Arthritis of the knee usually begins to show up in people over the age of fifty. This can happen due to excessive physical activity caused by participating in sports, constant usage of the knee while on the job by lifting, bending, and climbing, and by stress on the joints via excessive weight gain or as a result of an injury.
The good news is that there are many non-invasive treatments available. In the more serious, advanced cases like bone on bone knee arthritis, surgery may prove the best option.
What is Arthritis
While there are three different types of arthritis that can occur in the knee, Osteoarthritis is by and far the most common. The knees take a lot of abuse throughout a person’s lifetime. This form of arthritis is a slow degenerative disease that, over time, causes wear and tear of the cartilage surrounding the knee. The cartilage on the knee creates a cushion between the bone joints that absorbs shock. Once the cushion begins to wear away, the joints then rub together causing pain and discomfort.
There is no cure for osteoarthritis. There are, however, tried and trusted ways to slow its progression and to find lasting relief and comfort. For mild pain, your doctor may recommend over-the-counter remedies like aspirin or ibuprofen to alleviate not only the pain but the inflammation too. Since stress on the knee is something you want to avoid at all costs, maintaining a weight that’s healthy for your body’s bone structure is also critical. Other things such as physical therapy can help improve your range of motion and regular exercise can help to keep the joints from stiffening.
As the disease progresses, the pain can become unbearable and chronic. At this point, your physician may recommend surgery as the better option. However, if you are fearful of having it done or want to try natural remedies, there are other choices that do not require your going under the knife.
Alternative therapies that are non-invasive may work for you. Nutritional supplements such as SAM-e, Capsaicin, Tumeric, and Boswellia Serrate provide a natural way to reduce pain, discomfort and, in some cases, even slow the degenerative process. Acupuncture, deep tissue massage and other relaxation techniques can help to alleviate stiffness; allowing you to function and achieve a better quality of life.
Effects of Limited Mobility
Arthritis can rob you of your life. This often debilitating disease can affect not only your joints but also your organs. When it hurts to stand, walk, or perform usual daily tasks, people tend to withdraw and avoid doing many of the things that once brought joy. As a result, they remain at home and go out only when necessary. Limited mobility can cause more problems. It can make a simple walk to the bathroom or a climb upstairs unsafe. Even clutter can pose serious health threats.
Thankfully, there are a variety of modifications that will make any home safer and easy to maneuver through. Installing handrails in strategic locations such as hallways and in the bathroom, night lights, and clearing out entrances to each room, are good first steps. Using a walker or a cane can also keep a person steady on their feet when they need to get around and a scooter can provide an invaluable piece of equipment for going around town.
Arthritis of the knee affects a large percentage of the aging adult population. Over time it can have a crippling effect, causing your body to ache severely with any movement at all. Luckily, there are steps you can take to minimize the overall toll it takes on your body. Maintain a healthy weight, stay active and use aids as needed to get around, in order to prevent further injuries.