gradual Depending On The Kind And Stage Of Arthritis
New Delhi: As we all know, arthritis is a joint condition that is inflammatory. The inflammation of the joint limits the range of motion of the afflicted joint. The onset of symptoms can be sudden or gradual, depending on the kind and stage of arthritis.
Winter is anything but a wintry wonderland for people with arthritis. It is much more challenging to control arthritic pain in the winter. The sudden drop in barometric pressure caused by the change in ambient temperature causes joints to expand. These conditions exacerbate the pain caused by various arthritic conditions.
“Yes, those with arthritis are harder hit by these chilly waves. As the temperature drops, the capillaries narrow, causing stiffness, joint swelling, and weariness. Additionally, their joints respond to an accumulation of pro-inflammatory chemicals, which complicates the situation” said Dr Rahul Grover, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Founder and Director at Glyra Orthopaedics, New Delhi
Why this occurs?The following are a few causes of arthritis flare-ups in the winter: Wintertime increases the sensitivity of the pain receptors.
Joint discomfort results from the air pressure dropping. When pressure drops, tissues swell, causing tension to accumulate between joints and discomfort.
Colder temperatures cause greater muscular spasms, which exacerbates joint pain and stiffness.
Recommended Reading: Best Exercise Machine After Knee Replacement
What Are The Side Effects Of Dmards
Side effects depend on the type of DMARD you are taking. Each DMARD has some side effects that are unique to it.
Common side effects of traditional DMARDs include:
- Loss of appetite.
- Low white cell count , red blood cell count and platelet count .
Common side effects of biologic DMARDs include:
- Increased risk of common and serious bacterial, fungal and viral infections.
- Reactivation of tuberculosis, herpes zoster, hepatitis B and C.
- Increase in cholesterol levels, low blood cell counts and increased liver enzymes.
- Increased risk of blood clotting .
Many more side effects are sometimes seen with DMARDs. Many are specific to an individual DMARD. You and your provider will discuss all side effects that are possible for the medications that may be options for you. Once you start treatment, never hesitate to talk with your provider if you develop a side effect that bothers you.
Some DMARDs can cause serious side effects in some people. This is one reason why your provider wants to check your blood on a regular, ongoing basis.
How Is Oa Treated
There is no cure for OA, so doctors usually treat OA symptoms with a combination of therapies, which may include the following:
- Increasing physical activity
- Medications, including over-the-counter pain relievers and prescription drugs
- Supportive devices such as crutches or canes
In addition to these treatments, people can gain confidence in managing their OA with self-management strategies. These strategies help reduce pain and disability so people with osteoarthritis can pursue the activities that are important to them. These five simple and effective arthritis management strategies can help.
Physical Activity for Arthritis
Some people are concerned that physical activity will make their arthritis worse, but joint-friendly physical activity can actually improve arthritis pain, function, and quality of life.
You May Like: Knee Pain Caused By Hip Alignment
Use Heat Or Cold Safely
- Use either heat or cold for only 15-20 minutes at a time. Let your skin return to its normal temperature before using another application.
- Always put a towel between your skin and any type of pack.
- Always follow the advice of your physical therapist or doctor carefully when using these methods especially heat.
- Check your skin before and after using heat or cold.
- Use milder temperatures for a childâs skin because it is more sensitive than an adultâs skin.
The Most Important Piece Of The Puzzle
If you have overweight or obesity, the most effective treatment is weight loss. This isnt surprising. Every extra pound of weight adds two to four pounds of excess pressure on your knees.
Losing weight is probably the most difficult part of the treatment puzzle, but its also the most important, says Dr. Day.
A weight loss program should include both diet and exercise. Some people have difficulty exercising to lose weight because their knees hurt. But any type of exercise can help, even strengthening the upper body.
Read Also: What Is The Meniscus In Your Knee
What Is Arthritis Of The Knee
Arthritis is a disease that causes pain, swelling and stiffness in your joints. It can affect the largest and strongest joints in your body. Its common in knees. Arthritis of the knee can be a serious, debilitating disease.
Although there is no cure for knee arthritis, there are steps you can take that might ease your symptoms and potentially slow the progression of your disease.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Of The Knee
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks healthy tissue in several joints of the body, including the knee. It causes inflammation of the synovial membrane, the capsule surrounding the knee joint. Inflammatory cells release substances that break down knee cartilage over time. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect people of any age.
Recommended Reading: What Does It Mean When Your Knee Hurts
What Does Knee Pain Caused By Arthritis Feel Like
With the immense amount of pressure and strain put on our knees day after day and year after year, it is not surprising that knee pain is such a widespread complaint in men and women of all ages in Atlanta, GA. While there are certainly some more serious causes of knee pain, in a large number of people, knee pain is temporary and, relatively, harmless. However, if you think the pain in your knees may be caused by arthritis, here are a few telltale signs and symptoms to watch for:
How Is Osteoarthritis Managed
There is no cure for osteoarthritis, but most people with osteoarthritis can manage their symptoms, continue with daily activities and live healthy and enjoyable lives. Be careful of any products or treatments that claim to cure osteoarthritis completely your doctor will help to find the right treatment for you.
The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care has developed a guide to help you discuss the main treatment options for osteoarthritis of the knee with your doctor.
Recommended Reading: Does Walking Backwards Help Knee Pain
How Does Acupuncture Work
Chinese medicine calls the energy that flows through the body qi. Chinese medicine practitioners believe qi disruptions create imbalances in the bodys energy that lead to illness.
Some forms of acupuncture aim to rebalance qi with needles that touch acupuncture points throughout the body. There are hundreds of acupoints in the body along 14 major meridians, also called energy-carrying channels.
