What Causes Knee Osteoarthritis & How It Flare-Up Haphazardly

Author

The definition of “flare” is a worsening of the disease process. If you have arthritis, you’ve probably experienced a flare at one time or another – your disease seems to be well under control for a while, then suddenly your joints become inflamed and painful. You may experience general malaise and fatigue.

The cause of a flare varies depending on the specific disease in question. In rheumatoid arthritis, for example, a flare can be related to natural (but poorly understood) fluctuations in the immunological processes that drive inflammation. In osteoarthritis, flares may be induced by local trauma to the joint.

You’ve been managing your arthritis symptoms well and doing all the right things[1] to stay healthy, but one day you wake up and feel like it was all for naught. Your joints ache like crazy, the worst you can remember in a long time. It could be an arthritis flare.

Is your arthritis getting worse despite all your efforts? Are you going to feel like this from now on?

Probably not. Although arthritis is a chronic disease, you can have acute episodes of pain and inflammation, known as flares. While troublesome and unpredictable, flares are temporary. They do not signal a failure in your efforts to control arthritis symptoms.

Flares may be seen after infections or after highly stressful situations. Often, however, it isn’t clear what triggers a flare. You may have long periods of time when your arthritis is quiet, or in remission. Then, suddenly, the inflammation becomes more active and you have an arthritis flare.

Flares can be alarming, not only because of the pain but because of their unpredictability. You may feel discouraged or afraid of further damage to your joints. You sometimes wonder whether something you did may have caused the flare.

What can you do to combat these feelings? remember that you have a range of tools in your arsenal to address pain, from asking your doctor to increase your pain medications, to applying cold packs or practicing deep breathing techniques.

Also, remember that flares do calm down. You may want to think about how you handle the inevitable “bad days” and flares before you experience them. Just as regular fire drills help people deal with real emergencies, preparing for a flare can help you jump into action when it happens.

Causes Of OA Flare-Ups

Foot Bones
The precise cause of a flare-up is not known. An Injury or trauma to the affected joint may cause an OA flare-up. This is different from Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). In RA, changes in the immune system cause flare-ups that produce inflammation or swelling. OA causes inflammation of the affected joints, but a flare-up isn’t caused by inflammation like in RA.

Cartilage provides shock absorption during movements. A breakdown of cartilage leaves your joints more vulnerable to flare-ups because the bones rub together.

Osteophytes, also known as bone spurs, may cause OA flare-ups. Bone spurs are small pieces of bones that grow on broken-down joints. sometimes bone pieces, as well as cartilage, can come loose and cause more pain.

Flare-Ups May also Be Brought On By:

  • stress
  • Exercise-related injuries
  • repetitive movements
  • Cold weather
  • A drop in barometric pressure
  • Infections
  • Weight gain

Symptoms

Living with Osteoarthertis
The main symptoms of OA are pain and difficulty moving the affected joints.

The person may feel stiff on waking up in the morning, but this usually improves within 30 minutes of starting to move about.
OA involves:

  • Bony Growths Around the Edges of Joints
  • Damage and loss of cartilage, the part of the joint that cushions the ends of the bones and allows easy movement of joints
  • synovitis, a mild inflammation of the tissues around the joints
  • some people have no symptoms. symptoms may occur in one more joints, and they tend to appear gradually.

The individual May also Notice That:

  • The affected joints are larger than usual
  • Pain and stiffness worsen after not moving the joint for a while
  • Joints feel warm and tender
  • There is a loss of muscle bulk
  • Affected joints have a limited range of movement

A grating or crackling sound or sensation may occur in the affected joint.

How To Tell If your osteoarthritis Is in A Flare-Up?

It is very important to recognize a flare-up of osteoarthritis as early as possible because it is often accompanied by phenomena of joint destruction.
Thus, to monitor your osteoarthritis, you must be very attentive to signs[2] of a flare-up. You should see your doctor to assess your condition.

The Following symptoms Often Announce A Flare-Up of osteoarthritis:
Increase Pain

  • A sudden increase in pain within a few days without an apparent cause.
  • The onset of night pain,
  • A feeling of stiffness in the morning for more than fifteen minutes.
  • The appearance of redness and sensation of warmth at the joint.
  • The appearance of joint effusion (the joint increases in size).

It is therefore important to be able to distinguish between the symptoms of an osteoarthritic flare-up and your usual pain. If you experience these symptoms, you should go and see your doctor so that he or she can prescribe the necessary treatment to relieve your pain as soon as possible.

