What Does Osteoarthritis In The Knee Mean?
Osteoarthritis is a general condition that describes the pain that the body feels whenever the cartilage between bones begins to disappear. So, arthritis can apply to any specific joints like the knees, hips, fingers, and more. An osteoarthritis diagnosis is associated with one or many joints. For the knees, arthritis is a common cause of pain. Arthritis hurts people when walking, when going upstairs, or when they are bending the knees at all. Chronic knee arthritis is a severe condition that means there is little to no cartilage left in the knee.
What Causes Knee Osteoarthritis?
Typically, arthritis naturally develops through a normal lifespan. Years of exercise, running and sports leads to weak cartilage. The bones and the knee joint itself could be healthy except it does not have the cartilage for support. If the cartilage is weak and disappearing, the knees reflect this problem with various symptoms. Knee osteoarthritis has causes such as regular wear and tear, but there are other elements that contribute to this chronic disease. Contributing factors to knee osteoarthritis pain are:
- Large amount of pressure on the knees from obesity
- Previous knee injuries that onset early knee arthritis
- Overuse and repetitive exercises that break down cartilage
Unfortunately, arthritis is a common problem as we age. People who are 50 years old and above commonly experience some degree of arthritis pain, whether it is in the knee or other joints. The physical break down of cartilage is what causes any form of osteoarthritis pain.
Do I Have Osteoarthritis In My Knee?
There are few things to consider before self-diagnosing osteoarthritis in the knee. Consider your age, weight, and lifestyle. Are you 50 years old? Are you at an average body weight? Does your job require repetitive motions and physical work? Your response to these questions could reveal your risk of knee arthritis. If you believe you already have arthritis pain in the knee, is the pain:
- Tight and sore in the mornings
- Swelling toward the end of the day
- Catching and locking when trying to walk or go upstairs
- Increasing slowly over time
If you fit in with earlier questions and these symptoms describe your knee pain, the diagnosis could possibly be arthritis. Without a professional examination, there is no way to tell how much damage there is within the joint. Patients may fit this explanation, but they will need an official diagnosis.
Can I Stop Osteoarthritis Knee Pain?
Instead of stopping all exercises and activities, perform normally, but incorporate safe and supportive aids. There are ways to slow knee arthritis down before the cartilage is completely gone. So, do what you can now to protect the remaining support in your knees. It’s not about stopping osteoarthritis. Prevention is about saving the leftover cartilage with:
- Gradual stretches that safely build muscle and exercise the knee
- Foods and beverages that are full of vitamins and minerals
- Supportive shoes and knee bands that protect the overall joint
- Let the knees rest after busy days and physical work