What Are The Side Effects Of Shots For Arthritis Knee Pain
A common side effect of arthritis shots is pain and swelling the first day or two after the shot. It may help to apply ice at home for 15 to 20 minutes.
Injecting anything into a joint or tendon has a very small risk of harm, including:
- Damage to a tendon, ligament, or nerve.
- Bleeding into the tissue.
Because of these risks, most doctors limit their patients to just a few steroid shots in a year.
Although these problems rarely happen, your doctor may mention them to you before you get a shot into a joint.
Nobody likes needles. The shot does hurt, but it’s quick.
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 Is The Knee Joint
Three bones come together to form your knee joint. They include the:
- Thighbone .
- Shinbone .
- Kneecap .
A smooth substance called cartilage covers the ends of each bone. Its a cushion between the bones that keeps them from rubbing together. The synovial membrane, a type of tissue that surrounds the joint, lubricates the cartilage.
Arthritis of the knee causes pain and swelling in the joint
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How To Ease The Pain Now
When your knee starts aching, experts suggest the following steps:
Apply ice or heat. Both can reduce pain ice can also cut swelling, and heat can ease stiffness. For icing, place a towel or cloth on your skin, then top with a small bag of ice at least once a day for 20 minutes, recommends physical therapist Erica Fritz, P.T., D.P.T., manager of the Orthopedic Physical Therapy Center at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.
If your knee feels stiff but isnt swollen, apply a heating pad to the area for 20 minutes twice a day. Place a protective layer, such as a towel, between the heat source and your skin.
Get some low-impact activity. You may not feel much like being active when your knees hurt, but the evidence suggests that it can help. A 2015 review by the independent Cochrane Collaboration found that the short-term pain relief conferred by exercise is comparable to that achieved with use of a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug .
Walking and cycling are good choices. But if land-based exercise is too painful, try an aquatic workout.The buoyancy of water is gentle on joints and may make it easier to work out. Aquatic exercise also provides a small but measurable decrease in pain and disability in people with knee and/or hip OA, according to another Cochrane review, published in 2016.
Ask about physical therapy. If pain and swelling make it very challenging to be active or youre unsure which exercises are best for you, see a physical therapist.
Is Walking Good For Knee Arthritis
Although it may seem counterintuitive, walking can help decrease the pain and stiffness associated with osteoarthritis. In addition, any form of exercise that helps you maintain a healthy weight can reduce the stress on your joints, and this may slow the progression of your arthritis. You should, however, consult a doctor to confirm that your knee pain is caused by osteoarthritis rather than by an injury for which resting would be appropriate. A physical therapist can help determine appropriate levels of exercise for patients with osteoarthritis of the knee.
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Imaging For Diagnosing Advanced Knee Osteoarthritis
X-rays are very helpful in diagnosing advanced knee osteoarthritis because the joint will have specific characteristics, including:
- Bones that are closer to each other than they should be: As cartilage wears away, the joint space between them often narrows.
- Cysts: As the body responds to cartilage destruction and attempts to stabilize the joint, cysts or fluid-filled cavities can form in the bone.
- Increased bone density or uneven joints: When bones are no longer cushioned by cartilage, they can rub against one another, creating friction. The body responds by producing more bone tissue, which increasing bone density. Increased bone creates uneven joint surfaces and bone spurs at the joint.
How To Help Arthritis In Knees: The Basics
Your knees are the largest, strongest joint in the body. Knowing a bit about the anatomy can help to appreciate not only their strength but also their unique vulnerabilities.
Knee joints consist of three bones. The femur connects to the tibia and the patella . Cartilage wraps around the end of each bone to protect and smooth movement where the three bones meet.
Two wedges of cartilage called the meniscus act as shock absorbers as the femur presses down into the tibia. Synovial fluid lubricates all of the cartilage in the joint and helps with smooth movement.
In addition, stabilizing ligaments and tendons include:
- Lateral and medial collateral ligaments: Stabilize side-to-side movement
- Posterior and anterior cruciate ligament: Frames movement forward and backwards
Knees absorb the impact of your upper body coming down on the lower leg: every day, all day. This means that everything you dowalking, running, hiking up a mountain, or simply standing up from a seatrelies on healthy knees.
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Dont: Be Afraid To Use Assistive Devices If You Have Knee Osteoarthritis
Canes and knee braces can play a role in decreasing knee osteoarthritis pain and improving function, Pisetsky says. There can be a period of time when knee pain is disabling but its not the right time for surgery, so thats when assistive devices can make a difference, he explains. An occupational therapist can work with you to choose appropriate assistive devices.
Heat And Cold Therapy
Heat and cold can be effective for managing knee pain. Heat can relax the muscles to improve pain and function and promote joint lubrication, which can reduce stiffness. You can use a hot water bottle or a heating pad. For cold therapy, an ice pack, wrapped in a towel, can help reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling.
Some people can get the most out of knee pain relief when they alternate heat and cold therapy. You can experiment with both to figure out what best works for you to manage your knee pain, swelling, and stiffness.
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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.
Take Pain Relief Medications To Ease Joint Pain
Sometimes, osteoarthritis symptoms may include severe pain. In these moments, medications are your best bet for reducing symptoms quickly.
That way, you can get back to your rehabilitation program and continue your recovery.
Now, your doctor will probably recommend traditional medications, like over-the-counter NSAIDs. These are very effective at reducing pain and swelling from osteoarthritis.
But, if you have a previous health condition or are on prescription medications, your doctor may prescribe acetaminophen instead of NSAIDs.
Pro tip: If you have a pain flare-up, try to identify what caused it. Too much movement? Too little? Stress? Bad sleep? This is a learning opportunity you can use to prevent it from happening again.
