Strength Exercises For Knee Osteoarthritis
Aging doesnt just cost you articular cartilage flexibility. It also takes a toll on your muscles, too and that can lead to knee instability.
Sarcopenia is the natural loss of muscle mass that comes with age. The process typically starts around age 30. On average, adults lose 3% to 5% of their muscle strength every decade after that birthday.
A strength program targeting your lower body helps limit the decline in muscles supporting your knee. Think of those muscles as load-sharing cables, says Dr. Orlandi. They work to limit stress and pressure on the joint.
Workout equipment offers numerous ways to build strength through exercises such as leg presses, hamstring curls and quad extensions.
If you dont have equipment or a gym membership, no worries! Try these simple exercises:
- Bodyweight squats. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, with your feet turned out slightly. Keeping your heels on the ground, bend your knees while dropping your butt and lowering your body. Pause before returning to standing. Repeat.
- Stair stepping. If you have stairs in your home, tackle those flights a few times a day. Stepping up and down off of a stool or block also is an option if youre living in a one-floor residence.
- Leg extensions. Sit on the edge of your bed or a chair and alternate kicking out your left and right legs.
What Are The Types Of Knee Osteotomy
The two main types of osteotomy are opening wedge and closing wedge.
During a closing wedge osteotomy knee surgery, the surgeon cuts a wedge of bone from the leg and brings the sides of the opening together to close the space.
In some cases, the surgeon opens up a section of bone, rather than closing the bone. This procedure is called an opening wedge osteotomy. Sometimes a graft is used to hold the space between the ends of the osteotomy gap.
Special Cartilage In The Knee
Each knee has two moon-shaped sections of cartilage, each called a meniscus. The lateral meniscus is located in the outer knee near your hands when you are standing up with your arms at your sides and the medial meniscus is in the inner knee. When someone has a torn ACL in the knee, they are also likely to have a torn meniscus.
The more wear-and-tear and injury that is caused to this cartilage, the more likely you are to develop arthritis in the knee. This is because the menisci cannot fully perform their job as a cushion between the knee bones.
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Foods To Avoid If You Have Arthritis
Weve covered the positive, now the difficult part the foods that maybe you should limit if inflammation is a concern to you.
Yes, whilst some foods can help keep inflammation in check, others have been found to trigger it.
Certain food groups are thought to have inflammatory properties.
For example, refined carbohydrates , chips and other fried foods, fatty red meat, and high sugar food and drink.
Limiting these foods in your diet can have wide wellness benefits, including for some, improvements in joint health and the symptoms of arthritis.
Theres also a lot of misinformation out there regarding diets for arthritis, which people should be wary of.
For example, cutting out food groups for extended periods of time without knowing if they affect you personally as some advice suggests could mean your body runs short of important nutrients.
Instead, Emily suggests keeping a food diary as the best way to identify if a food intolerance is exacerbating inflammation and, as a result, increasing joint pain caused by arthritis.
Under the advice and guidance of your doctor or dietitian, you could leave out a certain food from your diet for a period of time probably a month minimum and note any changes in your arthritis symptoms, she suggests.
How Is Arthritis Treated
There are many treatments that can help relieve pain and help you live with arthritis. You should talk to your doctor about the best treatments for you, which can include:
- Medications to relieve pain, slow the condition, and prevent further damage.
- Surgery to repair joint damage or relieve pain.
Doctors who diagnose and treat arthritis and other rheumatic diseases include:
- A general practitioner, such as your family doctor.
- A rheumatologist, who treats arthritis and other diseases of the bones, joints, and muscles.
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Early Signs Of Arthritis In The Knee
Arthritis refers to the redness and swelling of the joints. It usually develops slowly over 10 to 15 years, interfering with daily life activities. Knowing the early signs of arthritis can help you take appropriate treatment and incorporate modifications in your diet and lifestyle.
