Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent form of arthritis and is the most common joint disorder in the U.S., according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Osteoarthritis could affect the knee and cause intense pain and discomfort. Although knee OA cannot be cured, there are several treatments available to alleviate its symptoms.
Symptoms of Knee Osteoarthritis
The signs and symptoms of knee osteoarthritis include the following:
- Stiff and swollen joints, resulting in difficulty in straightening or bending
- Intense pain and swelling in early mornings or after a long rest
- The knee produces a grinding noise when you move
- Pain becomes more intense during cold or rainy weather
Treatment Options for Knee Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease with no cure. Its symptoms could have a huge effect on quality of life if left unmanaged. A person who is suffering from knee OA has several options for managing its symptoms and slowing down the progress of the disease.
Pain relievers such as NSAIDs may be taken to alleviate pain and inflammation. Corticosteroids are a type of medication for pain and inflammation, which is administered by injection. It provides temporary relief, but could last for a year. There are many other medications administered through injection. Talk to your doctor about each to have an idea on what’s best for you.
Surgery, including osteotomy, synovectomy, and partial knee replacement, is another treatment option available to people with knee OA. Doctor Mitchell Larsen explains that the type of procedure that’s best for a patient depends on which component of the knee is damaged.
Vigorous activities must be limited to improve the condition of the knee joints. Try switching to exercises that are less physical such as swimming. Maintaining a healthy weight is also important to reduce stress on your knees.
Wearing a stretchable bandage or a knee sleeve, and using a cane will provide extra support to the knee. For severe cases, braces would work better than the mentioned assistive devices.
Knee osteoarthritis could cause severe pain and discomfort and affect the quality of life. It’s non-curable, but the treatment options available could effectively improve one’s condition for better everyday life.