Knee pain is a common problem in Asia, especially in individuals above the age of 40. The most common cause of knee pain is degenerative osteoarthritis. Women are more prone to the disease. It is characterized by mild to debilitating pain. The treatment ranges from physiotherapy, medication, injection and surgery. Once the condition is diagnosed, it is important to choose the treatment according to the individual’s age, and the severity of the symptoms.
Symptom of Osteoarthritis:
The symptoms of osteoarthritis are mainly pain, swelling, and stiffening of the knee. Osteoarthritis develops slowly, but may present with sudden attacks of knee pain.
An individual must be diagnosed by a doctor. After a physical examination and full detailing symptoms, the physician may also recommend X-rays to confirm presence of the disease. X-rays are very helpful in the diagnosis and may be the only special test required in the majority of cases.
You can take steps to help prevent osteoarthritis. If you already have arthritis, these same steps may keep it from getting worse.
– Stay at a healthy weight or lose weight if you need to. Extra weight puts a lot of stress on the large, weight-bearing joints such as the knees, the hips, and the balls of the feet. Too much weight can also change the normal shape of the joint, which can increase your risk for arthritis.
– Be active . A lack of exercise can cause your muscles and joints to become weak. But light to moderate exercise can help keep your muscles strong, reduce joint pain and stiffness, and slow the time it takes for arthritis to get worse. For example, if your quadriceps (the muscles in the front of your thigh) is weak, you may be more likely to get arthritis of the knee. Regular exercise will improve the quality of the cartilage.
– Protect your joints. When you can, try not to do tasks that put repeated stress on your joints, such as kneeling, squatting. And try to use the largest joints or strongest muscles to do things. A single major injury to a joint or several minor injuries can damage cartilage over time. For example, young adults who have had a serious knee injury are more likely to get arthritis.
Exercise is one of the best things you can do to help prevent arthritis from getting worse. It can help keep your muscles strong and reduce joint pain and stiffness. And it can help you reach and stay at a healthy weight.
But you want to make sure that you don’t hurt your joints when you exercise. Before you get started, ask your doctor what kind of activity would be good for you.
Patient with ligament or meniscus injury need to be treated because these will predispose to osteoarthritis.
These tips can help you exercise safely:
– Pace yourself, especially if you haven’t exercised for a while. Start slowly, and don’t push yourself too hard. Then work your way up to where you can exercise for a longer time or do the exercise with more effort.
– Use medicine. If your joint pain gets worse after exercise, you may want to take an over-the-counter pain medicine before you exercise, such as acetaminophen or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as ibuprofen or aspirin. After you’re done, ice the joints that hurt.
– Rest your joints if they are swollen. For example, if your knees are swollen, don’t use the stairs for a few days. Walk a shorter distance, and switch to swimming or riding an indoor bike.
Know when you have sore muscles and not joint pain. If your muscles are sore, you can safely exercise through the soreness. (You could exercise through joint pain too, but it’s not safe to do so.)
If you have joint pain that lasts for more than a day after you exercise, you need to:
– Rest the joint until your pain gets back to the level that is normal for you.
– Exercise for less time or with less effort.
– Try another exercise that doesn’t cause pain.
Treatment for Osteoarthritis:
Weight management to relieve stress on weight-bearing joints, Glucosamine Sulphate 1500mg per day, Anti-inflammatory drugs and analgesics, Injection of lubricants into the knee, Arthroscopy to wash away the inflamed fluid, debris and loose fragments inside the joint, Total knee replacement (used when severe osteoarthritis is present).
Read more about A guide to Total Knee Replacement Surgery
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