Are you suffering with knee pain?
Millions of people experience Osteoarthritis of the Knee. It is incredibly common and sadly the older we get, the more likely we are to suffer it.
The price of Knee Pain
If you lead an otherwise full and active life, you may feel like knee pain is holding you back. You might have had to give up activities you love; even perhaps stopping in the middle of a simple walk.
This is incredibly frustrating because inside, you’re as active and fun-loving as you always were. But your knee isn’t keeping up with you.
What is Knee Osteoarthritis?
A healthy knee is easy to move and bend because the shin bone and thigh bone in the joint are cushioned by cartilage and lubricating joint fluid. However in a knee affected by Osteoarthritis:
- Slippery tissue that covers and protects the joint cartilage deteriorates over time.
- Fluid that cushions and lubricates the joints (known as synovial fluid) breaks down, reducing the knee’s capacity to absorb shocks caused by the impact of movement (for example running or walking)
- Bones may start to rub together, causing stiffness, pain and reduced range of movement
Osteoarthritis of the knee can be incredibly debilitating, making even the simplest of everyday tasks – like bending to pick things up – incredibly troublesome. Since there is as yet no known cure for OA, your knee problems will require swift and on-going treatment to help you maintain the lifestyle you love.
What are the signs and symptoms of Knee Osteoarthritis?
OA can develop in either one or both of your knees. The condition normally develops gradually and gets worse as time goes on. As such, you are likely to notice a change in the level of your symptoms. The signs will vary in severity and may include:
- Pain, or a grating sensation when you move – perhaps even pain while you are resting
- Stiffness when you haven’t moved for a while
- Swelling in your joints
- Lower range of movement and functioning
Stages of Knee Osteoarthritis
Experts classify Osteoarthritis of the Knee in different ways. Some use a grade on a scale from 1 (mild) to 4 (severe). Other doctors refer to OA as mild, moderate or severe.
If you have mild Osteoarthritis of the Knee the surface of your knee joint cartilage will have begun to wear away. You will probably experience occasional pain from exercise and passing stiffness in the morning.
If you are suffering with Moderate OA your joint cartilage will be continuing to disintegrate. Your joint fluid may be losing its capacity to cushion and lubricate your knee. You may also notice bony growths or spurs on the knee bone edges. It might be painful when you move.
In Severe OA, your cartilage may wear away totally, causing your bones to rub together. Your pain will probably be more constant and severe by this point. Performing everyday activities will become more and more difficult.
What are the causes of Osteoarthritis of the Knee?
There is no single cause for OA. But there are several risk factors that increase the likelihood of you suffering it. For example:
- Age: Your risk increases as you get older
- Obesity: Extra body weight puts a strain on your knee joints
- Gender: Women are more likely to suffer with OA
- Genes: Your heredity can affect the shape and stability of your joints, and many experts believe OA runs in families
- Injury: If you have suffered knee injury in the past, or you take part in an activity or occupation that involves a lot of bending, you are more likely to suffer Knee Osteoarthritis
Treatment for Osteoarthritis of the knee
Thankfully, there are solutions. You don’t have to let knee pain hold you back.
Osteoarthritis is both the most frequently occurring strain of arthritis and the most common joint disease in the world.
Such widespread prevalence should make OA a priority, but unfortunately, at times it has not been top of the agenda. In fact many patients have had to opt for interventions that come with a lot of side effects or associated problems. However thanks to cutting edge research, things are changing.
A new way to treat Osteoarthritis; without the side effects
Viscosupplementation; a new, ground-breaking method for treating Knee Osteoarthritis has emerged in recent years. The treatment consists of an injection of special fluid which performs the same function that your very own young, healthy joint fluid once did – cushioning and lubricating your joints to make movement easy.
Viscosupplementation has been confirmed through extensive, peer-reviewed research to have far fewer, and much milder, associated side effects than other treatments for Osteoarthritis. For example patients may experience a bit of temporary swelling at the injection site – in contrast to other treatments for Knee OA, which have been linked to serious gastrointestinal problems and cartilage damage. This is another reason why Viscosupplements are considered to be the new joint pain intervention of choice for many experts.
If you are determined to put chronic knee pain behind you, call 0207 118 1771 today to book a consultation with a pain specialist.
Or to read more about this ground-breaking treatment, view our Viscosupplement Injections information page.