The needles stimulate the bodys existing systems to:
- React to an illness or symptom.
- Rebalance the body.
- Release natural chemicals, such as endorphins, the bodys natural painkillers, and neurotransmitters, chemicals that control nerve impulses.
Osteoarthritis Treatment And Pain Management
There is no cure for osteoarthritis, therefore, doctors focus on treatments to ease your pain, help you move better, and stop the disease from getting worse. Treatment plans often include:
Exercise. A safe, well-rounded exercise program can reduce joint pain and stiffness and increase flexibility, muscle strength, and endurance. Try stretching and balance exercises as well as low-impact activities such as walking, cycling, swimming, or tai chi. Always talk with your doctor before starting a new exercise program. Remember to start slowly and take the time to adjust to a new level of activity.
Weight control. If you are affected by overweight or obesity, managing your weight can reduce stress on the joints, which may reduce pain, prevent more injury, and increase mobility.
Medication. Over-the-counter medications, including oral pain relievers and arthritis creams, can be helpful. Your doctor may also give you a prescription for a pill or inject a medication directly into the joint to reduce inflammation and pain.
Surgery. If other treatments are not helping and the joint damage is extensive, your doctor may suggest surgery. Surgeries that help treat osteoarthritis include osteotomy, which removes a small piece of bone to relieve pressure on the affected joint, and joint-replacement surgery, which removes a part or all of the damaged joint and replaces it with a plastic, metal, or ceramic joint.
Take steps to help manage your pain and work toward a better quality of life:
Also Check: Why Do My Legs And Knees Hurt
Whats The Big Difference With Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis happens through wear and tear, which is why its more common in people aged 50+. By contrast, RA is a disorder of the immune system, where the body starts to attack its own tissues. This leads to inflammation, which can stretch the knee capsule and degrade the lining cartilage. In some cases, osteoarthritis follows from that.
Symptoms Of Knee Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis of the knee usually affects both knees, although you may only notice symptoms in one.
- You may have knee pain thats in and around your knee, which becomes worse when youre active. You wont usually feel pain in your knee when youre in bed at night, unless you have severe osteoarthritis.
- Your knee may be stiff for a while after youve been resting or when you first get up in the morning. If you have it in the morning, it will be for less than 30 minutes after you get up.
- You may find that your knee sometimes gives way, or locks and you cant straighten it.
- Because of the pain, stiffness and swelling, you might not be able to move your knee as much or as easily as you would usually.
- Your knee may creak or grind when you move it this is called crepitus.
Read Also: What Can You Use For Knee Pain
Complementary And Alternative Medicine
Many complementary and alternative medicine treatments have been used to treat knee osteoarthritis, with variable success. Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements have been marketed since the 1990s as disease-modifying options. A double-blind RCT showed little benefit from the use of glucosamine combined with chondroitin in participants with mild knee osteoarthritis.15 However, a greater benefit was noted in persons with moderate to severe pain. Glucosamine is safe, but the benefit is variable. Chondroitin does not decrease pain from osteoarthritis of the knee or hip.15
The benefit of acupuncture is not clear. A meta-analysis did not demonstrate any clinically relevant improvement in pain or function scores with acupuncture compared with sham acupuncture.16 However, in the short term and in the long term , patients who received either acupuncture or sham acupuncture felt better than those who received usual care. Another study showed that six months of treatment with traditional Chinese acupuncture decreased pain scores and increased functionality an average of 40 percent compared with sham acupuncture or no treatment.17
What Causes Knee Pain After Meniscus Surgery
Meniscus Tear Treatment With 4 Exercises To Avoid Surgery KNEE PAIN RELIEF from Torn Meniscus Chiropractic Fix A meniscus tear is a common cause of knee pain. Meniscus complaints can arise because the meniscus is irritated or torn. In the past, surgeons thought that they could only solve a meniscus tear using surgery.
Today, however, it is known that a meniscus tear heals in 95% of cases with the right exercises. Exercise therapy also reduces the risk of developing knee osteoarthritis later in life, which does happen after surgery. In this article, Im going to tell you exactly how you can do this yourself. I describe the cause, symptoms, and treatments of a meniscus tear through 4 physical therapy exercises.
You can read the story of one of our readers that followed our treatment plan successfully here. So read on quickly. Meniscus tear treatment with 4 exercises
What is the recovery time for a torn meniscus without surgery?
Meniscus Tear Recovery In general, a knee cartilage repair takes 3 to 6 months to complete. Meniscectomy takes less time to heal it takes about three to six weeks. Meniscus tears are the most common knee injury. If the meniscus tear is conservatively treated, it can be treated without surgery and taken up to 6 to 8 weeks to heal.
If you have a knee injury, your doctor may advise you to wear a knee brace or other device to limit your movement. Meniscus tears account for approximately 850,000 surgeries in the United States each year.
Recommended Reading: Why Does My Knee Randomly Hurt
Explore Supplements And Natural Remedies
Supplements for knee osteoarthritis may increase production of synovial fluid in the knee joint. This helps smooth out rough movement that could be causing knee pain. Talk to your doctor before adding these into your regimen.
Natural remedies for knee pain can also be remarkably effective. These include things like transdermal magnesium, acupuncture, and mindfulness meditation.
My Knee Feels Slightly Warmer
The feeling of warmth in the knee is a common presentation as there is usually inflammation of the knee joint in osteoarthritis. This may also be accompanied with slight redness on the skins surface. The best way to assess for warmth is to use the back of your hand to feel over the affected area and make a comparison with the other side. If substantial amount of warmth is felt, icing of the affected joint for 10 to 15 minutes can help with sooth any existing pain.
You May Like: How Long Can You Drive After Knee Replacement
Read Also: When Do I Need Knee Surgery