Arthritis in the Knee
Arthritis..We have all heard that term before but what exactly is it? How does arthritis start and what can I do to prevent it?
Arthritis can affect people of all ages and in multiple areas of the body. Unfortunately, for many people arthritis can actually affect different parts of the body at once. So what exactly is this condition?
According to Dr. Barry J Sheane of sportssurgeryclinic.com:
“The term ‘arthritis’ means ‘joint inflammation’ and refers to disease of a joint, or in many cases, multiple joints. However, there are many forms of arthritis, and in turn, specific treatment and medication for those individual types of arthritis.”
Types of Arthritis in the Knee:
According to Dr. Barry, there are two types of arthritis to worry about. The first type of arthritis of the knee is inflammatory Arthritis. Typically when you have a virus or infection your body will use its own immune system to fight off the problem. However, sometimes your immune system will turn against your body and start attacking different components of your body by mistake. Let’s say, for example, your immune system starts to attack your knee. You will wake up with knee pain, swelling and stiffness. However, these symptoms typically go away with exercise and movement. Furthermore, there are also different types of Inflammatory Arthritis.
The first type of inflammatory arthritis is Rheumatoid Arthritis or (RA). You’ve probably heard of this term before since this type is the most common in the Inflammatory Arthritis family. Rheumatoid Arthritis is also an autoimmune disease (meaning the immune system attacked itself). If you ignore this condition there’s a very good chance you’ll develop deformed joints and you may possibly become disabled. Typically with Rheumatoid Arthritis the hands and feet are the most likely to be affected.
The second type of inflammatory arthritis is Psoriatic Arthritis. Psoriatic Arthritis is a type of inflammatory condition that is associated with people who have Psoriasis. In case you aren’t sure, Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes your skin to become red and inflamed. Around 30% of people who have Psoriasis develop Psoriatic Arthritis. Since Psoriatic Arthritis is also an autoimmune disease the body’s faulty immune system turns on the joints and causes pain and stiffness. Just like RA if you don’t get treatment for your pain you can become immobile and deform your joints.
The second type of arthritis is Osteoarthritis or (OA). This is by far the most common type of arthritis and is considered a degenerative condition. After years and years of overusing your knees, for example, you can begin to develop knee pain, which can be a result of Osteoarthritis (OA). Typically Osteoarthritis
is a result of age. However, if you follow our other blogs, where we talk about knee pain, you will learn that injury and obesity are also factors that develop into Osteoarthritis (OA).
What causes Osteoarthritis?
As you age, if you become obese or if there is an injury to the joint, you slowly and gradually break down the tissue and cartilage in your knee, for example. Since the cartilage is essentially the shock absorber for the knee, if you don’t have cartilage in your knee you’ll begin to develop symptoms of Osteoarthritis including:
- Chronic Knee pain
- Trouble completing everyday tasks
- Stiffness in the knee
- Swelling of the knee
- You may hear a grating sound in your knees (bone on bone)
Knee Arthritis Prevention:
When it comes to any type of knee pain there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Everyone is different and arthritis affects everyone differently. However, there are a few tried-and-true methods that everyone can use to delay or help your pain.
As we always stress, exercise and staying healthy overall is the best way to avoid any sort of joint condition. Arthritis is no exception. Exercise decreases bone loss, which is a serious side effect of arthritis. Along with a decrease in bone loss exercise promotes healthy joints by keeping you at a healthy weight. As we mentioned before being obese puts a large amount of stress on your joints, especially knees, which speeds up the process of your cartilage decreasing.
Get Help Early
If you are living with knee pain, or any sort of joint pain, and you believe it may be a result of arthritis it’s critical that you seek help right away. The longer you wait, the longer you have to live in pain and the more damage you will do to your joints. If you ignore the symptoms of arthritis, particularly rheumatoid arthritis, the conditions can develop into you deforming your joints and even becoming immobile. If you think you have joint pain seek a professional today.
If you are looking into getting help consider Stem Cell Professionals, a non-surgical alternative to help treat your arthritis.