What is the Knee Arthritis?
Arthritis is the inflammation of joints. Typically, this inflammation causes the affected joint to become stiff and feel painful. The knee is made up of the femur, fibula, tibia and patella bones. These bones are surrounded by connective tissue known as; muscles, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage. The connective tissues work together and allow the bones to move with support and stability. When arthritis occurs to the joint, in this case the knee, the connective tissue becomes irritated and inflamed. This inflammation interferes with the knees movement and stability and causes the normal moving functions of the knee to be uncomfortable or painful.
The most common type of arthritis found in the knee is Osteoarthritis. This form of arthritis is commonly due to the breakdown of cartilage in one’s knee. Cartilage, a slippery yet hard material, coats the ends of the bones in the knee. This coating allows the bones to move smoothly without rubbing. When the cartilage wears down the bones are no longer protected and start to rub against one another. The contact of bones causes the joint to become inflamed, stiff, and painful.
- Popping and cracking: This may occur when you flex/bend your knee.
- Severe pain: You may notice and increase of pain when moving your knee. Pain may be stiff, sharp, and/or aching.
- The range of motion in your knee may also be affect by the pain and discomfort of arthritis.
Treatments for arthritis of the knee may simply include some changes to your lifestyle. Such as, anti-inflammatory pain killers, patches, creams, or physical therapy. The patches and creams can be used on the affected areas. The physical therapy would be to strengthen the muscles around the knee. If these changes don’t result in relief, a doctor may recommend injections. These injections will ideally provide instant relief.