Osteoarthritis is a condition that affects many people around the world. The condition is one of the most common forms of arthritis and is a common source of pain in the knee. As we get older, Osteoarthritis, otherwise known as OA, can flare up or become frequent and cause major issues in the knee area. It is believed based on health studies that millions of people in just the United States suffer from OA in both knees or at least on knee area.
Synovial fluid is found in the knee and is used to lubricate and cushion the knee joint. When OA occurs, the fluid breaks down and loses the ability to cushion the knee area. The cartilage that is found in the knee then begins to deteriorate and can event cause the bone to have nothing in-between bone and they two bones rub together causing major pain. Pain, stiffness and less movement are common side effects of the condition.
Types of OA
There is a grading scale of OA that is rated from 1 to 4 and can also be graded as Mild, Moderate or Severe. In a Mild case, the cartilage of the knee has begun to wear down and symptoms are minimal. With a Moderate case, the cartilage has worn down and the joint fluid is not lubricating as it should which leads to more significant pain. With a Severe case, the cartilage has been worn or almost worn away causing pain as the bones rub together. You can have severe pain and be unable to perform daily activities.
Common Symptoms of OA
The development of OA is usually slow and can become worse over time. Symptoms can begin in or both knees and continue to worsen. You may experience pain when you move your legs or even when you are resting. You may begin to feel a grating sensation as you move your knee joint. You can also see the knee area becoming still after you have rested for an extended period of time. Swelling of the joint and the loss of movement range are also significant factors that can mean you are suffering from the condition.
Before you can seek treatment, you must be evaluated by a physician. A medical professional who specializes in arthritic care will be able to determine if you are suffering from OA. An examination of the knee area including a physical exam as well as an MRI and X-ray will be able to determine if you are in need of treatment. Every aspect of the knee area is inspected to try and determine if the condition exists as well as the severity of the condition.
Once you have been diagnosed, the physician will then schedule treatment. Osteoarthritis treatment can help to prevent further pain and damage to the knee area.Treatment options can include physical therapy or injections that will help restore the knee area. The severity of the issue will determine which treatment option will work best. The injections are used for more moderate cases and can help to treat the pain for months at a time. The injection can be for pain or help to lubricate the area for assistance. If the knee area is in a severe state, you may be in need of actual knee surgery which can be scheduled.
If you feel as though you have the Osteoarthritis condition, contact your medical provider to schedule an appointment for an examination. You will feel better physically once you know exactly what is going on with your knee and how you can quickly get better.