Updated: Jun 3
Over 500 million people worldwide suffer from osteoarthritis. Let’s talk about it.
Osteoarthritis Of The Knee: How Does It Differ From Osteoporosis?
Osteoarthritis often presents in the joints next to the fingernail beds, the middle joints of the hand, the base of the thumbs, knees, hips, and spine, with osteoarthritis of the knee being one of the most commonly reported among sufferers of the disease. Although osteoarthritis tends to target those aged 50 and above, younger people can also suffer from it.
Osteoarthritis Vs Osteoporosis: What’s The Difference?
Did you know that osteoarthritis is frequently confused with osteoporosis and osteopenia? While the resultant effect of these conditions is pain, it’s important to know that they are all different conditions with very different treatment courses.
So what exactly is osteoarthritis in comparison with osteoporosis? Simply put, osteoporosis is a condition where bones deteriorate, becoming weak, brittle, and ‘porous’ while losing bone mass, density, and strength.
While the resultant effect of these conditions is pain, it’s important to know that they are all different conditions with very different treatment courses.
Osteoarthritis, however, is indicated by joint deterioration, and is one of the most common types of arthritis. It relates to the wear-and-tear degeneration of the articular cartilage that covers the bone ends adjacent to each other. In the case of osteoarthritis of the knee, once the cartilage in the knee joint has gradually worn away and becomes frayed and rough, the protective padded space between the bones decreases. Naturally, this causes pain when your bones rub against each other, leading to mobility-related difficulties and problems walking.
What Causes Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis of the knee can be incredibly painful and difficult to live with, especially if you’re used to a mobile and active life. Because the disease is caused by age-related deterioration, it’s important to recognise that one can never fully eliminate the risk of developing osteoarthritis. Women, whose bone health tends to deteriorate during menopause with decreased estrogen production, as well as those who are hereditarily predisposed to developing arthritis, are also at greater risk. However, there are other causes that can be avoided, and they are as follows:
● Weight; Overweight individuals may experience greater levels of pain upon developing osteoarthritis of the knee. Every kilogram of body weight adds about 1.5 to 2 kilograms of weight upon your knees.
● Repetitive stress injuries; Individuals whose jobs and daily activities require repeated kneeling, squatting, and lifting may develop osteoarthritis as a result of the constant pressure placed on the joints of their knees.
● Athletic activity; While moderate activity and exercise can strengthen the joints of the knees, athletes who engage in long distance running, tennis, or soccer must take care to not injure themselves.
What Are Some Symptoms of Osteoarthritis of The Knee?
These are some symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee. In many cases, they can be indicative of the disease, but do seek out professional advice to get a solid diagnosis.
● Pain that increases with activity, but decreases with rest.
● Swelling, which is caused by soft tissue inflammation around the joint.
● Warmth in the joint.
● Stiffness in the knee, particularly in the morning or after a period of inactivity.
● Decreased mobility and loss of flexibility in the knee. This translates to difficulty getting on and off chairs and cars and difficulty walking.
● Creaking sounds emitted with movement in the knees. You may feel a grating sensation in your knees when the joint is used.
● Bone spurs, which are extra bits of bone that feel like hard lumps. Bone spurs form around the affected joint.
Is There Anything I Can Do To Prevent Osteoarthritis of The Knee?
Here are some ways you can slow or prevent osteoarthritis of the knee.
● Stretch before you exercise to avoid injuring your joints.
● Control your blood sugar levels by adopting a healthy diet.
● Include some form of activity in your daily life.
● Choose activities that do not place extra strain on your joints.
● Stay within a healthy weight range.
● Pay attention to your body and see a professional when you experience pain.