When To See A Doctor
Joint laxity decreases with age, and it can become difficult to tell which aches and pains are a normal part of a maturing body and which signal injury or chronic disease. Arthritis, meniscus and ligament tears, fractures, and other serious conditions usually require a proper diagnosis. You should see a doctor if your creaks and aches progress to any of the following symptoms:
- Inability to walk
Role Of The Knee Joint
Beginning early in life, taking care of your knees is important. The knee joint is one of the most important joints in the body because it enables walking, standing and running while supporting the weight of the body. Since it plays a big role in so many movements and carries so much body weight, many people experience knee problems at some point in their life that are often preventable.
The knee joint is a hinged synovial joint. A synovial joint is a joint cavity located at a site where the moving surfaces of bones contact each other. A thin layer of cartilage curves around the inside and the outside of the knee so the joint is cushioned and bones can move smoothly.
The bones are connected with ligaments outside the joint and tendons connect muscles to bones, giving the joint stability. A healthy synovial joint is filled with synovial fluid that is secreted by a thin synovial membrane in the joint. This is also a key element of the ability of the joint to function properly because it acts as a lubricant and provides nourishment to the joints cartilage.
Keeping the knee joints healthy requires taking care of the various components of the knee structure by keeping:
What Causes Osteoarthritis In The Knee
Before looking at how to manage osteoarthritis in the knee, its a good idea to understand how that pain started in the first place with a little anatomy 101.
Rubbery and flexible connective tissue known as articular cartilage covers and sits between bones that meet in your knee. The slippery tissue cushions the joint, serving like a shock absorber as you walk, run, jump and otherwise move around the world.
That cartilage takes a beating, though, and small tears naturally develop as the malleable material grows more rigid over time. The articular cartilage in your knee eventually starts to flatten and stiffen like an old chair pad.
And when that cartilage stops absorbing the shock well, you notice.
Factors that lead to osteoarthritis in your knee include:
- Injury, which can lead to early deterioration.
- Excess weight that puts added strain on your knees. For every 3 lbs. of weight you have, you put 10 lbs. of pressure on your joints, notes Dr. Orlandi.
Calcium And Vitamin D
Low-fat milk, cheese, and yogurt can also provide vitamin D and calcium, which may help to strengthen the bones.
Scientists have found evidence of low vitamin D levels in people with OA.
Consuming more vitamin D through fortified dairy foods and regular, safe, exposure to sunlight may offer benefits for people with OA.
Tips To Protect Your Knees As You Age
Your knees bear a lot of weight as well as a large responsibility for your ability to effectively get around. They also contain a lot of moving parts, from ligaments and cartilage to muscles and bones, that can become damaged either from injury or the natural wear and tear of age, making it difficult to stay active and enjoy everything life has to offer.
Fortunately, Dr. Struan Coleman is an expert in preventive joint care and offers the following tips to help you protect your knee joints as you age:
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Fix Your Knee Pain: A Routine For Healthy Knees
Heres where things get fun
If you have existing knee pain , there are 3 main things youll want to focus on:
One note before we get into the routine: The idea with these exercises is not to work through your painplease do not do that! Go slowly, and only work within ranges that do not exacerbate your knee pain. Over time, those ranges may increase, but for now, just work at your own level.
As you can see, the purpose of these movements is not to get a workout or to try to get as many reps as you can. The purpose is to introduce your body, and specifically your knees, to movements in different planes.
Giving your knees this kind of regular motion will help them start to feel more at ease with movement. Plus, by getting comfortable with these types of movements in a controlled and gentle manner, youll increase your ability to avoid re-injuring your knee if you wind up moving in those ways, even if inadvertently.
Natural Treatments For Knee Swelling
There are several natural treatments that you can do to reduce the symptoms of knee swelling:
1. Eating properly: Following a nutritious diet can help reduce the knee swelling and support the strength and energy your body has lost from the pain. Include vitamin C-rich foods that are filled with antioxidants, such as raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries.
