Wednesday, 1 July 2015

The Knee Pain and Osteoarthritis

The pain in the knee has become so common that now almost everyone has become a victim of it. About 50 percent of the people suffering from orthopaedic problems suffer from osteoarthritis.
Anatomy of Knee with french-translated references
Wikimedia Commons by Trassiorf 
The problem of osteoarthritis is very common in India.

The person afflicted with osteoarthritis writhe in pain and become unable to walk.
But the recent researches in the methods of treatment have given the chance to the people to get rid of the problem and lead a normal life especially in old age.

Due to ageing and obesity the knee joints get severely damaged. The problem generally begins after the age of 50 years, but now the younger people around 30 are also reporting the occurrence of disease.  The progressive disease is generally of genetic origin.

The soft cartilages of the knees provide soft cushion to the bones in the joints. But they get worn out with age and may ultimately end up.  Due to this reason the bones start rubbing against each other and the problem of stiffness and pain appears. It is a general misconception that the knee replacement is the only remedy in old age. But it is not so.

Reasons of Osteoarthritis
The chiefest reason of osteoarthritis is the weight gain with increasing age. This situation increases the load on knees and the knee cartilages get worn out despite being already weak in old age. The pressure on the edges of the bones increases the pain and the patient becomes unable to walk.
The problem is more common n women than in men. It is due to the reason the the production of estrogen gets reduces after menopause which causes obesity on one hand and osteoarthritis and cartilage loss on the other.
The repeated stress on the knees and the absence of exercises also cause osteoarthritis.

The first symptom of osteoarthritis is the pain in knees. The pain is bearable in the beginning, but with the progression of disease the pain becomes intense and unbearable. The leg muscles first become stiff and then become weak with the passage of time. The swelling appears in the knees and pain occurs in walking or sitting.
The knee joint bends in one direction due to the stiffness and weakness of the muscles of the legs. The legs become bent and lose the normal alignment. Then the joints start wearing out at a faster pace and the gait of the patient becomes awkward and painful.

The regular exercise of the knees called non weightbearing quadrisep drill increases the blood circulation to the cartilage, and strengthens the muscles of the legs.It improves the gait and reduces the pressure on the joints.

Safety Measures
1. The patients should take great care of diet and eating habits.
2. It would be better to stop taking tea, coffee and cold drinks as the caffeine present in these products aggravate the problem of osteoarthritis.
3. Without weight loss the surgery of the knee and complete treatment of osteoarthritis is not possible.
4. It is better to hold the railings while ascending or descending the stairs.
5. The shoes are provided with soft pads on one side to save the worn out joints.    
6. The intake of antioxidant in foods is advisable to delay the changes associated with old age. It comes with fresh fruits, vegetables and a balanced vegetarian diet.

7. The regular exercise, sufficient sleep, avoiding stress and taking breath in open and fresh air alleviate the onslaught of osteoarthritis.