The knee joint is the largest and the most complex joint in the body. Depending on the cause, the early signs and symptoms of arthritis in the knee joint may vary amongst individuals. Typically, these include:
- Pain while climbing stairs or walking
- Joint stiffness after sitting for prolonged periods with bended knees
- Difficulty in straightening the knee after getting up in the morning
- Swelling over the knees that gets worse on walking
- Bones in the knee joint rub against each other giving rise to the sound of creaking, clicking or snapping, or grinding
- Many people with arthritis experience increased joint pain during rainy weather
What Type Of Doctor Treats Knee Arthritis
Osteoarthritis of the knee may be treated by a sports medicine physician or an orthopedic surgeon, depending on your particular condition. A physical therapist may be able to treat less severe cases to help reduce pain and increase your mobility. If you knee pain is a result of rheumatoid arthritis, gout or other form of inflammatory arthritis, you should consult a rheumatologist.
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The Most Important Piece Of The Puzzle
If youre overweight or obese, 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.
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:
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Does Osteoarthritis Of The Knee Cause Bone Pain
Osteoarthritis of the knee causes your leg bones to rub together, which can lead to painful bone spurs.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Osteoarthritis of the knee develops over time. You might not notice the twinge or ache that could be the first sign of knee osteoarthritis. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have knee pain thats getting worse. Your provider can help you treat your symptoms and keep you moving. Early treatment can ease the symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee and slow its progress.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 09/08/2021.
What Are The Symptoms Of Osteoarthritis In The Knee
Pain is the most common symptom of osteoarthritis in the knee. Your knee might hurt when you move it, or even when you are just sitting still. Other symptoms are:
- Your knee feels stiff, particularly when you first get up or when youve been sitting for a long time.
- Your knee looks swollen or feels puffy.
- You hear a cracking or grinding noise when you move your knee.
- Your knee feels wobbly, as if it could buckle or give out.”
- Your knee might lock up, or feel as if it is stuck.
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What About Glucosamine And Chondroitin
Glucosamine and chondroitin are components of healthy cartilage. Both are produced naturally in the body. They are also available in supplement form.
Researchers have long studied the effects of glucosamine and chondroitin supplements on arthritis. Many studies have found mixed resultssome have shown pain relief and function improvements compared to a placebo, while others showed no benefit from using these supplements.
Because of the lack of confirmatory evidence on the effectiveness of glucosamine and chondroitin supplements, the 2019 ACR/Arthritis guidelines recommend that people with knee OA not use these supplements.
There has been little or no research on the effects of glucosamine and chondroitin supplements in people with knee arthritis related to RA.
Most supplements are generally safe to use. Talk to your healthcare provider about whether it is safe for you to start a supplement with your current knee arthritis treatment plan.
While supplements have few severe side effects attached to them, it is still possible to experience these. Supplements can also interact with prescription drugs, can make other treatments less effective, and affect other health conditions you may have.
Where Can Arthritis Occur In The Knee
Cartilage loss can occur between the thighbone and the shinbone in the medial portion , lateral portion and under the kneecap.
- Thinning of the cartilage under the kneecap is called patellofemoral arthritis .
- Some patients have cartilage loss in one, two or all of these areas. When all three areas are affected, this is called tricompartmental arthritis.
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What Causes Osteoarthritis Of The Knee
Osteoarthritis of the knee happens when your knee joint cartilage wears out or is damaged. Articular cartilage is tough, rubbery tissue on the ends of your bones that lets you bend and move. Meniscal cartilage absorbs shock from pressure on your knee.
Your cartilage is like your cars shock absorber, protecting your car from bumps and jolts. Drive on lots of rough roads, your shocks wear out fast. Drive on easy streets, your shocks last longer. You can wear out or damage your knee joint cartilage if:
- Youre overweight. If your body mass index is 30 or more, youre seven times more likely to develop osteoarthritis in your knee than someone with a lower BMI.
- You injure your knee or have an old knee injury.
- You frequently put stress on your knee at your job or playing sports.
- You inherited a tendency to develop osteoarthritis of the knee.
- You have crooked bones or joints, such as having knocked knees.
Treatment Options For Ra
When you receive an RA diagnosis early in the disease processwithin six months of the onset of symptomsyou have a better chance of sidestepping complications like joint damage and bone changes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Unfortunately, when left untreated, RA can cause progressive inflammation and swelling in the joints, ultimately leading to structural deformities and permanent disability. Thats why its important to see your doctor at the first signs of joint pain, warmth, and swelling.
