Knee pain is a very common problem that may occur due to either any recent injury or by an underlying condition, like arthritis. In this blog, we are discussing osteoarthritis and some tips for treating it.
What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a condition that results in the breakdown of joint cartilage and the underlying bone. It is a degenerative disease that worsens over time, and sometimes people are no longer able to work.
Who is at most risk of osteoarthritis?
Mostly old aged people suffer from osteoarthritis as the knee joint and bones in the body become weak as they age.
Sometimes obesity can also be a reason for osteoarthritis. When you are overweight, your body grows heavy, and there is a lot of pressure borne by the joints in your legs, especially knees. Such excessive pressure makes your knee joints weak which gradually results in osteoarthritis.
Apart from this, injuries sustained while playing sports or from an accident, even if they occurred many years ago, may increase the risk of osteoarthritis.
The disease is also inherited from one generation to another in many cases.
What are the symptoms of Osteoarthritis?
The signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis include,
- severe pain during movement
- stiffness or swelling in joint
- bone spurs – extra bits of bone, which feel like hard lumps, may form around the affected joint
- You may even hear or feel a grating sensation when you use the joint.
How to treat osteoarthritis?
It is essential to treat knee osteoarthritis as soon as you figure out because if you left it untreated, it would make your knee joint and cartilage to break down entirely even making you handicap. There are many treatment options available for osteoarthritis. Some are listed below-
One of the most beneficial ways to treat OA (Osteoarthritis) is to get moving. Regular and proper exercise makes your muscles and joints strong and more elastic. Exercise will give strength to the muscles around knees making the joints more firm, and stable, thus decreasing the knee pain. Stretching exercise keeps the knee joint and nearby muscles more flexible and mobile then you will feel no kind of discomfort while movement. At least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week can help relieve the pain drastically.
2. Try to achieve the ideal body weight
If you are overweight, you should work on yourself because being overweight is too dangerous for your health and it is a major factor that induces knee pain or osteoarthritis. Losing weight will eventually reduce pressure on your knee joint, reducing the risk of wear and tear in joint. Weight training and cardio exercises can help you in reducing your body weight along with making your knee joint strong and mobile.
3. Use the “RICE”
No not the one you eat, RICE is a simple self-care technique. Knee pain due to arthritis or minor injury can be cured with Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation aka the RICE method. Whenever you feel knee pain, give some rest to your knee, apply some ice to the affected area to reduce the swelling. After that cover your knee with a compressive bandage and elevate the knees above the level of your heart. Athletes mostly follow the RICE method to cure minor pain in joints. This method is very much effective if you hurt your ankle or had any strain or sprain. It helps to reduce the swelling, ease the pain, and speed up healing.
4. Use of anti-inflammatory drugs or pain relievers
Ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, and acetaminophen are some over the counter medications to relieve knee pain. But these medicines should not be used often without consulting an Orthopedician as they can cause some severe side effects. In case if these over the counter medicines are unable to cure the pain, then your doctor for knee pain may recommend you anti-inflammatory drugs or may prescribe some other medications.
5. Physical therapy
People suffering from the problem of knee pain usually need physiotherapy that can provide them relief from the pain. Physical therapy may include different types of exercises or massages that are very effective in treating it. Athletes also hire physical therapists who can give them the right kind of therapy whenever they get any minor injury or pain. Some alternative therapies like acupuncture, use of topical creams along with capsaicin, and use of supplements like chondroitin or glucosamine, can be very effective in treating knee and joint pain.
Once you’re diagnosed with OA, the doctor may suggest certain lifestyle changes like weight loss, exercise, physical therapy, pain medicine, or natural remedies as mentioned above. But, if these don’t work, he may suggest surgery.
Eating a healthful diet, getting enough sleep, managing stress, and staying active all contribute to better overall well-being and a decreased risk of health issues, including OA. To prevent OA from advancing, ask the doctor for advice about treatment and lifestyle changes when discomfort starts.
If you are experiencing knee pain, get in touch with our experts today!