One of the most common causes of knee pain is knee arthritis. In 2012, more than 51 million people have reported to have been diagnosed with some form of knee arthritis, according to the National Health Interview Survey. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. This affects mainly adults but some forms affect children. Although there is no cure for arthritis, there are many treatment options and home remedies available.
Symptoms of Knee Arthritis
Arthritis is inflammation of the joint. It is characterized by pain, swelling and stiffness. The knee is very commonly affected by this condition because of the abuse that it takes on a daily basis.
The 2 major types of knee arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Osteoarthritis – this is the most common type of arthritis. It is wear and tear of the joint. The cartilage thins away eventually leading to what people describe as bone to bone. This rubbing of the bone on bone leads to inflammation, pain and swelling.
- Rheumatoid arthritis – this is a systemic condition. More than 1 joint can be affected. In this condition, the synovium that covers the joint is inflamed causing pain and stiffness. This can be detected through blood tests.
Symptoms for knee arthritis include pain, swelling and stiffness causing difficulty in bending and straightening the knee. The stiffness can be worse in the morning or after prolonged sitting or resting. Overactivity such as prolonged walking or climbing steps can also cause the knee to flare up. Grinding sensation on the knee can also be felt. Most people report that their arthritis is worse on humid or rainy weather.
Home Remedies for Knee Arthritis
Physical therapy is a very effective treatment for knee arthritis. Here are some home remedies you can try. Videos of these exercises can be found on our website RestorePlusNY.com under the Exercises tab.
- Using ice or heat helps. Since arthritis is an inflammation, using ice helps a lot. A lot of people especially the older ones think cold is bad for arthritis. But this is not the case. Cold can help reduce the inflammation and swelling. But on some occasions that the joint is stiff but not swollen, heat can offer some relief from the stiffness. Do this for 15-20 minutes 2-3x a day
- Minimize activities that aggravate the condition such as prolonged walking and climbing steps. Also switch from high impact activities such as jogging to low impact activities such as swimming or biking when working out.
- Moving the joint such as range of motion exercises or stretching can help preserve or improve the mobility of the knee. The following exercises can help get you started:
- Heel slide – Lying on your back with knees straight, slide the affected heel towards your buttock as you bend your knee. Hold a gentle stretch in this position and then return to original position. Repeat 10 times and hold for 6 seconds.
- Quad set – While lying with a small towel roll under your ankle, tighten your top thigh muscle to press the back of your knee downward towards the ground. Repeat 10 times and hold for 6 seconds.
- Hamstring set – While lying down on your back, slightly bend your knee and then press your heel into the ground. Repeat 10 times and hold for 6 seconds.
- Move frequently – avoid staying in one position (sitting or standing) for more than 15 minutes.
- Losing weight can help decrease the pressure on your knees.
- Using assistive devices such as cane or walker can help making walking safer as well as less the pressure on the knees.
Treatment for Knee Arthritis
If the above home remedies are not enough to relieve your knee pain or stiffness, Don’t Worry! We can design a specialized program that has shown great results at relieving your pain quickly. This program can consist of using different modalities including the revolutionary Laser treatment, manual therapy techniques and exercises. Call Restore Plus today for more information or to schedule an appointment! (800) 905-0513.
Restore Plus Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation
33-10 Queens Blvd. Suite 301
Long Island City, NY 11101