What is Knee Osteoarthritis? (Causes and Symptoms)
Do I have Knee Osteoarthritis?
The large femur (thigh bone) is separated from the tibia (shin bone) by cartilage, a strong type of tissue that acts as a shock absorber within the knee. With knee osteoarthritis, the cartilage within the knee joint begins to deteriorate, which can lead to rubbing between the bones within the knee joint as well as the development of bone spurs called osteophytes.
The image on the right shows the development of severe knee osteoarthritis. However knee osteoarthritis progresses slowly over time. But with the proper management through exercise and stretching, knee osteoarthritis can be slowed down.
The image on the right is an example of severe knee osteoarthritis.
Symptoms of Knee Osteoarthritis
The most common signs and symptoms of knee osteoarthritis are:
Knee pain – pain may be constant, dull and achy or pain may become severe with certain activities or movements.
Pain with certain activities – such as bending, kneeling, squatting, or stair climbing.
Worse pain with inactivity – Knee pain may be worse after prolonged inactivity or rest, such as getting out of bed in the morning.
Knee stiffness – the knee will become stiff and inflexible
Knee swelling – the knee may be red and swollen to touch
Causes of Knee Osteoarthritis
Previous knee injury
Your doctor can diagnose knee osteoarthritis through the use of a physical exam, X-ray or an MRI.
Knee Osteoarthritis from Mild to Severe.
The Good News
The good news is that knee osteoarthritis is very manageable, and with proper treatment and exercise, further damage to cartilage can be significantly slowed with proper management. Treatment will potentially, include anti-inflammatory medication, exercise, stretching and modification of activities.
Proper exercise is key to managing knee osteoarthritis. Check out “Should I Exercise if I have Knee Osteoarthritis?“ to read more about the management of knee osteoarthritis through exercise, and how our kinesiology team or physiotherapy team can help.
The first in our monthly Health, Wellness, and Fitness series, we will be going throughout the body and telling you all you need to know about an...
What can I do to relieve knee pain?The first in our monthly Physiotherapy series, we will be going throughout the body and telling you all you need...
How to fix shoulder pain?Why scapular stability is important Your shoulder joint does not act in isolation to create movement in your arm. The...
What can I do for tennis and golfer's elbow?With tennis and golf season underway, many athletes often suffer from these two common overuse injuries....
How do you get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? Carpal Tunnel is a very common injury to the hand. It causes significant pain and discomfort in the hand and...
How can I improve my shoulder overhead mobility?The shoulders are the most mobility joint in the body. The shoulder is made with a “ball in socket...