Everything you need to know about knee osteoarthritis
Knee osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It affects fifty percent of people aged over 65, so it’s likely that someone you know is suffering from this ailment.
In this blog we will look at the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis, things that can be done to prevent knee osteoarthritis, and medical solutions to knee osteoarthritis. In short, we’ll cover everything you need to know about knee osteoarthritis!
Knee osteoarthritis is caused by cartilage breakdown around the knee, which can lead to muscular weakness and a loss of control when walking and standing. Here are some of the common symptoms:
- Pain: This can be particularly acute whilst walking, standing, or after a long day.
- Stiffness: The knee can become stiff, and is likely to creak when moved.
- Swelling: The tissue around the knee is likely to become swollen. The muscles around the knee may also become thin.
- Shape: In some cases the knee can become misshapen, bent and bowed.
- Strength: The knee will become weak, and may even buckle or give way.
Knee osteoarthritis can cause swelling around the knee. Picture courtesy of Wikipedia.
Fortunately there are a number of ways to avoid knee osteoarthritis. Here are just a few:
- Keep yourself healthy: Extra weight can put unnecessary pressure on your knees.
- Walk carefully: Don’t hop, skip or jump. Avoid uneven and unstable surfaces.
- Don’t overstretch: Gentle exercise can be great, but be careful not to bend your knee more than ninety degrees.
- Strengthen your knees: There are a number of exercises you could try:
- Step ups: Step up onto your first stair, one foot at a time, and then step down again. Repeat as many times as you can in a minute.
- Sit stands: Without using your hands, stand up from a sitting position and then sit back down again. Repeat this exercise as many times as you can in a minute.
- Straight leg raise: In a sitting position, lift one leg into a horizontal position in front of you. Hold it there for five seconds, and then repeat with the other leg.
Carefully stepping up and down can help to prevent knee osteoarthritis. Picture courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
There are a number of ways to recover from knee osteoarthritis:
- Minor Treatments: Rest, recuperation and painkillers, can help to reduce pain and swelling. Applying heat (via hot water bottles) or cold (via ice packs) can also help, as can a selection of over-the-counter creams.
- Apostherapy Treatment: During this treatment, a specialist attaches a biomechanical system to the sole of a patient’s shoes, which re-aligns the patient’s joints whenever they walk. This shifts the patient’s weight away from the damaged area of their knee, which can recover in a matter of weeks.
- Surgery: Major injuries may require surgery, but such drastic action is replete with risks. It can lead to infection, blood clots and nerve damage. This should only ever be a last resort!