Hey El Paso! I’m Dr. David Middaugh, physical therapist from El Paso Manual Physical Therapy.
I want to talk to you about knee osteoarthritis today.
I’ve got my skeleton here, this is a knee joint. There’s the knee cap, thigh bone, shin bone’s down here.
One of the most common problems that we see regarding knee trouble is osteoarthritis or, for short, knee arthritis.
I want to share with you guys today the top five signs to look for to see if you’ve got knee arthritis.
Sign #1 – Knee stiffness especially in the morning.
Many of our clients that come in with knee arthritis, they tell us that those first few steps, those first 15, 20, 30 minutes when they get up in the morning their knee just doesn’t want to bend normal, it just feels really stiff and achy, sometimes painful.
Then after a while it kind of warms up and they can move okay.
That is a sign that you’ve got some mild to moderate knee arthritis and if it’s severe it just stays stiff for hours, sometimes a whole day, but knee stiffness, especially in the morning.
Another way this looks is if you’ve been sitting, say, in the car, a long drive or sitting in a restaurant for a long time and then you go to stand up, the first minute or two you might experience a lot of stiffness that needs to warm up or loosen up before the knee begins to act normally again. That’s part of the same thing.
Many people that have that kind of stiffness after they’ve been sitting for awhile will have stiffness in the morning that’s a little more intense because they’ve been sleeping for a long time and haven’t been moving the knee as much.
Sign #2 – Swelling in the knee, especially after you’ve been up on your feet standing or walking for a long time.
We commonly hear from patients with knee arthritis when they’ve gone on a vacation, a trip, and they walk around, did a little sightseeing or they did some yard work at home or house chores and they were on their feet for several hours, the knee just starts to swell up and doesn’t move as good and just gets hot.
That’s a common sign that there’s some moderate arthritis in that knee joint and it’s just flaring up the more that they’re on their feet bearing weight through the joint.
What you want to do in that instance is manage the swelling with ice or heat, whichever is more appropriate for you. It is a good idea to start talking to a professional about what to do because this problem doesn’t go away on its own.
Giving it time is not always the best solution, it might just flare down but then as soon as you get back on your feet and go back to those chores or take the next trip you run into this swelling again, so watch out for that swelling sign.
Sign #3 – Taking pain medications on a regular basis (weekly or daily)
If you find that you’re taking pain medications, whether it’s over-the-counter or prescription.
If you’re taking pain medications on a regular basis for your knee problem.
Especially when you find that you’re the type of person that says, “Hey, I’m going to be on my feet all day today, we’re going to go walk the mall. I’d better take ibuprofen or some medication before we go,” that is not a good sign.
Pain medication just masks the pain but it’s not actually fixing the problem on the inside of the knee.
Arthritis can get better with treatment over time so it is possible to improve arthritis but medication does not do that.
There’s natural treatments out there that help to improve stiffness, and strength, and mobility in the knee joint to preserve your natural knee throughout the rest of your life.
Pain medication simply masks the pain, doesn’t actually treat the real problem.
Sign #4 – Trouble bending that knee all the way.
If you find that your painful knee doesn’t bend as much as the non-painful knee, that will not bend all the way in, that is a clear sign that you’ve got some moderate to severe arthritis.
You need to go talk to a professional as soon as possible, get some help on finding out what is stopping that. The more time you spend without that full range of motion the faster the arthritis is going to progress and the worse it will be that much sooner.
It is vital that you make sure you have your full, normal range of motion, your full motion in your knee so that you can maintain optimal knee health throughout the rest of your life.
Sign #5 – Pain at night, especially when you’re just getting to bed.
Sometimes it can happen in the middle of the night but people that are first seeing us for their knee problem, they frequently tell us on their first visit, “You know what, I just have so much trouble getting to bed at night.
I go lie in bed and then I can’t get comfortable because my knee is burning and aching. Whether on my side or on my back or on my stomach it is just uncomfortable.”
That is a clear sign that this arthritis is starting to get out of control and it’s going to only get worse over time.
We need to make sure you learn what to do so that that knee is not giving you trouble going to sleep at night.
Guys, that rounds out the top five signs that you might have knee osteoarthritis.
If you found this was helpful, please share with somebody else that you know has been complaining of knee problems or that you know that might have knee arthritis.
It is possible to treat knee arthritis without surgery and without relying on pain medications.
There are natural solutions that we specialize in doing.
Here at El Paso Manual Physical Therapy, we specialize in avoiding pain medications, avoiding surgery, to get a natural relief and long lasting fix, not a quick fix, to knee arthritis.
We’d love to specifically help you out with your knee problem. If you’re open to doing that, give us a call at 915-503-1314 and we’d love to chat with you about your knee problem to see if we can help you out or just offer you some information, there’s no commitment necessary.
You’re also welcome to go over to our website and download any of the free content on there.
There’s free knee pain help that you can access right now.
Have a wonderful day, El Paso.