2. Rest: The more rest you get, the more time your body has to restore the damaged tissue. If you avoid rest, the recovery time will be delayed.
3. Ice: When your knee begins to swell, apply ice to it immediately. This will help reduce the swelling and your knee will heal quicker.
4. Apple cider vinegar: To reduce the swelling, soak a hand towel in organic apple cider vinegar and place it on the knee.
5. Arnica: This is known to help cure cartilage, connect tissues and bones it can be taken as a tablet or in the form of tincture. Place arnica ointment on swollen knees twice a day to get rid of the redness.
6. Warm bath: It will relieve the pain once the swelling reduces. You can also place a hot water-bag on the knees or hold a moist towel on the knee for 15 to 20 minutes.
7. Massage: This is another great remedy to reduce the swelling. It can help release endorphins and pain-relieving chemicals while helping to maintain blood circulation around the knee.
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Hydrolysed And Unhydrolysed Collagen Supplements
The form of collagen found in joints is found in the diet, particularly in meat. The collagen used in supplements is either derived from marine sources , or from animals cartilage . Marine collagen peptides have a higher concentration of the amino acids needed for the production and repair of human cartilage .
Supplements can contain collagen in its original state , or in a hydrolysed or solubilised form.
- Unhydrolysed collagen contains large collagen molecules which must first be digested before they can be absorbed and used in the body.
- Hydrolysed collagen is in a body-ready form as it is pre-digested by protease enzymes to release small fragments that are more easily absorbed and used.
When you take a hydrolysed collagen supplement, it is rapidly absorbed into the circulation from which it is extracted by cells that need these building blocks and cartilage where it acts as a signal to trigger the synthesis of new collagen fibres.
As well as supporting joint health, collagen supplements have benefits on skin suppleness, elasticity and hydration to reduce the formation of skin wrinkles. Collagen also offers benefits for people with thinning bones as it is a bone scaffold protein on which calcium salts are laid down.
How Does Osteoarthritis In The Knee Affect My Body
Knee pain is the most common symptom of osteoarthritis in the knee, making it painful for you to jog, run, climb stairs or kneel. It can also make your knees feel stiff or swollen. Over time, osteoarthritis of the knee can change the shape of your knee joint, making your joint feel unstable or wobbly.
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How To Use Essential Oils
Donât put essential oil directly on your body. It may sting or irritate your skin. Here are some tips:
- Massage. Put 10-15 drops of an essential oil in 1 ounce of a carrier oil. Those are oils like coconut, almond, olive, avocado, or jojoba. Thatâll help protect your skin and make it easier to absorb. Rub into your skin, wherever you feel joint pain. You can also massage some onto your feet, arms, wrists, neck, or behind your ears.
- Inhaling. You can put a few drops on a cloth or sniff the air as you slowly wave an open bottle of essential oil in front of you. You can also buy a waterless or water-based diffuser. Thatâs a device that sprays essential oil mist into the air. Follow the instructions on how much to use.
Always test a small part of your skin first. Be on the lookout for an allergic reaction. Symptoms may include:
Knee Pain Relief 6 Natural Treatments Including Exercises
Reviewed by Ron Torrance, DO, FAOASM
Next to back pain, knee pain is one of the most common complaints among both older adults and younger athletes. Knee injuries are one common cause of knee pain, but you dont have to fall, trip or get into some type of accident to hurt your knees.
What can cause knee pain without injury? Arthritis, overuse, osteoporosis, certain types of exercises like running, and repetitive movements are all potential causes of knee pain.
How do you relieve knee pain? Identifying the underlying cause of your pain is the first step. Treating health conditions that might contribute to inflammation , exercising appropriately, maintaining a healthy weight, stretching and doing certain knee exercises can all greatly help you find relief.
