Knee Osteoarthritis Treatment
Knee osteoarthritis is a deteriorating condition which cannot be reversed. When knee osteoarthritis is treated it will be to manage pain and improve the movement in the knee joint. Getting an early diagnosis and treatment may stop pain and the need for surgery in the future.
If you experience stiff joints in the morning then you will probably feel some discomfort until the stiffness loosens up. When this discomfort turns to severe pain that stops you getting on with your daily work then it is your body’s way of telling you to stop. Do not try to keep going! The joints in your knee need rest to recover. If pain does not settle or lessen in 2 to 4 days then seek advice from a medical practitioner.
It is important to maintain a healthy weight especially if you suffer from knee osteoarthritis. Every pound of being overweight will add 3 extra pounds of pressure on the knee joint. This extra pressure can increase your chances of developing knee osteoarthritis in the future. Losing weight if you are obese or overweight will lessen the pressure on the knee joint and help to ease symptoms.
Being active is good but carrying out activities that do not worsen knee pain is vital. Activities and sports that have a high impact on the joints should be avoided and replaced with activities that are less strenuous. Instead of running try swimming where there will be less impact on the knee joint. Knee pain may make it difficult to keep moving and you may feel like doing nothing. This is a bad idea! Doing nothing can worsen the condition and lead to other problems too. A medical practitioner will work with you to help to adjust and adapt activities into your daily life.
Use a Compress
Using a warm compress for a couple of minutes to loosen a stiff joint will make carrying out activities easier. A cold compress can be used on the knee joint for 30 minutes if there is swelling after an activity. A cold compress will alleviate swelling and pain. Using warm or cold compresses are good for temporary relief from symptoms.
A medical practitioner will prescribe you with medication that is appropriate for you after discussing your medical history, type of pain and any reactions to medication you may already be taking. Some types of medication which can be used to ease symptoms:
Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate
Glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate are produced naturally in the body's cartilage. Taking glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin supplements may be beneficial for some.
There are two types of injections that are generally used to treat severe knee osteoarthritis. These are steroid injections and hyaluronic acid injections.
The length of time pain relief from injections lasts is varied. Results from injections can last from 6 to 12 months and will always be a temporary solution. Steroid and hyaluronic acid injections are used to provide pain relief for long enough to strengthen knee muscles. Sometimes injections are given when medication cannot be taken orally.
There are products available that can help take pressure off the knee. Shoe inserts with cushioning and elastic knee braces can provide support when walking as they can reduce the pressure on the knee. Also using a cane on the side where the good knee is will help with stability.
Most people who suffer from knee osteoarthritis will not need surgery. There are exceptions when nothing else works and osteoarthritis is at a severe stage. The different types of surgery to treat symptoms of osteoarthritis are:
If nothing else works then knee replacement surgery may have to be carried out. It is a complicated procedure that requires a long time to recover. Surgery can be avoided with non-surgical treatment plans as long as patients are fully committed to them.
View treatment options we provide for knee pain here