Osteoarthritis Overview and Knee Pain Management Do’s & Don’ts

Get an overview of Osteoarthritis facts. Know what is Osteoarthritis (OA), what are the symptoms, causes, risk factors and treatment for osteoarthritis? Knee joint pain relief is of utmost importance for doing even routine works. Thus, know about knee pain management – some do’s and don’ts for those suffering from osteoarthritis!

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Are you experiencing morning stiffness in knees and knee joint pain through the day which is relieved only when you rest? If you are also missing your morning walks and other favorite activities that require using your knees like outdoor sports, shopping, going out etc, you might be suffering from osteoarthritis knee pain. It is thus the right time to know about the options for treatment for osteoarthritis knee pain as well as knee pain management to get relief from the torturous situation!

What is Osteoarthritis?

When the breakdown of joint fluid and cartilages occur, it leads to the condition called osteoarthritis. Cartilages are the slippery tissues that cover and protect the ends of bones in the joints, including knee joints. Its breakdown affects the mobility of joints causing joint pain, stiffness and loss of movement.

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Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis can occur in any joint of the body. Most often OA occurs in hands, knees, hips and spine. The very common warning signs of OA are stiffness and/or swelling as well as tenderness in one or more joints. Yet another sign of osteoarthritis is a crunching feeling or the sound of bone rubbing on bone. Following are included in the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

  • Knee pain
  • Joint stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Loss of Movement
  • A crunching feeling in the knee

Causes of Osteoarthritis- the Risk Factors

There is no straight forward answer to the question regarding causes of osteoarthritis in spite of extensive researches carried on the subject. The risk factors for osteoarthritis may include the following.

  • Age- People above the age of 45 have the risk for developing osteoarthritis. It is, however, most commonly found in people over age of 65.
  • Gender- This disease of osteoarthritis is more common in women, particularly after the age of 55.
  • Obesity- This can be one of the causes for osteoarthritis as every kilogram puts three extra kilogram of pressure on knees.
  • Heredity- Genes that are responsible for creating and maintaining cartilages might have a link with osteoarthritis.
  • Injury/ overuse of joints
  • Weakness of muscles- Weak thigh muscles lead to osteoarthritis knee joint pain.

Treatment for Osteoarthritis

Although there is no cure for osteoarthritis other than joint replacement surgery in advanced stage, there are various treatments for knee joint pain relief that help in reducing pain. Some of such types of treatment for osteoarthritis include the following.

Pain relieving medicines

like acetaminophen, non steroidal anti- inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and topical pain relieving creams.

Steroid injections

for temporary knee joint pain relief and for reducing inflammation and swelling.

Viscosupplementation injections

These are intra-articular injections that replace diseased synovial (joint fluid) with healthy joint fluid in knees with osteoarthritis. This grants knee joint pain relief and improves its functionality. Know more about Viscosupplementation- Osteoarthritis Knee Pain Treatment

Knee Replacement Surgery

When other osteoarthritis treatments do not provide relief from knee joint pain, knee replacement surgery remains the last option for the patient of osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis Knee Pain Management- Do’s and Don’ts!

Here is a compilation of things that one must do and some other things that one must avoid in order to get relief from pain due to osteoarthritis. Read and internalize these steps to manage knee pain efficiently.

Osteoarthritis Knee Pain Management- Do’s

osteoarthritis-knee-pain-managementBelow are the steps one should follow for relieving knee joint pain.

  • Try to sit while working to relieve stress to the knees.
  • Use knee cap support or posterior guard support in order to correct deforming positions.
  • Give hot water fomentation to relieve knee pain.
  • Wear comfortable and well fitting shoes to reduce stress on joints.
  • Use western style commode and raised toilet seats.
  • Get a non-slippery flooring at home.
  • Use chair extenders. These extenders on chair legs can lift the seat at the kitchen or dining room table so the person with osteoarthritis can sit easily without putting stress on knees. Stools, carts or trash cans with wheels are also helpful while doing household chores.
  • Rearrange cupboards and drawers in a way that reduces painful stretches.
  • Raise the level of electrical appliances like microwave ovens, food processors, bread toasters etc. to a comfortable height in order to relieve undue pressure on hips and knees.

Below are the steps one should follow for restoring joint function.

  • Do regular knee exercises. This helps in correcting muscle imbalance and also improves the strength of muscles located around the joint.
  • Do regular knee movement in order to avoid stiffness of the knee joint.

Below are the steps one should follow for reducing weight as obesity is also one of the causes of osteoarthritis.

  • Have proper diet with reduced sugar consumption and increased intake of salads, fruits and sprouted vegetables.
  • Walk regularly to keep yourself active and to reduce weight.

Osteoarthritis Knee Pain Management- Don’ts

Avoid the following in order to get relief from knee pain.

  • Don’t sit with crossed legs.
  • Don’t lift heavy weights.
  • Avoid doing prolonged activities that put strain on joints like gardening, standing for longer durations, kneeling, squatting etc.
  • Avoid jerky movements.
  • Don’t smoke. Research studies have shown that smoking leads to joint pain along with other ailments.

Osteoarthritis Knee Pain Management- While Traveling

These are some tips for traveling with knee pain.

  • Do realistic planning for any trip and the activities you are safely able to do. For example, avoid trekking, mountaineering or other such adventure travel trip.
  • Do research for the amenities, transportation and lodging options. Select those that are most comfortable for you.
  • If you need wheelchair assistance, request right at the time of booking your air ticket.
  • Always travel with a brief medical history along with list of your prescriptions, physician’s name and phone number.
  • Always use luggage with wheels as this will put minimum stress on your knee joints. Take only those items with you that you will need in-flight.
  • People suffering with osteoarthritis knee pain should always wear comfortable walking shoes.

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