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How Effective Are Boswellia Supplements For Knee Pain
Boswellia improvess pain, stiffnees, flexion, swelling, and increases walking distance in people with osteoarthritis of the knee. Research shows that Boswellia is at least as effective as the prescribed NSAID, valdecoxib for treating osteoarthritis. Improvements in knee pain are usually seen within 7 days, and continue to improve over several months. Benefits can also last for one month after stopping Boswellia. Boswellia and turmeric together have a synergistic effect that is more successful in treating knee pain than the prescribed pain killer, celecoxib.
How To Identify The Culprit And Which Drugs Injections And Habits Will Bring You The Most Relief
by Alison Gwinn, AARP, September 20, 2019
En español | Oh, my aching knees! If that’s your daily refrain, whether you’re walking the dog, climbing stairs or just sleeping, you’re not alone.
For many, the culprit behind that nagging soreness is osteoarthritis, which affects an estimated 31 million Americans quite often, in this particular joint according to the Arthritis Association.
But there are other common causes of knee pain, stemming from the fact that knees are our largest, most complex joints. Knee joints allow you to stand up straight, walk stairs and get up and down from sitting, says Daniel Saris, an orthopedic surgeon at the Mayo Clinic and professor of orthopedic surgery at the Mayo Medical School. But they are also the most difficult joint because they’re not stable. Hip joints and ankles are both pretty stable by themselves, but the knee is just three bones trying to be good friends, and they need muscles and ligaments for stability.”
Knee pain is not to be taken lightly. A Japanese study, published last year in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, found a link between the onset of knee pain in people 65 or older and depression. And a recent study from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine Thurston Arthritis Research Center and Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that knee pain in men and women over age 45 correlated with higher rates of death.
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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.
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.
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Brief Anatomy Of The Knee
The knee is a vulnerable joint that bears a great deal of stress from everyday activities, such as lifting and kneeling, and from high-impact activities, such as jogging and aerobics.
The knee is formed by the following parts:
Tibia. This is the shin bone or larger bone of the lower leg.
Femur. This is the thighbone or upper leg bone.
Patella. This is the kneecap.
Each bone end is covered with a layer of cartilage that absorbs shock and protects the knee. Basically, the knee is 2 long leg bones held together by muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
There are 2 groups of muscles involved in the knee, including the quadriceps muscles , which straighten the legs, and the hamstring muscles , which bend the leg at the knee.
Tendons are tough cords of tissue that connect muscles to bones. Ligaments are elastic bands of tissue that connect bone to bone. Some ligaments on the knee provide stability and protection of the joints, while other ligaments limit forward and backward movement of the tibia .
Questions To Ask The Doctor
Once you have gotten the appointment, its essential you ask all the necessary questions:
- What is the cause of these symptoms?
- What sort of tests do I need?
- What types of treatment are available?
- I have several other health conditionscan they be treated together?
Furthermore, in order to get a better view of the knee, you may need to request a certain test, depending on the cause.
- X-ray: An x-ray can help rule out broken or bones, and can determine if you have arthritis.
- Ultrasound: Ultrasounds can determine arthritis and other disorders that may be affecting the tendons or ligaments.
- MRI: An MRI can detect anything that an x-ray misses, such as torn ligaments or torn tissues.
You should never try and diagnose your own injuries. If the natural methods dont work, or if the swelling continues and the pain becomes severe to the point where no weight can be placed on it, then contact your doctor immediately. The longer the injury is left untreated, the worse the injury can become.
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Natural Remedies For Knee Swelling
Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.
A swollen knee can occur when there is excess fluid that accumulates in or around the knee joint.
Many doctors will refer to this condition as knee effusion or water on the knee.
Removing some of the fluid will reduce the pain and stiffness associated with the swelling.
Q: What Research Has Been Done
A: The official website claims that the Genacol group continuously invests in research in order to demonstrate the beneficial effects of its products. In this regard, the manufacturers claim that two independent studies have scientifically proven that Genacol helps reduce joint pain.
*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.
One of the studies was conducted by the University of Liège , and the second one at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center Institution .
The manufacturer claims that the two studies have shown positive results. With researchers touting Genacol as a statistically significant beneficial effect with relation to pain: the best result that can be obtained during a clinical trial.
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