Although all forms of arthritis affects the knee joints, the most common type that causes arthritis knee pain is osteoarthritis. People who are in their 50's onwards are the most common victims of osteoarthritis. Some people also get the disease from the genetic point of view. Simply put, this is the wear and tear of the knee joints. The cartilage that cushions the bones from each other is worn away thus exposing the bones.
It is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of the disease. This will ensure that the disease is managed as early as possible. Knee arthritis is a progressive disease, so treating it the soonest after being diagnosed is necessary.
Generally, people feel pain with some activities in the knee joint. It may simply just be walking, reaching for something or even standing. The legs tend to have limited range of motion. The extension and flexion is affected making it harder for patients to do the same activities they do before. As the disease progresses, you may notice swelling, tenderness and stiffness of the knee joints. Some often report that their knee pain is worst in the colder months. The later part of the disease will form deformities in the joints giving you bow legs or knock knees.
If you feel any of the symptoms mentioned, it is best to consult your doctor right away. Your healthcare provider will do a physical examination and run some tests and x-rays. This is to make sure that he gives you a conclusive diagnosis. The earlier the diagnosis is made, the better the management of arthritis knee pain.
There are several treatment options that your doctor will present to you depending on your condition. Your doctor might advise losing some weight to decrease the burden of the knee joints. Exercise is a good way of maintaining the joint's range of motion. There are also several over the counter drugs that can help alleviate pain and inflammation. Anti-inflammatory medicines like the NSAIDS works well with a lot of people.
When simple treatment methods aren't enough to relieve the pain and inflammation, your doctor might recommend cortisone injections. The drug is injected in the knee joint to lessen inflammation thereby reducing the pain. A more aggressive treatment will be surgery. A knee replacement surgery is done when the candidate is still suitable for operation. Knee surgery can be classified into two; total knee replacement or partial knee replacement.
A total knee replacement surgery will entail removing all the cartilage left and replacing it with a plastic or metal implant. On the other hand, partial knee replacement surgery is done by replacing just a part of the knee joint. Your health care provider will assess your joints on which of the two forms is right for you.
Living a life afflicted with arthritis can be difficult. But you can still live a quality life if you learn how to manage and cope with arthritis knee pain. Following your doctor's instructions, taking your medications religiously and having a positive attitude will really help you lead a normal life.