Arthritis occurs when the cartilage that protects the bones in the knee is worn away. This erosion leads to inflammation, discomfort and pain, and in many cases, bony growths known as osteophytes, which cause further pain and irritation. If you are currently suffering, here are some tips for knee arthritis treatment without surgery.
What is knee arthritis?
Arthritis is caused by the gradual wear and tear on our joints and it, therefore, becomes increasingly common as we get older. However, age isn't the only factor, there are several other reasons why arthritis may develop.
A lack of physical activity, being overweight and genetic predisposition, can all lead to early-onset arthritis.
In addition to these, certain contact sports and activities can increase your risk - such as rugby and jiu-jitsu and traumatic injuries to the knee often cause long term damage to the cartilage.
The early stages of knee arthritis often show no symptoms, but as it progresses there are a range of warning signs to keep an eye out for, including:
- Pain in the knee when walking on uneven surfaces, going up and down stairs or after sports.
- Crunching and grinding sounds when the knee is moved.
- Discomfort and irritation in the knee when carrying something heavy, during wet or cold weather and periods of exercise.
- Stiffness after sitting or being still for extended periods of time.
Often these aren’t apparent until the arthritis has progressed to a more advanced stage, so if you have a family history of arthritis or your lifestyle makes you more vulnerable, it is best to talk to a doctor to manage and mitigate your risk.
How is arthritis diagnosed?
Diagnosis of arthritis in the knees is generally done by a visual assessment of walking patterns, X-ray or MRI scan to confirm the extent of the condition and if there are any associated issues.
From there you can determine the best course of treatment and management with your GP or practitioner. Below are some tips to manage arthritis in the knees.
If you are suffering from arthritis, strengthening the knee and keeping the leg limber, will take the pressure off of the joint. Doing strength exercises will also help to manage arthritis pain.
The best exercises are ones which target the quads, hamstrings and glutes. For example: squats, chair dips, wall-sits and step exercises. In more advanced cases it is helpful to see a physiotherapist who can put together a targeted exercise plan for your needs.
Knee arthritis treatment without surgery
Arthritis is a degenerative condition, which means that once the cartilage is damaged, it cannot heal. Compressing and unloading the knee will allow you to manage the pain as well as minimise the deterioration of the cartilage.
For people who suffer from regular knee pain and moderate to severe arthritis, it is highly recommended that they wear an unloading brace that utilises compression - such as the GenuTrain OA.
This type of knee brace is a game-changer when it comes to moderate to severe arthritis. The GenuTrain OA relieves painful areas in the inner and outer areas of the knee joint. It is made from a lightweight and elastic knit material which also features medical-grade compression, helping to improve blood circulation around the knee joint. Check out a video testimonial at the end of this article.
For those with mild to moderate arthritis, the GenuTrain A3 features a hidden strap for knee cap stability and a large gel pad which targets common pain areas. It provides instant relief and is comfortable enough to wear in any activity.
Supplements and Vitamins
Vitamins and supplements are shown to assist in managing the pain and discomfort caused by arthritis. Vitamin D, Glucosamine, Omega-3 fatty acids and curcumin all help reduce inflammation in the cartilage, and are best used in conjunction with physiotherapy and bracing to give your knee the most relief.
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Bauerfeind products are developed at our innovation and manufacturing facility in Zeulenroda, Germany. Based on years of scientific research, our award-winning braces and support garments are highly recommended by medical professionals and athletes worldwide.