What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis (also known as degenerative joint disease, degenerative arthritis, hypertrophic osteoarthritis, and osteoarthrosis) is a common
form of arthritis that is associated with the breakdown of the cartilage and its adjacent tissues. Cartilage refers to a protein substance and flexible tissue performing to cover in addition to supporting the joints in the bones. Men and women are vulnerable to have this disease after the age of 45, but it is more common in women.
If you have osteoarthritis, the disease damages the surfaces of your joint so the joint cannot glide as normally as it does. It also causes the cartilage to be thin and the bone beneath the cartilage becomes stiff, resulting in unbearable pain. In addition, the disease usually affects large weight-bearing joints like the knees and hips as well as the hands, spine, and feet. The disease can affect either knees or just one. Click on image to enlarge.
Signs and symptoms of arthritis in knees that might occur vary between individuals, but the common symptoms are as follows:
Pain and Stiffness
Morning knee stiffness often happens, making it difficult to straighten and bend your knee. Daily activities like standing and walking can be very agonizing. This condition results from the deterioration of cartilage where cartilage becomes worn out. You might have excruciating pain, stiffness, and restricted range of motion. If left untreated, the pain may wake you up at night, as the disease advances. Keep in mind that the pain might be intermittent, as the pain can come and go.
It sounds like a click noise (crepitus) as you move the affected joint. Loose fragments of cartilage can prevent the motion of joints from functioning normally. It can snap, click, or creak, and make a crackling sound. The joint can be gradually fragile and weak because it can lock when moved.
Worsening in Humid Weather
Unbearable pain might increase more in humid weather than in dry weather, or during physical inactivity, especially while you are standing or sitting for a few hours. This condition can get worse throughout the day.
Deformity of the Knees
Excess upper body weight can aggravate the disease as well. Long-term osteoarthritis might result in the deformity and outward curvature of the knees, known as bowlegs. Those who have the disease in the knees can develop a limp, which deteriorates since more cartilage has worsened.
Medications Cannot Reduce the Pain
Some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and aspirin are commonly effective in the early stages of arthritis. However, those medications will not work for those who have swelling, chronic knee inflammation, joint dysfunction, and limping.
Water on the Knee
The synovium, which is a membrane that generates thick fluid to lubricate the joint, prevents bone surfaces from rubbing against each other and helps the knee change position. Inflammation leads to an accumulation of extra fluid in the knee, known as water on the knee.
Besides treating the symptoms of arthritis in knees with medications, it is possible to halt and even reverse the condition naturally.
Arthritisresearchuk.org: Osteoarthritis of the Knee - https://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis_information/arthritis_types__symptoms/osteoarthritis_of_the_knee.aspx#non
The University of California San Francisco: Signs and Symptoms - https://www.ucsfhealth.org/adult/medical_services/ortho/hip_and_knee/conditions/osteoarthritis_knee/signs.html
The University of Maryland Medical Center - https://www.umm.edu/patiented/articles/what_other_conditions_show_same_symptoms_as_osteoarthritis_000035_3.htm
Image courtesy of the National Library of Medicine.