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Stages of Knee OA

It takes many years to develop osteoarthritis of the knee – one step at a time.  The degradation of the cartilage can be tough to treat because the damage is usually done by the time it’s diagnosed.  Symptoms might only be experienced once the damage is irreversible.

There are progressive stages of knee osteoarthritis:

Stage 0 – A normal, healthy knee

The knee joint shows no sign of OA, and can move freely and without pain.

Stage 1 – Minor

Bone spurs may start to appear.  The cartilage may show some sign of wear.  There is no sign of joint space narrowing.  Pain or discomfort is rarely felt at this stage.

Your doctor may recommend exercise and weight loss, possibly some supplements.

 



Mall Walkers

This is the final article in a three part series of posts about the benefits of exercise for a knee suffering from osteoarthritis.

Strengthening, stretching, and exercising an arthritic knee has many benefits.  One of everybody’s favorites is weight loss.  Exercise and a healthy diet can help you lose weight.  The more weight you lose the less stress you’ll put on your knee.  The effect of weight loss has an incremental effect.  Every pound you lose decreases the pressure on your knees by three pounds.  It’s a 3:1 ratio.  The less stress on your knees, the less they will hurt.  The less your knees hurt the more easily it will be to move around.   Get the picture?

Strong and limber muscles will also help you maintain your activities of daily living.  What do you like to do?  If your answer is sit on the couch and watch television then these posts were probably a waste of your time.  But if you like to walk, go places, work, participate in sports and recreational activities then get up and get moving.  The more you do so, the easier it’s going to get.



Standing calf stretch

Strengthening, stretching, and exercising the knee will help provide pain relief for knees suffering from osteoarthritis.  This is the second part of three posts on this subject.

Exercise can also help support healthy cartilage.  Healthy cartilage requires motion and some stress.  Nutrients and lubrication are delivered to cartilage whenever it is used.  Synovial fluid moves in and out of knee cartilage every time you take a step.  If you don’t move, neither does the synovial fluid.  Imagine the difference between drinking water from a crisp clear babbling brook or a stagnant pond.  What do you think will be better for you?

Cartilage is like a sponge.  Keeping the synovial fluid moving through it keeps the sponge moist and supple.  Think of the sponge that dries out on your sink.  It gets crumbly and starts to deteriorate.  The same is true with your knee cartilage.



Knee Exercises

Exercise and stretching can help prevent and relieve knee pain associated with osteoarthritis.  When done regularly stretches, low-impact aerobic exercise, and strengthening exercise can provide many benefits.

Increase Function and Range of Motion – Exercise and stretching will keep the muscles surrounding the knee joint limber.  The more you stretch the greater your knee’s range of motion.  The easier it is for your knee to move, the easier it will be to exercise.

Pain reduction – An unstable knee joint will do much better when supported by strong muscles.  The knee can be protected from repetitive impacts, like walking, by strengthening the muscles that surround the knee.  The hamstrings and quadriceps should be the primary focus.  Exercise also releases the body’s natural pain relievers, endorphins.

 



Knee Trauma

A knee injury can lead to post-traumatic knee arthritis.  A break in the tibia, fibula, or femur may damage the joint surface and lead to arthritis years after the injury. It depends on the severity of the injury.  Meniscal tears and ligament injuries can lead to an unstable knee joint, and additional wear on the cartilage, which can result in arthritis as the months and years pass.

 



CMC Thumb Arthritis

When cartilage erodes, arthritis can happen.   Without this protective tissue, bones that comprise the joint rub together. Carpometacarpal (CMC) joint arthritis happens at the thumb’s base, right at the wrist.   When the ends of bones rub together it causes pain and makes it difficult to grab or pinch.

Basal joint arthritis (CMC joint arthritis) is the most common place for arthritis to affect the hands.  It’s recommended to treat this condition with non-invasive, simple options.

SYMPTOMS

  • Thumb Pain at the base of the thumb.
  • Thumb pain when trying to grip or pinch.
  • The thumb is painful or tender when you rub, squeeze, or touch the base of the thumb.

How to treat CMC Arthritis?

Wearing a splint or brace that positions your thumb can reduce pain. The best thumb braces position the thumb joint.

This is a product that can help.

CMC Arthritis Thumb Brace

 



Obesity linked with osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis has several common risk factors.  Some of the risk factors you can change, some you can’t.

  1. Obesity – The more extra weight you carry the more stress you put on your knees.  Weight loss is one of the best ways to reduce your knee pain associated with osteoarthritis.
  2. Infection – An infection in your knee can destroy or weaken cartilage.
  3. Occupation – Do you squat, kneel, or bend a lot at work.  Repetitive stress on the knee joint can increase your likelihood of developing knee OA.
  4. Age – OA is “wear and tear” arthritis.  The older you are, the more you’ve used your knees.
  5. Gender – The shape of women’s hips make them more likely to develop knee OA.
  6. Genes – A family history of arthritis can mean you have a higher risk of arthritis hurting your knees.

 

 

 



Osteophytes

Bone spurs or osteophytes are lumps of bone that grow on bones around the knee joint.  Osteophytes often grow beside joints affected by osteoarthritis.  Bone spurs can form on any bone and are most common in the neck.

Bone spurs don’t always cause symptoms, but can cause knee pain if they rub against bone or tissue, restrict movement, or affect nerves.

Osteophytes can reduce range of motion in the knee.  Knee pain relief caused by osteoarthritis.

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Knee Arthritis

A knee will get swollen, red, and warm.  These are all signs of inflammation.  There can also be creaking sounds, some people will actually feel the knee “catching” as the worn cartilage rubs together.  There can be a dull ache to sharp pain depending on how bad the arthritis is.  The knee can be stiff  and difficult to move.

Common symptoms are:  a gradual increase in knee pain, swelling, tenderness, buckling, locking, cracking, poor range of motion, loss of joint space, and knee deformities.



Global Knee Brace

Weight loss and exercise are two of the best treatment options for knee osteoarthritis.  There are certainly drugs, injections, hyaluronic acid, and surgeries – all with their associated risks.  However weight loss and exercise are free – no insurance companies, no doctors, no pharmacies…just get up and walk.  However it can be a catch 22.  If your knee hurts, how can you walk?  A knee brace can be a great solution.  There are different types of knee braces for osteoarthritis.  Some knee braces require a prescription, some can be purchased in a sporting good store.  Some knee braces will be covered by your health insurance, and some won’t.  Check with your doctor about which knee brace is right for you.

THIS BLOG IS FOR SALE. It has been up since 2010 and has had over 7.5 MILLION HITS.  call (800)762,9605 and leave your email address to learn more.