Things You should Know About Osteoarthritis

It is a predator that knows no boundaries. Young, old, black, white, male and female – this is an equal-opportunity predator that can render its victims immobile.

Who is This culprit?

Osteoarthritis goes by many names – degenerative joint disease, wear-and-tear-arthritis among them – but the facts remain. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and affects an estimated 20 million Americans. Unlike other forms of arthritis, which are genetic, osteoarthritis can be linked to a number of causes – weight, age and injury among them. As with other forms of arthritis, there is no known cure for osteoarthritis, so recognizing the signs and symptoms of the disease early can be quite helpful in managing pain.

First, a little background. As its other names imply, osteoarthritis is inflammation caused by abnormal wear of the cartilage cushion in the joints. In a joint affected by osteoarthritis, this wear and tear lead to the degeneration of cartilage and the body is unable to replenish[3] its own supply of this most precious resource. Inflammation causes mild to severe pain and, in some cases, degeneration is so severe that doctors will recommend replacement of the joint.

so what should you know about osteoarthritis?

Here are Three Things To Get You started:

listen To your Body

Weight Bearing Joints
Pain, particularly in the weight-bearing joints of the lower body, is a good indicator of osteoarthritis. Although osteoarthritis can affect any joint, particularly after traumatic injury or infection, most cases of osteoarthritis occur in the weight-bearing joints of the knees, hips, spine, and ankles.

Often, obesity or even moderately overweight can cause osteoarthritis pain to flare up. losing a few pounds can help decrease pain, as can rest and judicious use of affected joints. For example, recurring pain in the knees is a good indicator that you might want to stop your rigorous running regimen, if only for a few weeks.

Early Diagnosis is important For successful long-Term Pain Management

Although not all cases of osteoarthritis are visible on x-ray, your doctor – particularly if he or she is an internist or rheumatologist – can diagnose osteoarthritis with little problem. Medical history, physical examination, and blood tests, along with MrI and x-ray offer reliable avenues for accurate diagnoses.

There is Hope For Osteoarthritis Sufferers

Osteoarthritis is degenerative – that means that the disease will get worse over time. The most commonly prescribed medications treat the pain by decreasing joint inflammation temporarily. Unfortunately, these medications – known as NsAIDs – also come with a host of dangerous and, in some cases deadly, side effects.

Non-prescription NsAIDs are also available over the counter – in the form of pills, potions, and lotions – but the relief is short-lived. like their prescription counterparts, these chemically based medications only treat the symptoms.

They mask the pain for a few hours and then the patient must take more. Over time, the body builds up a certain resistance and pain relief decreases.

Their is hope, however, in the form of a natural treatment with no side effects. A treatment that treats more than the symptoms – it gets to the root of the problem by replenishing damaged cartilage in the arthritic joint.

supplementation with all-natural glucosamine and chondroitin, the building blocks of healthy cartilage, has been shown to actually improve the condition of arthritic joints, without dangerous side effects. Pain relief and healing – a powerful combination.

When it comes to pain in your knee, there can be many different causes that are associated with it. You can have pain that is the result of an acute injury that you may have suffered previously or you can have chronic pain caused by arthritis.

Degeneration Joint

Osteoarthritis knee pain is a very common form of arthritis that affects many people as they begin to age.

Osteoarthritis knee pain is commonly caused by the degeneration of the cartilage that surrounds your bones. This cartilage helps protect your bones from rubbing against each other.

Once it wears down the bones will begin to rub causing lots of swelling a pain in the joint area. As arthritis gets worse, this rubbing will often cause a limited motion mobility and range of motion.

People who suffer from arthritis pain in their knee usually have flare-ups when there is a severe change, falling barometric pressure, or when they wake up in the morning.

Read More: Joint stiffness Causes & symptoms: An Alarm To Other Joint Disorders

When it comes to the causes of osteoarthritis, there has been no true consensus that has been formed. some people believe that it can be caused by a poor diet, food allergies, or even mineral deposits that have occurred.

There are many different treatments for osteoarthritis knee pain available. For people who suffer from severe pain, they should consider trying to find a comprehensive treatment program that can proactively treat the causes of the knee pain.

A basic exercise that you can do is massaging your knee. By massaging your knee, you can help loosen up unstable tissue within the knee. This can often help get rid of some of the pain you may experience.

Image Credits
Feature Image Credit: Shutterstock.com
In Post Image Credit: Shutterstock.com