When it comes to arthritis in knee there are three basic causes. Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Post-traumatic Arthritis are the three types of arthritis you might find in the knee. Osteoarthritis, or OA, is generally considered a degenerative disorder where the cartilage in the knee joint wears away over time. This condition is most commonly found in those that are middle aged or older. Rheumatoid Arthritis, or RA, is considered inflammatory and actually attacks and destroys the cartilage. In this case the arthritis usually attacks both knees. Post-traumatic arthritis generally occurs after the knee has been injured. This arthritis is much like to OA and it may occur in the knee after an injury.
Symptoms of Arthritis in Knee Joints
The most common symptom of knee arthritis is pain or stiffness. In some cases the onset of this condition will occur over several years. However, it is very possible for arthritis to occur almost overnight. In most cases the symptoms of knee arthritis are more noticeable in the morning or after long period of stillness or sitting. Some people endure a feeling of weakness in the joint that results in a buckling or locking sensation.
Diagnosing Knee Arthritis
There are several tests that can be performed to diagnose arthritis. Your doctor will begin with a physical examination. In most cases the doctor will examine your knee to look for signs of inflammation or swelling. The doctor may also observe the way you walk or bend your knee. If these Examinations are not conclusive the doctor may suggest an X-ray or an MRI. Blood tests can also be conducted to test for Rheumatoid arthritis.
Nonsurgical Treatment Options
There are many nonsurgical treatment options for arthritis in knee. If you are suffering from pain and inflammation lifestyle changes may provide a great source of relief. Exercises such as walking, cycling, swimming, and minimizing the amount of time you sit in one spot may relieve these symptoms. Physical therapy may also provide relief from pain. Some people also find that supportive devices such as a brace can help. Heat, ice, liniments such as Icy Hot, and elastic bandages may also provide relief for the swelling and inflammation of arthritis.
Arthritis Drug Treatments
Several drugs have been developed for treating arthritis in knee. The drug regimen that your doctor chooses will depend solely on the symptoms you experience and the relief you find with each treatment. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and acetaminophen are over the counter drugs you can take without a doctor’s prescription. Pain medications are often popular and used for treatment; however, in most cases these drugs should not be used over many years as there can be side effects. Over the counter supplements such as Chondroitin and Glucosamine often relieve the pain and inflammation. However, both supplements can react with other medications you are taking. Make sure you ask your doctor before starting supplements.
Surgery is often the last chance resort after all other treatments have failed. Because surgery itself can leave scar tissue and cause arthritis these treatments are reserved for patients in severe pain who have lost mobility due to arthritis in knee joints.