How To Tell If You Have Arthritis In Your Knee

How To Tell If You Have Arthritis In Your Knee – When the average person hears the word arthritis, they probably think of osteoarthritis. Although there are more than 100 types of arthritis, osteoarthritis is the most common and well-known. Most of the disease is mechanical disease caused by overuse, wear and tear of the joints as people age. (However, osteoarthritis can occur at any age—the idea that osteoarthritis only affects older people is a myth.)

About 30 million Americans have osteoarthritis. By comparison, about 1.5 million have rheumatoid arthritis, which is an inflammatory type of arthritis.

How To Tell If You Have Arthritis In Your Knee

In osteoarthritis, the cartilage that attaches to the ends of the bones wears away to the point where the bones rub (pain) against each other. It usually develops slowly and gets worse over time. Many experts believe that people who sit for long periods of time may develop osteoarthritis, based on factors such as overuse of the joint and whether or not it is damaged. Not surprisingly, weight-bearing joints such as the knees, hips and ankles are particularly vulnerable to osteoarthritis. Arms, hands and shoulders are common areas.

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Osteoarthritis and arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis share the same name—the word “arthritis” means joint inflammation—but the conditions are very different. While rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s own body attacks the joints with inflammation, osteoarthritis is a more mechanical disease.

Unfortunately, one type of cancer does not give you the chance to develop another. People with arthritis are at risk of developing osteoarthritis.

Sometimes the same joint is affected by both types of cancer, and sometimes different joints. The risk of developing OA is higher in a joint with RA. When this happens, it is called secondary osteoarthritis. Secondary osteoarthritis can also occur after a joint injury or other medical condition.

“Early and good treatment of RA and other inflammatory diseases is important. This can help prevent secondary osteoarthritis,” said Nancy Ann Shaddick, MD, a rheumatologist at Harvard-Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Good news, according to Dr. Shaddick, “These days, because the treatment of osteoarthritis is so good, you don’t see a lot of secondary osteoarthritis.”

Rheumatoid Arthritis In The Wrist: Symptoms, Treatment, And Exercises

A person with RA’s risk of developing osteoarthritis in other joints—joints not affected by cancer—is the same as in the general population. It is not uncommon, for example, for a person to develop rheumatoid arthritis in the hands in middle age and then develop osteoarthritis in the knee or hip decades later. The type of OA that occurs with age and use but has no underlying disease or cause is called primary osteoarthritis.

Here are some early signs of osteoarthritis to be aware of (and here are the signs of rheumatoid arthritis). If you have any of these, let your rheumatologist know, and don’t assume that what you’re experiencing is a new manifestation of your RA or other inflammatory bowel disease. Your rheumatologist will make sure you get the right treatment for both.

Pain is the main symptom of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, but it is not the only pain. “Joint pain in osteoarthritis is worse with use, worse as the day goes on, and better with rest,” explained Dr. Shadik.

However, RA pain gets worse at rest and doesn’t get worse with use. Also, people with RA can feel tired and sick, but the symptoms of OA are usually mild – just a little pain in and around the joints.

Hand Pain And Rheumatoid Arthritis

OA stiffness is felt after activity has stopped and can be relieved by gently stretching and moving the affected area. “People with OA don’t have much difficulty in the morning—less than 30 minutes—but people with arthritis can have morning stiffness that lasts for hours,” explained Dr. Shadik.

Joints in osteoarthritis are sore and painful, but they may not feel very swollen or warm (as in joints affected by RA). Swelling is more common after exercise and swelling is more severe as the disease progresses.

In joints affected by osteoarthritis, extra pieces of bone remain and, for example, the ends of the fingers may appear misshapen or the toes may be larger.

Joints affected by osteoarthritis have a reduced range of motion, making movement difficult. Osteoarthritis in the hips makes it difficult to bend. Osteoarthritis in the knees means that the legs cannot bend properly. This affects walking and climbing stairs and other activities.

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Osteoarthritis develops very slowly over many years. RA, on the other hand, develops quickly—over weeks or months.

The clicking or cracking that people with osteoarthritis hear when they move their joints is the sound of bones grinding against each other and is not sufficient for absorption.

The hands are a common site for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, but this technique targets different joints in the hands. “Cancer and rheumatoid arthritis are very different,” says Dr. Shaddick. “In the hands, for example, RA affects the knees, while OA affects the end joints.” (Here’s what you need to know about osteoarthritis at the base of the thumb.)

It is common for osteoarthritis to affect a joint on only one side of the body, such as the right knee instead of the left (or vice versa). In RA, the disease affects both sides of the body symmetrically, especially as it progresses.

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Osteoarthritis is usually diagnosed with a physical exam and X-rays. Blood tests are usually unremarkable for osteoarthritis.

Medical treatment for OA is fairly simple, mainly nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and acetaminophen to control pain and inflammation. Steroid injections into the affected joint can sometimes help.

“There aren’t as many disease-modifying therapies for OA as there are for many cancers,” says Dr. Shaddick. “There aren’t many drugs that can stop osteoarthritis in its tracks.” The race to find or develop drugs called “DMOADs” – disease-modifying osteoarthritis drugs – that prevent or reverse joint degeneration is currently a very active area of ​​research.

There is currently no cure for the joint damage caused by osteoarthritis. “But there is still much to be done to reduce pain and disability,” said Dr. Shadick recommends physical therapy, joint-strengthening exercises, supports (such as knee braces), and pain management. (Here are some exercises to help with osteoarthritis of the knee, for example.)

Telltale Signs You Have Arthritis — Eat This Not That

The progression of osteoarthritis can be slowed by lifestyle changes. “There’s been really good work done on a healthy diet—a diet that’s high in sugar, high fructose corn syrup, fast food—and how it’s been shown to slow the progression of OA,” says Dr. Shadik. A so-called anti-inflammatory diet that may help all types of cancer includes oily fish, healthy fats such as canola oil, flaxseeds, beans, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables. Green leafy vegetables.

Losing weight, if needed, also helps because it reduces joint stiffness. It’s estimated that every pound lost results in up to 5 pounds less pressure on weight-bearing joints like the knees and hips. Losing 20 pounds can reduce 100 pounds of pressure on those joints. “And the key, with OA and RA, is a lack of weakness and muscle atrophy around the affected joint,” said Dr. Shadik. “When you lose muscle strength around an injured joint, it’s more prone to wear and tear.”

If the joint is damaged beyond repair from OA, causing excruciating pain and disability despite treatment, replacement surgery can help. Surgery used to be more common for people with RA, “but it’s less common now because there are better medications for RA,” says Dr. Shaddick. But hip and knee replacement surgery for osteoarthritis is common.

Enroll in a patient-centered research registry and track symptoms such as fatigue and pain. Learn more and register here.

Psoriatic Arthritis In The Hands: Symptoms, Pictures, And Treatment

A digital community for millions of cancer patients and caregivers worldwide seeking education, support, advocacy and patient-centered research. We represent patients through our popular social media channels, our website and our 50-state network of approximately 1,500 trained patients, caregivers and health advocates. You know about joint pain, but it’s important to know that other symptoms of RA can help diagnose it.

Aches and pains are a normal part of life at any age and can happen for many reasons – exercising too hard, eating too much sugar, lifting something, dancing too hard, repetitive hand movements like typing and rubbing. .

But pain is also the most common symptom of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a chronic, inflammatory disease in which the body’s own immune system attacks the immune system.

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