Arthritis can strike anywhere in the body. While it’s usually found in the hands and feet, it also can occur in the knees. This can make it difficult to move around without pain. Knee arthritis can also cause many injuries. Below you’ll find more information about knee arthritis, some common injuries it can cause, and how you can work to heal the affected area.
What is Knee Arthritis?
There are about three different types of knee arthritis. One is osteoarthritis. This type of knee arthritis causes cartilage around the joints and bones of your knee to wear down. This inflammation can eventually cause severe pain making it difficult for you to move your knee. It can last for a few years or even be a lifelong problem.
While usually not as common, there is also rheumatoid knee arthritis. This chronic disease is an autoimmune problem that can make your own body attack certain parts of it. This can lead to swelling and stiffness in the areas affected.
Sometimes there is also posttraumatic arthritis. This type of arthritis in the knee is formed after a type of injury to it. Because of this, it can lead to pain in the area due to the injury not possibly healing correctly.
Symptoms of Knee Arthritis
There are a few symptoms that come with knee arthritis.
- Swollen joint
- Pain when you move your knee
- Pieces of bone eroding and chipping away which can cause your knee lock up or make grinding noices
- Weakness in the knee
How to Tell if You Have Knee Arthritis
Besides the symptoms listed above, there are some other methods to help tell whether or not you might be suffering from knee arthritis.
X-rays can help to see if your knee is affected by arthritis or if your pain is caused by another problem. A medical professional will be able to tell this by the amount of space between the joints. A narrowing of the joint space is usually a sign of knee arthritis.
An MRI scan will use magnetic waves to help tell whether you have knee arthritis. This is often a more detailed scan as it will also show your organs, cartilage, bones, and soft tissues. This type of scan is often used to help give a medical professional more detailed information into your knee problems. It will also help them to see if there are any surrounding issues that might be giving you pain.
Common Knee Injuries Caused by Knee Arthritis
There are many knee injuries that can be caused by knee arthritis.
- Inflammation of the knee which can cause pain
- Broken bones
- Chipped bones which can make it difficult to walk
- Stiffness in your leg which can lessen your flexibility and affect the surrounding nerves
Ways to Heal and Prevent a Knee Injury Linked to Knee Arthritis
Below are some ways you can heal a knee injury that might have been caused by knee arthritis and some methods to help prevent future ones.
Physical therapy is often recommended for those who have suffered from knee injuries. This treatment can help to improve your flexibility as it will require you to move your knee and be more active with it. Besides increasing your mobility, it also helps to strengthen your leg muscles and decrease any pain you might have. While at physical therapy you will also usually do various knee exercises. This includes hamstring stretches, side leg raises, walking on the treadmill, and calf stretches.
Chiropractic care can help to increase your flexibility by doing various adjustments. This can help to strengthen the area while realigning any bones and tissues that might be out of place. Adjustments can also help to stop muscle pain and spasms that can result from knee arthritis. They can also reduce inflammation which is a common side effect of this medical problem.
When arthritis occurs, it often can cause your immune system to malfunction. Acupuncture can help to regulate your symptoms by calming down nerves and pressure points that cause such problems. It can help stop chronic pain while also reducing inflammation.
Watch Your Diet
Sometimes your diet can make your arthritis worse which can lead to more injuries. For instance, if you eat food high in fat, it could make you gain weight. This can then end up putting pressure on your knee which can worsen your symptoms. Because of this, it’s important to watch your diet and eat food that helps to keep your knees healthy. This includes:
- Fish oil
- Green tea
- Leafy greens
These items will help to ensure you consume plenty of antioxidants and other vitamins that help to keep your knees healthy and strong.
Use a Brace
A special knee brace can also help to prevent knee injuries. This is because it works to improve circulation, reduce pain, and keep your knee supported. They can also be worn to help heal any possible knee injury you currently have to ensure it doesn’t get worse. You can also wear them to provide more support when you do any type of knee exercises.
Try Hot and Cold Therapy
By using a hot or cold compress on your knees, it can help to reduce pain and inflammation. It will also work to keep your joints lose which helps to keep you mobile and flexible. This therapy also tends to work very quickly to provide you with relief.
Knee arthritis can be very overwhelming as it can give you intense pain and make it difficult to move. It can also lead to many injuries, such as broken bones. However, there are a few ways you can help to prevent such injuries, such as with chiropractic care or acupuncture. By using such treatments, you’ll be able to help naturally heal and prevent injuries that could be caused by various types of knee arthritis.
About Dr. Wells
Dr. Brent Wells, D.C. is the author of over 700+ online articles that have been featured on sites such as Dr. Axe and Lifehack. These articles include various types of information about how you can live a healthy and happy life. He founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab in Alaska in 1998. Dr. Wells has been a chiropractor for over 20 years and has treated thousands of patients who suffer from varying problems. When he’s not working, Dr. Wells can be found coaching kids’ soccer, practicing yoga, and doing weight training.
20920 W 151st street
First floor- Suite #100
Olathe, KS 66061
Phone: (913) 381-5225
Fax: (913) 901-0186