How can arthritis knee pain affect your daily life and how can you reduce the pain? Arthritis is a disease that is caused by normal wear and tear, trauma to the joint, or an autoimmune disease. No matter the cause, it usually results in pain.
Experts have estimated that 20% of North Americans have at least one joint in their body with signs or symptoms of arthritis and half the people with arthritis are over the age of 50. It is more common in women and is the number one type of disability in the United States.
Arthritis in your knees is one of the most common places that the pain can occur. When your knees joints are inflamed because of arthritis, easy activities can now become hard which can make our life difficult. Arthritis can happen in one or both knees.
The cartilage in your joints acts as a “shock absorber”. It provides a smooth surface for the joint that prevents the bones from rubbing against one another. Over time, your joints will lose cartilage if it is affected with arthritis. When this happens, pain and a reduction in motion will be noticeable.
Your joints will try to make up for the lost cartilage by producing a fluid where the cartilage was. This fluid is known as synovium, which tries to act like a cushion or water bed. Unfortunately, synovium causes your joint to swell, which restricts movement. The swelling will also cause pain when the capsules of your joints get stretched out.
You may notice some grating or grinding in the affected knee(s). This is known as crepitation and it is caused by the reduction of cartilage in the joints and the surfaces of the bone are now rubbing together.
Arthritis knee pain will generally begin with gradual symptoms as the cartilage reduces slowly. There are two common types of arthritis known as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is more common and typically affects the older population. On the other hand, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is hereditary and passed on from the parent to the offspring.
If arthritis is caused by trauma, the cartilage has been previous damaged. People of all ages are susceptible. Fractures that damage the joint and dislocations are the usual injuries that can conclude in arthritis. A joint that is injured is up to seven times more likely to result in arthritis, even if the joint has been fully healed.
The first symptoms of arthritis in the knees will include a dull pain or burning sensation. This pain will happen after periods of prolonged joint use, such as grasping or heavy gripping. You might not notice the pain right away. It may take a few hours or even appear the following day.
When the cartilage in your knees degrade even more, there is less cartilage to absorb shock and the pain will occur with even less use. In severe cases, the joint pain may even wake you up during your sleep. Pain may worsen with use of your knees and can be alleviated by rest.
Your doctor can diagnose arthritis by examining your knees and taking X-rays. There are specialized tests that can be done, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), but these are typically not needed. Sometimes, a bone scan can help the doctor diagnose arthritis more easily.
Arthritis knee pain can become severe without treatment and it can change your day-to-day life. If you suspect your pain and swelling in your knees are caused by arthritis, it is a good idea to visit your family doctor to get it diagnosed sooner than later so that you can receive treatment.
Other arthritis knee pain related resources
Knee pain – Wikipedia
Knee pain is a type of joint pain. Knee pain is common in every age group and gender. The main causes for knee pain are injuries, accidents or arthritis. It can also happen due to low calcium content in the bones and excess pressure on the knees.