Different types of arthritis can present themselves to anyone at any age.
The three types known are post-traumatic, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid. With each one brings about different symptoms and characteristics. With post-traumatic, it can occur after a knee injury, a fracture to the knee, or a torn meniscus.
If it is osteoarthritis, it would take on a degenerative process where the joint cartilage wears away. And with rheumatoid, it is more of an inflammatory disease, which can target any age.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
Here are several symptoms that you need to be aware of:
Swelling and Tenderness – this can be brought on by extra fluid or what are known as bone spurs. The skin of your knee might be red and warm to the touch.
These symptoms can be temporarily remedied with the use of an over the counter anti-inflammatory, but in time could lead to chronic inflammation.
Popping and/or Cracking Sounds – this might be occurring due to the fact that you have lost some of the cartilage that helps smooth out the range of motion with your knee(s).
Gradual Increase in Pain – the pain usually comes on slowly, but has been known to come on suddenly. Your knees may hurt from walking, climbing the stairs, or from sitting for long periods of time. And for some people their aching knees act like a barometer when it comes to changes in the weather!
Locking or Bucking – your entire joint structure can become unstable due to a weakening of the muscles in your knee(s). Also, the joint could stick or lock and you could struggle to bent or straighten it out!
Loss of Joint Space– the development of bone spurs and other rough surfaces on the ends of the bones take away valuable space. The spurs can start to formulate when the cartilage is worn through, or from calcification.
Deformities of the Knee – the knees can start to point towards each other or turn away from each other. They may take on a sunken appearance brought about by a weakening and shrinking of the muscles around the knee.
Poor Range of Motion – there is a noticeable change in the way the knee glides and simple movements become more challenging. You will probably notice this more when climbing the stairs or participating in athletic events. The progressive wearing away of the cartilage is a sign of osteoarthritis.
So, stay tuned into your knees, here are some helpful tips…
Get a proper diagnosis – early diagnosis and treatment can lead to improvement of pain and stiffness.
Start an exercise program – moderate exercise is an integral part of treating arthritis. Exercise by itself will not wear out your joints.
Activity modifications – proper body mechanics, proactive good posture, avoid slouching, reduce climbing activities, avoid activity that causes prolonged discomfort.
Nutritional Supplements – products such as glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, Vitamin C and D, and calcium can potentially help if taken on a regular basis.
Orthotics/Bracing/Self-Help Devices/Support – products such as heel wedges or orthotics can help align the leg, relieving pressure on the knee. Cushioned shoe inserts that fit the length of the shoe may reduce some of the impact loading that your knee or hip experience.
Prescription Medications – there are four general classes of prescription medications: NSAIDS, Non Narcotics, Narcotics, and a special class of medications for patients with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and related diseases. Consult with your doctor on which one would be best for you!
Injections – hyaluronate injections may help relieve osteoarthritis pain and joint function. Hyaluronate is a naturally occurring substance in joint fluid that provides lubrication and cushioning to the joint.
See a Surgeon who specializes in Arthritis – they can offer their opinions and expertise for knee surgery options such as arthroscopy, total joint replacement, or osteotomy.
Use good judgment and take care of your knees, remember one of the keys to good health is mobility!