Different Stages Of Getting Knee Pain
Did you know that arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the world?
Did you know that your knees are the first joints which are affected by arthritis?
Well, it’s called osteoarthritis and it is the most common form of arthritis. You will have osteoarthritis when your cartilages start degenerating due to wear and tear. And since your knees bear the maximum load of your body (and are also often overworked), knee osteoarthritis is nearly a household issue.
To draw a clearer picture of how common knee osteoarthritis is, think of all the elderly people you know who have a knee issue – almost all of them are victims of knee osteoarthritis!
At an advanced age, your knee joints start to wear off. An injured knee is affected before their non-injured counterparts. Women post 55 years of age are three times more likely than men of the same age group to develop knee osteoarthritis. Knee osteoarthritis is a progressive disease. This means that the condition degrades over time. The symptoms – the pain, the swelling, the stiffness – grows over time. The treatments also vary depending on which stage of the disease you are in.
Let’s take a look at the stages of osteoarthritis and the corresponding symptoms and treatment.
Stage 1: Minor
At the initial stage, you might have a minor damage in your knee due to wear & tear or an external injury. Chances are, you will not feel any pain or discomfort but very mild stiffness. If you do not have a history of arthritis, the doctor will probably give you vitamin and mineral supplements and suggest some lifestyle changes and healthy exercises.
Stage 2: Mild
At the second stage of osteoarthritis, the symptoms start showing up. The cartilage starts thinning. Doctors can see a growth in the bones in an X-ray.
Knee pain or, at least, mild discomfort can be felt after walking. You might even see some swelling in the knee. Obese people should immediately start controlling their weight. Other may find relief in taking OTC painkillers. However, consult a Knee Pain Specialist and use knee braces while doing any physical activity.
Stage 3: Moderate
knee osteoarthritis reaches the third stage of osteoarthritis, the space between the knee bones starts to decrease. By now, the damage in the cartilage is heavy. At this stage, you will experience high knee pain and stiffness. Now, your knee will pain not only after physical activity but also after a long rest (or immobility). While your doctor may give you medicines to manage the pain, they are not to be used for a prolonged time. Physiotherapy and dietary changes can be tried to manage the symptoms. You may use assistive devices for ease of walking.
Stage 4: Severe
At stage 4, your cartilages are barely there. The space between your knees are highly reduced; sometimes even to the extent that the knee bones are touching each other. In the most severe stages of knee osteoarthritis, you are almost always unable to walk. Your knee may even look deformed. Extra fluid stored in the knees will make them swell. You will experience constant pain and severe stiffness. Treatment for this stage of osteoarthritis is a replacement surgery – a Knee Replacement Surgery