Today’s article is literally made for anyone. How is that, you may ask?
Well, it’s a fact that people of all ages, sexes, races can have arthritis. You see, arthritis isn’t just an “old people” disease, as many people thought. It can affect every single one of us. Before I go into further explanation, let’s see what type of a disease arthritis actually is.
What Is Arthritis?
Did you know that more than 50 million adults and about 300,000 children are diagnosed with some type of arthritis just in America alone?
Well, judging from those numbers we can all agree that arthritis is a rather common disease nowadays, but what is it actually?
In this article I will be focusing on one type of arthritis, knee arthritis. Knee arthritis is one of the most common types of arthritis nowadays and currently the most notorious one.
The Notorious Knee Arthritis
I don’t have to tell you where people who have knee arthritis experience pain, right?
Knee arthritis is a silent joint killer and it has three different types. The type that most people have is osteoarthritis, better known for its short name – OA.
Although OA is usually “appearing” to people who are middle aged, don’t get deceived. Just like I said before, every single type of arthritis can occur in any age.
What’s important here is your timing. By timing I mean how fast you get diagnosed with knee arthritis. Just like with any other disease, the sooner you are diagnosed with it, while the disease is in its early stage, the better your chances are for recovery. If knee arthritis isn’t dealt with in time and it remains a big problem for too long, the only solution could be surgery.
What Are Oa’s Symptoms?
Here are the usual signs that “giveaway” knee arthritis:
Swelling and/or tenderness: Periodic inflammation of the knee may mean that you have OA. The main reason why periodic inflammation happens is because of the extra fluids located in your knee or even formation of osteophytes. Swelling happens later but you won’t notice it all the time (usually in the morning or after a long period of inactivity). Your skin can confirm your beliefs about knee arthritis if it’s red and warm in that specific area.
Pain increase: Nine times out of ten, knee arthritis develops and progresses slowly. What that means is that you, most likely, won’t feel massive pain right away, but it will slowly get worse and worse. This gradual increase in pain in your knee area is a sign that you have OA.
Sounds of the knee: This one does sound strange but you should keep an eye on it as well. If you hear sounds that are similar to cracking while you are walking, and those sounds come from your knee area, it simply means that your bones are “rubbing” against each other. That will cause pain later and could lead to OA.
Limited range of motion: People who are diagnosed with OA have a hard time making certain moves that were previously considered normal because of bad joint gliding. This will make simple everyday tasks pretty difficult.
If arthritis isn’t treated on time it can even get you to the point where normal walking is almost impossible without some help.
Who Should Worry about OA the most?
You already know that everyone could get diagnosed with OA, however, these are the groups that are most likely to have it:
- People in their 40s or older – Muscles and bones get weaker which makes perfect conditions for OA to develop.
- Women – Most common patients are actually women
- People who had knee injuries
- People who are overweight – Your joints suffer more pressure with more weight.
- Someone in your family had OA
What’s the Treatment For Knee Arthritis?
If you are diagnosed with OA or if you recognized many of these symptoms in you and decided to diagnose yourself, here is what you can do. There are multiple therapies for knee arthritis, however they depend on the state your knee is currently at.
1. Treatment without drugs
This is extremely helpful if your OA is in its first stage and hasn’t developed much yet. It is best in those situations that you avoid drugs and follow the more natural way that leads to pain relief.
- Exercising is a fantastic way of getting rid of OA. There are certain moves that will help you build strength in your knee which will prevent or destroy OA in its roots. (Bulgarian squat for an example)
- Knee braces
2. Treatment Using Medications
It always best that you go to your doctor and consult with him, however, these are the drugs that are most common in today’s treatments:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Duloxetine (Cymbalta)
This is your last resort. If your knee arthritis is left for a long period of time without proper treatment, or simply if nothing else works, surgery may be the only solution for you. There are several types of surgeries that you may have to undergo. You don’t have to worry that much about them as they are considered routines.
- Unicompartmental knee replacement
- Joint lavage and arthroscopic debridement
- Osteotomy and joint-preserving surgery
Keep an eye on these symptoms and don’t hesitate to go to your doctor. The stage that you find your arthritis at is crucial in your further treatment. Just to show you how much of a problem knee arthritis can be, I will provide you with the research conducted by the US National Library of Medicine. The more you learn about your problem the better are your chances at solving it.
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