While aging is a significant risk factor for knee osteoarthritis, it may also affect young people. It might be inherited in some instances. Others develop osteoarthritis of the knee due to an accident, infection or being overweight.

Here are answers to your concerns regarding knee osteoarthritis, including how it’s treated and what you may do at home to relieve discomfort, such as physiotherapy for knee pain.

Osteoarthritis: What is It, and How Can It Affect Your Life?

Wear-and-tear arthritis, often known as osteoarthritis, is a disease in which the natural padding between joints, the cartilage, wears away. When this takes place, the bones of the joints push closer together, and cartilage’s shock-absorbing properties are lost. The rubbing causes discomfort, swelling, stiffness, limited mobility and the production of bone spurs in some instances.

The most typical kind of arthritis is osteoarthritis. While osteoarthritis may strike anybody at any age, the risk of having it increases after the age of 45.

What Causes Osteoarthritis in the Knees?

Knee osteoarthritis is most often caused by old age. Almost everyone develops osteoarthritis at some time in their life. Several variables, however, enhance the likelihood of acquiring severe arthritis at a younger age.

Age – As a person grows older, cartilage’s capacity to repair decreases.

Weight – All joints, especially the knees, are placed under extra pressure as you gain weight. Each kilogram gained adds to the weight on your knees.

Heredity – This includes genetic variants that may elevate a person’s chance of getting osteoarthritis in their knees. It’s also conceivable that congenital disabilities cause it in the bones that surround the knee joint.

Gender – In people over 55, women are more likely to get knee osteoarthritis than men.

Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSIs) – These are often the effects of a person’s profession. Because of the continual strain on the joint, those with specific occupations that require a lot of activity that might stress the joints, such as kneeling, squatting or carrying big weights (25 kilograms or more), are more prone to develop osteoarthritis of the knee.

Athletics – Athletes who participate in soccer, tennis or long-distance running may be more susceptible to knee osteoarthritis. As a result, athletes must exercise care to prevent injury. Even if you don’t have osteoarthritis, regular, moderate physical exercise may help strengthen your joints and reduce your chance of developing them. In reality, osteoarthritis may be caused by weak muscles surrounding the knee.

Other Diseases – Osteoarthritis is more common in those who have rheumatoid arthritis, the second most common kind of arthritis. Metabolic disorders, such as iron overload or growth hormone excess, increase the risk of osteoarthritis.

Also Read: Knee Stiffness – Causes, Treatment and Exercises

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Knee Osteoarthritis?

Some of the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee include:

·       When you’re active, the pain grows worse, but it gets a bit better when you’re not.

·       Swelling

·       A warm sensation in the joint

·       Stiffness in the knee, particularly in the morning or after sitting for a long period

·       It’s tough to get in and out of seats or cars, use the stairs or walk with limited knee movement.

·       When the knee moves, it makes a cracking, popping sound.

How Do You Determine Whether You Have Osteoarthritis of the Knee?

A physical test by your doctor will be the first step in diagnosing knee osteoarthritis. Your doctor will also check your medical history and note any symptoms you are experiencing. Make a note of what makes your pain worse or better to help your doctor know if your pain is due to osteoarthritis or something else. Also, see whether anybody else in your family has arthritis.

Other tests, such as the following, may be recommended by your doctor:

·       Bone and cartilage degeneration and the existence of bone spurs may be seen on X-rays.

·       MRI scans (magnetic resonance imaging)

MRI scans may be requested when X-rays do not show an apparent reason for joint discomfort or when X-rays indicate that other kinds of joint tissue may be injured. Doctors may recommend blood tests to rule out other disorders causing the pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis, a kind of arthritis due to an immune system issue.

What is the Treatment for Knee Osteoarthritis?

The basic goals of knee osteoarthritis treatment are to relieve pain and restore mobility. In the majority of situations, the treatment plan will include a combination of the following:

Weight Loss – If necessary, losing even a slight amount of weight may considerably reduce knee discomfort caused by osteoarthritis.

Exercise – Strengthening the muscles around the knee improves joint stability and alleviates pain. Knee pain exercises and stretching activities enhance the knee joint’s mobility and flexibility.

Anti-Inflammatory and Pain Medications – Examples of over-the-counter medicines are Acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen sodium. Over-the-counter drugs should not be used for more than ten days without seeing your doctor. Taking them for a longer period elevates the risk of adverse effects. If over-the-counter pain relievers don’t work, your doctor may prescribe an anti-inflammatory pill or another medication to relieve the discomfort.

Physical and occupational therapy – Digital physiotherapy may assist you with everyday chores if you are having difficulty. Physical therapists educate you on strengthening your muscles and promoting joint flexibility through physiotherapy exercise for knee pain. Occupational therapists can educate you on accomplishing daily tasks like cleaning with minimal discomfort.

Surgery – When online physiotherapy services do not work favorably, surgery is a viable choice.

OA is a serious illness with no known treatment. However, with the right treatment, the future is bright. Don’t disregard the signs of persistent joint pain and stiffness. The earlier you see a doctor, the quicker you may get a diagnosis, start treatment and feel better.

Also Read: Benefits of Physiotherapy for Knee Pain

Visit Phyt Health for more information about physiotherapy for knee pain. Phyt Health is India’s first digital physiotherapy platform, which uses 3D imaging and AI to record your movements and offer appropriate treatment regimens properly. You’ll discover a range of exercises curated by professional physiotherapists on the physiotherapy app that you can do from your home.

Book an appointment for a video consultation now!