Here’s why you could be experiencing Knee Pain

By avn
11:14 am Posted March 18, 2017
In Uncategorized

The most common cause of pain in the knees is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease is a chronic condition where the cartilage breaks down due to normal wear and tear leading to rubbing of the bones causing pain, swelling, redness, as well as development of bone spurs.

Although this condition can occur even in younger people, people over the age of 45 are more prone to this condition. Women are more likely to be affected by osteoarthritis of the knee than men. The pain in the knee is more noticeable going up and down the stairs or after standing or walking. As the day goes, the pain tends to worsen. Also, giving way and sudden catching sensation in the joint are quite common.

What causes knee osteoarthritis?

Although age is the most common cause of osteoarthritis of the knees, there are various reasons for the development of knee osteoarthritis. The following are the reasons for the development of knee osteoarthritis pain.

  • Age: Osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear,and as one ages, the healing ability of the cartilage decreases leading to osteoarthritis.
  • Weight: Pressure on the joints of the knees increases as weight increases.
  • Heredity: Some people may be genetically inclined to develop osteoarthritis of the knee.
  • Gender: Women over the age of 45 are more prone to develop osteoarthritis of the knees than men.
  • Overuse: When the knee joint is overused, as in some types of jobs which needs frequent bending, squatting, or lifting heavy objects, osteoarthritis is more likely to develop.
  • Athletics: People involved in sports like running, soccer, etc. are more prone to developing osteoarthritis of the knee.
  • Other illnesses: People suffering from conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis are likely to suffer from osteoarthritis as well. Also metabolic disorders contribute to the risk of development of osteoarthritis.

How is knee osteoarthritis diagnosed?

Firstly, the doctor will go through the medical and family history of the patient. Then, he will perform a thorough physical examination of the knee joint. He will examine the joint for any swelling, redness, and warmth. Also he will have a detailed discussion with the patient about when and how the pain actually started, how severe is the pain, etc. The doctor will then order for some imaging studies in order to confirm the diagnosis of knee osteoarthritis.

  • X-rays will be able to show the damage to the bone and cartilage as well as the presence of bony spurs, if any, but cannot show the cartilage itself.
  • MRI scans provide a clearer image of the bone, joint, as well as the cartilage. Also MRIs use radio waves and strong magnetic field and not radiation unlike x-rays.
  • Some blood tests may also be ordered to rule out conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Fluid aspiration might also be performed to test for conditions such as gout.

How is knee osteoarthritis treated?

The primary goal of osteoarthritis treatment is pain relief and joint mobility. Following treatments alone or in combination may be used in the relief of knee osteoarthritis pain:

  • Exercises: Strengthening the muscles around the knees ensures stability to the knee joint and also decreases pain. Stretching will help in keeping the knee joint mobile and flexible.
  • Weight loss: Weight directly puts pressure on the knee joint. Hence, weight loss will help in decreasing pressure and pain in the knee joint.
  • Pain relievers/anti-inflammatory drugs: For immediate pain relief, pain killers available over-the-counter can help. In case of no relief from these, the doctor may write a prescription for anti-inflammatory drugs which can help alleviate pain. It must be remembered, though, that these drugs do carry a risk of side effects, hence should not be used for a long time.
  • Injections: Injections for pain relief have also been effective in alleviating pain.
  • Physical and occupation therapy: Physical and occupational therapy can be of great help in case of trouble with performing daily activities. Physical therapy concentrates on strengthening the muscles and increasing flexibility in the joint. Occupational therapy helps in performing daily tasks with less pain.
  • Alternative therapies: Therapies such as Ayurveda and acupuncture have been effective in treatment of knee pain.Ayuvedic treatment involves changes to the diet,lifestyle,Internal medicines that are completely natural and made of herbs and also therapies and massges such as Tailadhara (pouring of medicated oils), Nhavarakkizhi (massage with bolus of rice boiled in medicated milk) and Ksheeravasthi that help in preventing further degeneration and also help in strengthening the joints.
  • Surgery: In case conservative measures fail, surgery is the last resort.

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