Theres no cure for RA, but a myriad of over-the-counter and prescription medications can help manage the condition. Depending on the severity of the disease, you may be able to skate by with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as naproxen and ibuprofen, to alleviate pain and reduce swelling.
Or, your doctor might talk with you about these Rx options instead:
The best thing you can do for your knee pain, whether you have been diagnosed with RA or not, is to monitor your joints for changes, and commit to following a healthy lifestyle. Low-impact, targeted exercise, weight loss, and bracing may help reduce pain and improve your quality of life, says Dr. Maganti. Home remedies such as and may also help bring relief. No matter what your symptoms, if you do have RA, theres no reason to struggle in silence. With early diagnosis and treatment, your RA knee pain can be successfully managed so you can keep on keeping on, one step at a time.
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What Are The Surgical Treatment Options For Knee Arthritis
In the case of severe arthritis, surgery may be the best treatment option.
In this surgery, the physician will use a miniature video camera and tools to remove any loose cartilage. The result is a smooth joint surface free of loose tissue and minimal internal derangement that can cause irritation.
Arthroscopy can provide significant relief and allow the joint to flow freely through its range of motion. Arthroscopy can be effective in early arthritis and may be used to treat associated conditions that could lead to more severe osteoarthritis down the road, but is typically not effective in advanced osteoarthritis.
Total knee replacement
In advanced cases of arthritis, you may be a candidate for a total knee replacement. The techniques and prosthetics used in this surgery have made significant advances over the past decade. Patients who undergo a total knee replacement are living longer and getting more use out their new joints than ever before.
Learn more about total knee replacement.
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.
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Gradual Increase In Pain
Arthritis pain usually starts slowly, although it can appear suddenly in some cases.
At first, you may notice pain in the morning or after youve been inactive for a while.
Your knees may hurt when you:
- climb stairs
- stand up from a sitting position
- walk on a flat surface
- sit down for a while
Knee pain that wakes you up from sleep can be a symptom of OA.
For people with RA, the symptoms often start in the smaller joints. They are also more likely to be symmetrical, affecting both sides of the body. The joint may be warm and red.
With OA, symptoms may progress rapidly or they may develop over several years, depending on the individual. Symptoms can worsen and then remain stable for a long time, and they can vary day to day.
Factors that may cause worsening of symptoms include:
- cold weather
- excessive activity
With RA, symptoms usually appear over several weeks, but they can develop or worsen in a few days. A flare can happen when disease activity increases. Triggers vary and can include changes in medication.
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.
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The Role Physical Therapy Plays In The Process
Physical therapy is definitely beneficial. Improving range of motion and strength in the knee are helpful, but physical therapy for knee osteoarthritis has a large focus on strengthening the hips, explains Dr. Day.
Weak hips put more pressure on the knees. If your hips are strong, when you get up from a chair or go up and down stairs your knees have less work to do.
Everyone with knee osteoarthritis should consult a physical therapist, according to Dr. Day. Not only will you be taught the right kinds of exercises, a physical therapist also provides valuable instruction about using assistive devices and modifying activities to reduce pain.
Does Insurance Cover Platelet
No. Most insurers do not cover this type of therapy.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/06/2019.
- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Platelet-Rich Plasma . Accessed 5/9/2019.
- American Council on Science and Health. Platelet-Rich Plasma is Profitable, But How Well Does it Work? Accessed 5/9/2019.
- Piuzzi NS, Chughtai M, Khlopas A, Harwin, SF, et al. Platelet-rich plasma for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis: A review. J Knee Surg 2017 30: 627-633. Accessed 5/9/2019.
- Lespasio MJ, Piuzzi NS, Husni ME, Muschler GF, Guarino A, Mont MA. Knee Osteoarthritis: A Primer. Perm J. 2017 21:16-183. Accessed on 5/9/2019.
- Dohan ehrenfest DM, Rasmusson L, Albrektsson T. Classification of platelet concentrates: from pure platelet-rich plasma to leucocyte- and platelet-rich fibrin . Trends Biotechnol. 2009 27:158-67.
- Hussain N, Johal H, Bhandari M. An evidence-based evaluation on the use of platelet rich plasma in orthopedics – a review of the literature. SICOT J. 2017 3:57.
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