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Symptoms of Arthritis in the Knee

by | Oct 9, 2016 | Uncategorized | 4 comments

There are three different types of arthritis that can occur in your knees. The most common type is osteoarthritis, a progressive disease that slowly wears away joint cartilage. This type of arthritis is most likely to strike after middle age. Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory auto-immune disease that can strike at any age. When arthritis develops following an injury to the knee, it is called post-traumatic arthritis. It can occur years after a torn meniscus, injury to ligament, or fracture of the knee.

Arthritis pain can begin suddenly, but it is more likely to develop slowly. At first, you may notice pain or stiffness in the morning or after you’ve been particularly inactive. Your knees may hurt when you climb stairs, stand up from a sitting position, or kneel. It may hurt just to go for a walk. In some cases, you may feel pain when you’re doing nothing more than sitting down. Some people with arthritis say that damp weather or other changes in weather can bring on pain. Knee pain that wakes you up from sleep can be a symptom of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis progressively wears away at cartilage. As arthritis worsens, it becomes harder for joints to function normally and it can become increasingly difficult to perform simple everyday tasks. In time, you may have trouble walking without the assistance of a cane or walker.

Arthritis of the knee may cause periodic inflammation. This can be complicated by the formation of bone spurs (osteophytes) or extra fluids in the knee. Swelling may be more pronounced after a long period of inactivity, such as when you first wake up in the morning. The skin on your knee may look red or feel warm when you touch it. In time, you may experience chronic inflammation of the knee that doesn’t improve with over-the-counter medications or anti-inflammatory drugs. Over time the muscles around your knee may weaken and the entire joint structure can become unstable. Overall weakness in the knee can cause your knee to give way or buckle. The joint can also stick or lock up so you can’t bend it or straighten it out when you want to. You may find that these symptoms come and go for no apparent reason. You may feel a grinding sensation in your knees as you move. You might even hear cracking or popping sounds coming from your knees.

These symptoms may be occurring because you’ve lost some of the smooth cartilage that helps with smooth range of motion. What remains is disconcerting noises and the grinding feeling resultant from rough surfaces and bone spurs rubbing over each other as you move your joints. Arthritis can make it increasingly challenging for the knee joints to glide as they should, making previously simple movements difficult or impossible. If you suspect that you are dealing with arthritis in the knee, PT can help to reduce or even resolve the muscular imbalances that contribute to your pain. Feel free to contact us by phone (716-836-2225) or by visiting our website to set up for a consultation and learn what you can do to get your lift back.


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