Osteoarthritis of the knee
Summary of Osteoarthritis of the knee
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition involving the breakdown of the cartilage around the joint surfaces, affecting middle aged and older generations. As a condition it is particularly prevalent in the weight bearing joints such as the hip and the knees.
Osteoarthritis of the knee FAQ's
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition which can particularly affect weight-bearing joints such as the hip and the knees, by wear and tear. It occurs when the smooth cartilage around the end of the joint erodes and breaks down, causing the end of the joints to rub and cause pain. Small bony spurs can develop which affect movement.
The most common symptoms are pain and stiffness in the knee, making movement or standing for long periods of time very difficult. Sufferers also complain of cracking and creaking in the knee, with pain generally being worst first thing in the morning and in cold weather.
The most common cause of this condition of the hip is repetitive stress and long-term wear and tear. This could relate to occupational or sporting motions, with the disease becoming worse over time. The onset of osteoarthritis may be accelerated by trauma to the knee, genetics, or even a discrepancy in leg length which causes wear and tear. Being overweight can also bring on and aggravate osteoarthritis, affecting the weightbearing joints in particular. The way you walk and move around may also affect the knee joints, for example walking with flat feet.
Osteoarthritis is commonly thought of as an inevitable part of aging, though there are some treatments and lifestyle changes that can lessen the symptoms and make every day movement easier. Exercise, will strengthen the muscles as well as improve your overall fitness, with regular exercise easing the pain and stiffness brought on by the condition. Exercise also improves your posture which will alleviate some of the issues associated with osteoarthritis by improving your every day movement, and will help you to lose weight. Losing weight reduces the risk of extra weight putting strain on the joints. There are some dietary considerations that can improve the symptoms, for example omega 3 is meant to help the joints. Some supplements are also reported to provide relief to those with osteoarthritis, such as Glucosamine Sulphate. Anti-inflammatory medication may well be prescribed to deal with the swelling and pain that comes with it. In the most severe cases, surgical intervention may be necessary.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition and thus is irreversible. Early intervention is key to preventing further breakdown and decline, by kickstarting the treatment early and managing the condition.
The exercises prescribed are one of the key elements of your management of the condition, both in terms of managing the pain and further degeneration. Exercises that increase the joint mobility in the knee will decrease pain and stiffness and increase muscle strength, and will increase overall fitness, reducing stress through the joint.