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Posts Tagged ‘knee OA’

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.

 

 

 



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.

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Knee OA

A doctor should examine your knee to diagnose knee osteoarthritis.  Your doctor will know your medical history and document any symptoms.  It is a good idea to keep a “pain diary” so you can explain to your doctor exactly when your knee hurts, and during which activities.  It may help to ask your family members if they experience knee pain.

Your doctor may order x-rays or MRI scans to take a look at the inside of your knee.  It’s important to start with your primary care physician and document each and every visit, treatment, and resulting tests and scans surrounding your knee pain.  Your health insurance will look to deny every claim you make.  Don’t take it personally, that’s just what they do.  Document every thing.  Every person you talk to, times, and dates.  Information is power when it comes to working with health insurance companies.

 



Knee Pain due to OA

Knee Osteoarthritis can have the following symptoms:

  • Pain – knee pain that increases during activity.  The pain can recede with rest.
  • Swelling
  • Warmth in the joint
  • Morning knee stiffness, or the knee may get stiff when sitting for a while
  • Mobility issues – it may be difficult to climb stairs, step up curbs, or get in and out of a car or chair
  • Cracking sounds when the knee bends

 



 

An unloading knee brace is designed to provide knee pain relief for people with unicompartmental osteoarthritis.  This means a person has knee pain on one side of their knee or the other.  Usually the knee pain affects the inside (medial compartment) of the knee.  The condition comes from years of wear and tear on the knee joint.  An unloading knee brace provides warmth, compression, and some gentle pressure to the knee joint.

A knee brace is not a cure for Knee OA, but a knee brace like this will buy some time for people looking to postpone knee replacement surgery.  This is a conservative treatment option that can’t hurt to try.

 

 



Knee Arthritis

January 14, 2016
Weight Loss and Exercise

                        Weight Loss and Exercise

Losing weight, exercising, and stretching are great treatment options for osteoarthritis of the knee.  Stretching keeps the muscles surrounding your knees loose and healthy, exercising lubricates the joints, and losing weight means your knees will absorb less of a load with every step you take.

You don’t need a prescription, or coverage, or a referral.  You don’t have to share any  personal information or pay a co-pay.  Weight loss, exercise, and stretching are free treatment options that will not only make your knees feel better but improve your overall physical condition.

Decrease the amount of drugs you take, spend less time with doctors….try going for a walk, or a swim.

 



Manual Therapy

Manual therapy is often used by physical therapists and physiotherapists as part of their treatment programs to combat knee OA.  It consists of passive leg movements used to increase the knee joint’s range of motion or to reduce knee stiffness.

Simply bending the knee, stretching, and massage are examples of manual therapy.    Just gliding one joint surface over another can be helpful.  Recent studies prove this type of therapy can be beneficial, especially for someone with knee OA because there may be several issues causing the knee pain.

 

 



Back to the Drawing Board

Back to the Drawing Board

Doxycycline is an antibiotic and is being considered as a disease modifying osteoarthritis drug (DMOAD).  It is used to treat infections.  Doxycycline has been found to inhibit the enzyme metalloproteinase.  This enzyme helps destroy cartilage.  Some research has suggested that doxycycline helps slow OA’s progression.

A recent Dutch study looked at how doxycycline effects pain and function in patient with OA.  Unfortunately the study showed that doxycycline is not effective in reducing symptomatic pain, stiffness, or function in knee OA.  Also it was associated with negative side effects.

So it’s back to the drawing board for synthetic metalloproteinase inhibitors.



Olive Oil

Olive Oil

Olive oil is used throughout the world in cooking, cosmetics, soaps, lamp oil, and pharmaceuticals.  The oleic acid contained within olive oil is an anti-inflammatory agent.  Research has shown that people who eat more oleic acid have lower blood sugar and better insulin function.  Also there is a lot of data available that explains consumption of olive oil can have a healthy effect on the heart by regulating cholesterol.

Olive oil and garlic for your knee OA or NSAIDs and surgery?  Your choice.