May – Arthritis Awareness Month

I have had OA in knees over 14 years.

The clicking popping sounds , the feeling of stiffness like the tin man on the wizard of oz is normal especially when it’s rainy.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a form of degenerative joint pain caused by wear and tear on your joints. As you age, the cartilage that cushions your joints starts to wear down, causing the bones to rub together. The bone-on-bone action leads to inflammation of the joints.

Almost 300,000 babies and children have arthritis or a rheumatic condition.

The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which affects an estimated 54 million Americans.

Number of people expected to have doctor-diagnosed arthritis by the year 2040: more than 78 million.

People in the early stages of osteoarthritis may notice that moving the affected areas of their bodies is not as easy as it once was. Joint stiffness and pain can contribute to loss of flexibility, also called loss of range of motion.

Range of motion is the extent to which you can move your joints in their normal patterns. For example, fully bending and extending your knee is its range of motion.

If you have arthritis, you might not be able to bend your knee as far. Loss of flexibility is usually a very gradual process.

There’s no cure for osteoarthritis (OA) yet, but there are several treatment options and lifestyle changes that can relieve your symptoms. A combination of treatments and lifestyle changes can help:

  • alleviate symptoms
  • improve quality of life
  • slow progression of the disease

The right types of exercise can help with OA. Exercise may improve pain and stiffness and even prevent further damage to your joints. The stronger the muscles around your knee are, the better they can absorb the shock placed on the knee when you move.

Exercise can also help you lose weight, put less stress on the knees, and ease pain. Your doctor or physical therapist can recommend specific exercises based on your needs.

These may include strengthening exercises for your muscles and stretching and range-of-motion exercises for stiffness. Aerobic activity is recommended for those who need to lose weight.

Over-the-counter (OTC) medications like acetaminophen (Tylenol) and NSAIDs (ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin) can help alleviate some of the pain and inflammation. Your doctor may also prescribe stronger medications.

Use caution, even when taking OTC medications. They can interact with other medications you’re taking. Always speak to your doctor before taking new medications.

Topical medications are also available. These creams and gels contain active ingredients that include: 

  • salicylate
  • menthol
  • capsaicin

Using these products may relieve the pain and inflammation associated with OA because of their heating and cooling effects on the skin.

Heat Over Ice

Many swear by ice ….. not me

I prefer heat… I also have osteonecrosis in Rt knee and I love love love thermacare heat wraps.

I personally found Heat helps my pain and mobility where as cold seems to make me hurt more.

Viscosupplementation works differently. Hyaluronic acid (HA) is injected into the knee joint. HA is a naturally present part of joint fluid. It lubricates the joints and helps them move freely. Most people with OA don’t have enough HA in their joint fluid.

By injecting HA into the joint, the knee benefits from extra lubrication. It decreases friction in the joint and improves the joint’s ability to absorb shock. This means less pain when you move.

Viscosupplementation has been found to provide relief to approximately 50 percent of people with OA of the knee. However, the newest guidelines from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) doesn’t recommend this for OA of the knee.

I personally hate cortisone injections. They cause me more pain and I get a reaction that makes me hurt worse.

Pulse it can lead to faster break down of cartilage and Osteonecrosis.

In the end we have to do and try what we feel may help.

Just know there are options

Prp Injections Platelet Rich Plasma

PRP

aaos treatment of osteoarthritis

I am not a paid endorser for any product mentioned.
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