How JOI Can Help Arthritis in the Knee

Throughout your lifetime you may experience many issues in your joints, whether its from some sort of trauma or just a gradual progression of increased joint pain.  At the Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute our expertly trained physical therapists can help determine the best form of treatment for your aching knee pain.  There are a number of different types of arthritis that can impact the many different joints in your body.  Three of the most common types of arthritis of the knee include:

  1. Osteoarthritis
  2. Rheumatoid Arthritis
  3. Post-Traumatic Knee Arthritis

To learn more about other treatment options, please read this article for Avoiding A Knee Replacement and Conservative Treatment Options

Osteoarthritis/Arthritis in your Knees

Osteoarthritis is typically caused from normal wear and tear during ones life.  As a result of this, it is very common that most people experience some sort of Osteoarthritis at some point in their life.  After repeated usage over a long period of time the cartilage that surrounds and protects the bones around the knee begin to break down.  Once enough cartilage has broken down the surrounding bones begin to rub against each other, which leads to increased pain and/or stiffness in the knee.  There are several different symptoms you may experience as a result of Osteoarthritis such as:

Arthritis in the KneeImage of the Knee Joint

  • Aching pain
  • Stiffness after movement
  • Pain during normal daily activities
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Pain in the back of knee

Although this is a chronic disease, there are a few ways to limit your pain or regain some of the motion.  It may be one of the last things you want to think about with joint pain, but exercising is vital to helping with your Osteoarthritis.  It is important to find a good balance that fits your physical ability.  Exercises that are too intense have the risk of creating more issues for your knee joints.  A good way to start is a light walk around your neighborhood to gauge your tolerance.  

Another area to focus on is maintaining a healthy weight.  Those who are obese have a higher risk of suffering from osteoarthritis because of the added stress to their weight bearing joints.  For further pain relief there are a variety of pain-relieving medications and anti-inflammatory treatments such as corticosteroids that may be taken.  

With the help of our therapists at The Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute they can show you the proper stretches that can increase flexibility and mobility to combat your Osteoarthritis.  They can also help you decide when heat or cold therapies are the best options for relieving pain.  If the pain does not become more manageable or even increases in intensity, surgery can be used as an alternative

Rheumatoid Arthritis

OsteoarthritisJOI Can Help You With Arthritis

Another source for the pain in your knee could come from an auto immune disease known as Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).  Those with RA have an immune system that mistakes good healthy cells, for invader cells which leads to the body attacking itself in an attempt to get rid of these "invaders".  One way to tell if you have Rheumatoid Arthritis vs. Osteoarthritis is the occurrence of pain on both sides of your body, such as both knees.  A few other symptoms include:

  • Tender, warm and swollen joints
  • Joint stiffness that is usually worse in the mornings and after activity.
  • Fatigue, fever and weigh loss

Several of the treatments for each of the previous two types of arthritis are very similar.  Just like with Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis can be greatly helped with exercise.  With the help of regular exercise you can strengthen the surrounding muscles around the joint to aid with support of the joint.  There are also several medication and anti-inflammatory options for RA.  A couple examples of these include:

  • NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
  • DMARDs (disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs)
  • Steroids

If you want to learn more about RA, please go to this RA ARTICLE.

JOI also includes several different remedies such as acupuncture, which is a treatment alternative offered at our San Marco and South offices to reduce pain.  Cases of mild arthritis may also be treated by arthroscopy. Although the procedure provides some relief from the pain, it will not eliminate the arthritis from the joint. If there is any progression, additional surgery may be needed in the future.  For more severe cases surgery may be recommended to help with pain relief.  As with other surgeries, therapy will be utilized to increase mobility and strength after surgery.  Many assistive devices are available to help with this issue and can even be custom made. Such devices are braces and splints that support the joint and decrease pressure and pain. Also, orthotics for the feet to cushion and help align the toes and ease the stress of walking. 

For orthotic appointments or physical therapy, please call 904-858-7045.

Post Traumatic Arthritis

This type of arthritis can be a result of a few different injuries or trauma.  Post Traumatic Arthritis can develop after a bone fracture, a tear of the surrounding ligaments, or a meniscus tear.  The result of these injuries can cause the cartilage to deteriorate over time.  After the initial surgery for the traumatic injury, many of the same remedies for the other types of arthritis will be used to treat the symptoms.  

To learn more about arthritis in your knee or knees and the different treatments for your knee pain, or to book an appointment at The Jacksonville Orthopedic Institute call 904-JOI-2000, schedule online, or click BOOK APPOINTMENT below.

Related Link: Best Exercises after a Knee Replacement. 

Ehren Allen, PT, Certified Manual Therapist

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