Knee arthritis can affect every area of your life. If you are experiencing symptoms of knee arthritis, it’s important to understand this condition and how to treat it. Here’s the FAQ.
WHAT IS KNEE ARTHRITIS?
Osteoarthritis of the knee is a condition that occurs when the cartilage in the knee becomes worn. This cushioning wears away and, as a result, the bones rub together, which causes pain, stiffness and reduced mobility.
WHO IS AT RISK OF KNEE ARTHRITIS?
Osteoarthritis is most common in people over the age of 45. However, this condition can occur in younger people. Females are more likely to experience knee arthritis than males.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF KNEE ARTHRITIS?
Knee osteoarthritis is most commonly caused by age. In fact, nearly everyone will experience some degree of knee arthritis eventually as they get older. However, there are other risk factors involved:
- Weight: Extra weight increases the chance of knee arthritis. For every pound of weight you gain, you add between three and four pounds of weight on your knees. This additional pressure increases the likelihood that you will suffer from knee arthritis.
- Heredity: Your genetic makeup may make you more susceptible to developing knee arthritis. This includes the shape of the knee joint and surrounding bones.
- Injuries/stress: If you put more stress on the knee joint, such as lifting heavy weights or doing a lot of squatting, you are more likely to experience knee arthritis.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF KNEE ARTHRITIS?
Symptoms of knee arthritis can include swelling, diminished mobility, cracking and creaking noises when you move your knee, stiffness in the knee and a feeling of warmth in the knee.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE KNEE ARTHRITIS?
To diagnose knee arthritis, your doctor will complete a physical exam. The doctor may then order an x-ray or MRI scan. The doctor may also order a blood test to determine if any other conditions exist that could be causing the knee arthritis.
WHAT TREATMENT IS AVAILABLE FOR KNEE ARTHRITIS?
Knee arthritis can be treated in several manners. Often, a combination of treatments is recommended to relieve the pressure and reduce symptoms of knee arthritis. Treatment options include:
- Exercise: Specific stretching and strengthening exercises can make the knee joint more flexible, and strengthening exercises can improve the mechanics, stabilize the joint, and reduce pain.
- Injections: Many products and drugs can be injected. Hyaluronic acid molecules pad and lubricate the joint, and regenerative medicine injections help with inflammation and may assist in repair and healing, cortisone may help with pain in crisis but should not be done as a long-term solution.
- Weight loss: Even a small amount of weight loss can reduce the pain from knee arthritis.
- Surgery: In some cases, a doctor may recommend surgery to repair or replace the knee and relieve the symptoms of knee arthritis.
For more information on knee arthritis and treatment options, contact Dr. Richard Hiler. Dr. Hiler is a board-certified chiropractic neurologist with postgraduate traning in orthopedic rehabilitation. He is skilled in treating conditions of the shoulder, elbow, wrist, knee, ankle and foot. Reach Dr. Hiler today at 239-330-1000 with any questions or to schedule your expert consultation.