Arthritis in your knee can make it difficult to walk and keep up with work and other daily activities. The pain from arthritis can often be difficult to endure, especially since you have to bear your weight on your knee when you walk. There are several treatments for arthritis. Your doctor will probably try different approaches before resorting to joint surgery. Here are some treatments and lifestyle changes that might help your arthritis:
Stretching And Swimming
Gentle exercise helps your knee joint stay limber. Your doctor will probably have you avoid high-impact exercises that stress your knee. Instead, you can do stretches that take your knee through its natural range of motion. Swimming is an exercise that helps you work your knee without straining it. Your knee is supported by the water as you move it around so there is less pain and no weight bearing involved. You may even benefit from doing various exercises in the water to strengthen muscles that support your knee without putting stress on the joint.
Being overweight puts stress on your knee. Your doctor may advise you to lose excess weight and maintain your ideal weight once the weight is off. Eating an anti-inflammatory diet which eliminates junk food might help with weight loss and decrease inflammation in your knee joint at the same time. If you have trouble losing weight, you might want to talk to your doctor about using a cane or other mobility device that supports some of your weight when you walk.
There are various medications to try for arthritis. Your doctor may give you anti-inflammatory drugs or pain relievers. He or she may advise you on what to buy over the counter rather than recommend prescription drugs depending on your level of pain. You might also receive corticosteroid injections in your knee joint for pain relief. Another possibility is an injection of hyaluronic acid into your knee for the purpose of replacing lost joint fluid. Other arthritis medications can be spread on the skin over your knee to help with pain so you can stay active and keep your knee from getting stiff and painful.
If the arthritis treatments you try don't work very well and you still struggle with pain and limited mobility, then your doctor may recommend knee surgery. The surgery can repair part of your damaged joint, or you may have a total knee replacement. Although fully recovering from a knee replacement can take several months, once you've healed, you may be able to resume all your normal activities without pain.
Finding an arthritis treatment that works is important so you can stay active and mobile rather than becoming sedentary due to pain. Contact a medical center like Sarasota Arthritis Center for more information and assistance.