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Getting Medical Treatment For Knee Pain
Treatment Goals: Manage Pain And Improve Function
Osteoarthritis treatment plans often include exercise, rest and joint care, pain relief, weight control, medicines, surgery, and complementary treatment approaches. Current treatments for osteoarthritis can relieve symptoms such as pain and disability, but there are no treatments that can cure the condition.
Although health care professionals can prescribe or recommend treatments to help you manage your arthritis, the real key to living well with the disease is you. Research shows that people with osteoarthritis who take part in their own care report less pain and make fewer doctor visits. They also enjoy a better quality of life.
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Expert Q& a: Just Dealing With Chronic Pain
Why it’s important to get proper treatment for chronic pain.
Q: With both fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis, I have constant pain. Even with treatment, it never goes away completely. Ive just been dealing with it. Is that OK?
Chronic pain is not a problem you should just put up with in fact, you should be dealing with chronic pain in ways that are effective. This is important because an increasing number of studies show serious consequences of having chronic pain. It may cause damage to certain areas of the brain, just as chronic stress does. Chronic pain also may lead to psychological problems, such as depression social problems, such as isolation or decreased earning potential and functional problems, such as decreased activity or disability.
Medications can also be helpful. For moderate-to-severe knee osteoarthritis , the supplement glucosamine may provide some relief, as may the right combination of analgesics or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . There are three drugs specifically approved for use in fibromyalgia, as well as many drugs that have been shown to be effective but are not specifically approved.
Tell your doctor that the treatments you tried previously are not resolving your chronic pain, and then work with him to find the right combination of treatments for you. It may take some time, but the result will be worth the effort.
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.
Antonia F. Chen, MD, MBA, is an orthopaedic surgeon in the Department of Orthopaedics at Brigham and Womens Hospital.
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What Is The Treatment For Knee Arthritis
Nonsurgical methods to relieve pain and stiffness should are usually tried first. These may include physical therapy, and/or oral pain medications or injections of corticosteroid or other agents. Advanced knee osteoarthritis may require surgery such as a partial or total knee replacement or patellofemoral joint replacement. Inflammatory arthritis in the knee is usually managed medically rather than surgically.
In cases of â inflammation of the synovium â or effusion , a and/or to aspirate the joint may be appropriate.
Do I Have Arthritis In My Knee
Dr. Ekaterina Urch, orthopedic surgeon and knee specialist, covers the symptoms, causes, and best treatment options for knee arthritis.
What is arthritis?
Arthritis is the result of inflammation in one or more of your joints. This inflammation can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness in various joints within the body and can even lead people to replacing their joints because the arthritis has interfered with their every-day activity level. This can be particularly true with arthritis felt in the knee, one of the more common areas where arthritis can occur. Depending on how bad the pain is, it can interfere with the activities people enjoy and can keep them from pursuing an active life.
What are the different types of arthritis?
Not all types of arthritis are created equal. In fact, there are more than 100 different forms of arthritis. However, the two more common types of arthritis include osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis, which is known as a degenerative wear-and-tear type of arthritis, is commonly found in the knee. It is rare for osteoarthritis to be found in younger people. It is more commonly found in people 50 years of age and older.
Why is osteoarthritis causing you so much pain?
Symptoms of knee arthritis:
Other symptoms of knee arthritis:
Nonsurgical treatment for knee arthritis:
Other nonsurgical options to help ease arthritis pain:
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How Do I Know If My Knee Pain Is Arthritis
If you have knee pain that doesn’t 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.
Do: Maintain A Healthy Weight Which Eases Stress On Your Knee Joints
Excess weight puts greater pressure or stress on your already damaged knees, Pisetsky explains. If you’re overweight, losing weight can relieve knee pain and even slow down the rate of cartilage degeneration, according to a study in the August 2017 issue of Radiology. The research showed that the more weight participants lost, the greater their improvements were. If youre overweight, weight loss can help with knee pain, Pisetsky emphasizes.
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When Knee Pain Is Chronic
If your knee pain continues for three months or longer, stick with an exercise program apply ice or heat as needed use NSAIDs judiciously continue to lose weight, if needed and consider the following:
Walking aids. Using a cane or walker as needed can reduce the load on the affected knee, easing discomfort. A study published in 2012 in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases found that people with knee OA who used a cane daily for two months had less pain and better function.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy. Some evidence finds that CBT, a short-term therapy that can provide strategies for coping with pain, may help reduce discomfort and help you function better. A study published in 2015 in Arthritis & Rheumatology reported that people with knee OA plus insomnia who received CBT not only slept better but also reported less pain.
When To Contact A Doctor
Although it is not always necessary to contact a doctor during an osteoarthritis flare-up, symptoms that persist for more than a few days may need medical treatment.
The doctor may request imaging tests, such as X-rays or MRI scans, to check for changes to joints and other damage. They will likely recommend medications to treat pain.
If necessary, the doctor may suggest additional treatments to address triggers, such as CBT for stress.
Osteoarthritis flare-ups are not always preventable, but some strategies can help minimize risk.
For example, people with osteoarthritis may find the following tips helpful:
- Maintain a moderate weight by making healthy dietary choices and getting plenty of exercise.
- Reduce stress through meditation, mindfulness, and deep breathing exercises.
- Take measures to get enough sleep.
- Engage in regular exercise to strengthen the bones, lubricate the joints, and increase muscle mass.
- Wear supportive braces to help protect and stabilize the joints.
- Use assistive devices to reduce stress on the joints.
Some foods and beverages that may help prevent inflammation include:
- fresh fruits and vegetables, as they are good sources of antioxidants
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