Knee osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition of knee joints. With time, due to gradual wear and tear, the protective cartilage cushioning the knee joints wears off and the protective space between the bones reduces. Consequently, the bones rub together causing friction which hurts the knees and can also give birth to painful bone spurs. It is accompanied with stiffness, swelling and inflammation. It can occur to anyone including children but most often starts in people over 50 years of age. It starts off gradually but worsens over time.
Knee osteoarthritis is an incurable condition but certain treatments and lifestyle changes can relieve the symptoms and slow down its progression. Surgical intervention is chosen for more severe cases.
- Past Knee Injuries
- Repetitive stress on the joints.
- Reduced mobility
Treatment Options and Lifestyle Changes for Managing Knee Osteoarthritis:
Dr. Kunal Patel, the Best orthopedic surgeon for knee replacement in Mumbai, advises certain treatments and lifestyle modifications to manage knee osteoarthritis and find relief from its symptoms. These are listed below:
1.Oral Medications: Prescription and over the counter (OTC) medicines can provide relief from pain and other symptoms. These include OTC nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, acetaminophen if NSAIDs don’t suit, topical combinations containing NSAIDs or capsaicin. In case OTCs don’t suit, duloxetine, tramadol can be prescribed by doctor.
2.Injections: In severe cases, Corticosteroid injections can directly be injected into the knee joint to provide temporary relief.
3. Physical Therapy: A customized exercise program consisting of patients’ condition specific exercises can be designed by physical therapist to improve knee strength, flexibility and overall function. Range of motion, strength training, and low-impact exercises can be included.
4. Weight Management: Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce excess stress on the knee joints due to which relief from inflammation can be achieved. It can significantly improve symptoms and slow down the progression of this condition.
5. Assistance Devices: Canes, walkers or braces can be used to support the knee joint and reduce symptoms on daily basis.
6. Hot and Cold Therapy: Applying Heat and cold therapy can reduce the symptoms. Application of heat can help muscles to relax and improve blood circulation. Cold application can reduce inflammation.
7. Low-Impact Exercise: Low-impact physical activities like swimming, water aerobics, cycling, walking, yoga, stretching etc. can help manage weight, enhance joint mobility, reduce stress on the knee joint and strengthen muscles around it. A personalized program tailored to the patient’s needs can be designed by the doctor or physical therapist.
8. Healthy Diet: Consumption of a balanced diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, proteins and grains can improve the joint health. Nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids in fish and nuts have properties that can reduce inflammation.
9. Preventive Actions: Activities that put excessive stress on the joints should be avoided and further preventive actions should be taken like keeping proper postures during all activities, wearing supportive shoes and taking adequate breaks during prolonged walking or standing.
10. Alternative Therapies: Therapies of acupuncture, tai chi and yoga are also proven beneficial in improving joint mobility and reducing pain.
11. Stress Management: The pain and other symptoms can take a toll on emotional well-being of the patient. During these times, techniques for stress management like meditation, yoga and counseling can improve the quality of life.
12.Surgery: If medicines and life style modifications also don’t provide much relief, then doctor can advice surgical intervention like Arthroscopic surgery, Osteotomy or Total Knee replacement.
If you are someone suffering from Knee Osteoarthritis and looking for a personalized treatment plan, visit Dr. Kunal Patel practicing at Punit Hospital which is the leading orthopedic hospital in mumbai.