If you have osteoarthritis of the knee, the cartilage over your knee joint bones gets scraped and worn down. This leaves the bones in your knees with little or no cushioning and as the cartilage becomes very thin it can result in friction, damage, pain and inflammation. Even small bone fragments that float into the joint cavity can cause more aggravation. Osteoarthritis of the knee usually develops slowly over the years.
Osteoarthritis affects approximately 12% of the United States population (approximately 21 million adults; it is the most common type of knee arthritis. It is a progressive musculoskeletal, degenerative disease that wears away the articular cartilage and underlying bone in your knee joint, triggering chemical reactions within the knee joint that cause destruction. It can be very painful, weakening and eventually deforming.
A study published by the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center reviewed radiographic evidence and estimated that osteoarthritis of the knee affects 25% - 30% of people between 45 - 64 years of age, 60% of people older than 65 years of age, and 80% of people older than 75 years of age.
The symptoms of knee osteoarthris can differ widely from person to person. Ranging from very debilitating and occuring suddenly to mild developing gradually over time. You may experiencing few symptoms even with obviouly degeneration in their knee joint as shown on an X-ray. It is not unusual for someone with knee osteoarthritis to go pain-free for months or even years between episodes of greater pain symptoms.
Knee osteoarthritis symptoms don't generally affect other areas of your body. They are generally localized to one area; however they can affect people in different ways. Some people will only have a problem with 1 knee, others will have it with both knees, some experience gradual pain with little change over the years, others experience vast changes over the years. Often the cartilage on the inside of your knee, wears out faster than on the outside of your knee.
When you have early osteoarthritis in your knee you generally will experience the following symptoms:
Constant or Recurring Pain or Tenderness - Pain and tenderness in your knee joint can be ongoing and feel like a dull tooth ache pain, or it can be a sharp, throbbing pain with sudden movements. Often you will feel pain and tenderness along the sides of your knees, over your knee joint line (where tibia and femur meet) and in front of your knee.
Pain is often worse in the morning or evening, or when you move your leg from a bent to straight position (or vice versa), or when you participate in a prolonged walking or standing activity (non-movement). Changes in weather or different seasons of the year can make a difference to the sensitivity you feel in your osteoarthritic knees (however, knee pain can be experienced in all weather environments). As the atmospheric pressure falls, the nerves in your knee are sensitive and react to pressure changes.
Stiffness will often be experienced in your knee joint, which will limit your range of motion so that you are not able to bend or straighten your knee all the way; making it difficult to climb stairs, or get in and out of chairs or bathtubs. This can result from periods of inactivity (morning stiffness, sitting or standing for long periods of time), or after vigorous movement in athletic or work pursuits. It generally lasts up to 30 minutes however it can persist for longer periods of time. It will often be difficult to use or move your knee joint normally during this time.
Osteoarthritis makes your knee feel very stiff. As a result, your joint cavity produces extra fluid in the joint which is comprised of destructive proteins and enzymes that cause the cartilage and bones to deteriorate further. This causes your knee to swell up (known as "water on the knee"). The surrounding knee bones react by growing thicker. The bone at the edge of your knee joint eventually grows outward and develops into bony spurs (osteophytes), which affects your femur, tibia and patella.
Your knee joint tries to repair itself by creating these bony spurs however they generally just make your knee more painful and difficult to move; leaving thin parts on some areas of the knee and thick parts on other areas. Your joint capsule and ligaments then slowly thicken and shrink, and your leg muscles weaken (atrophy), which in turn creates instability in your knee joint (it gives way when you walk or put weight on it).
Swelling in your knee joint can occur either immediately if your blood vessels are disrupted because of a traumatic event, or within 12 hours after your joint tissues become inflamed. Swelling over time is a result of synovial fluid filling the joint cavity, as your body tries to protect itself (this is often called "water on the knee"). Warmth and redness that sometimes accompany swelling are normally not associated with osteoarthritis.
As your knee osteoarthritis progresses, you may start to develop the following knee symptoms:
Deformity and joint enlargement will eventually result as your cartilage degenerates and bones become damaged. Bone spurs, cysts or overgrowths can develop as a result of ongoing knee symptoms due to your osteoarthritis. These are often tender when your skin is rubbed over them; and can result in irritation of other tissues and swelling. They can make it difficult to move your bones and can change the shape of your joint which force the bones out of their normal position and lead to deformity - knock-kneed/bowed-legged appearance.
Grinding, Popping or Locking - Knee joint grinding, clicking, popping or locking when you try to bend or straighten your knee can result from arthritis, as well as other knee injuries. This can range from being annoying to downright painful and can last a few seconds or be persistent for a few weeks. Joint locking often occurs after long periods of inactivity, when the meniscus fragment does not work its way out of being lodged between your bones. You will often feel a click or snap when it eventually unlocks. Sometimes you may have to manually move or manipulate your knee to get relief. You may experience your knees giving way because your thigh muscles have weakened, you've damaged ligaments or you have a Popliteal or Baker's Cyst (soft lump at the back of your knees leading into your calf).
Difficulties Performing Activities - Functional limitation as a result of osteoarthritis is very common in daily activities, work and/or recreational pursuits. This makes it very difficult to stoop, bend, kneel, stand more than 2 hours, walk 1 mile, push a heavy object, climb a flight of stairs, lift or carry 10 pounds, sit more than 2 hours, reach above your head and/or grasp small objects (as noted in the figure below).
Depression and anxiety will often be experienced as the osteoarthritis symptoms progress and you start to feel like a hostage in your own body. These often leave you feeling fatigued, irritable, restless, hopeless, and guilty. Your pain and inability to participate in everyday activities may make it more difficult for you to concentrate and make decisions, and your interest in the people and things around may start to decrease. Overall your self-esteem and self-image really decline. However, it is possible to treat your osteoarthritis symptoms, you can start to feel more like your old self and begin to return to the activities you enjoy.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for osteoarthritis but symptoms can be controlled and, for most, you can find relief from the pain.
Arthritis is your knee's biggest enemy, and it can result over time from injury or disease. Osteoarthritis in the knee is the most common type, and there are a number of causes that influence your risk of developing it. These can be broken down into 2 types: primary osteoarthritis and secondary osteoarthritis.
Primary Osteoarthritis of the Knee
This is a slow, progressive arthritis condition that usually begins after 40 years of age. It mainly affects weight-bearing joints (like knees and hips) as a result of excessive loads placed on normal joint tissues, or reasonable loads applied on inferior joint tissues. The exact cause is not determined however it is believed to be affected by:
Secondary Osteoarthritis of the Knee - This type of arthritis often appears before 40 years of age. It is the result of a clearly defined cause, such as:
Progression of Osteoarthritis can be classified into 5 stages of severity:
As mentioned previously, the most common form of arthritis in the knee is osteoarthritis; however you can be diagnosed with more than 1 form of arthritis at a time. Medical professionals (such as an orthopedic surgeon or physician) will be able to assess and test whether you have knee arthritis, and then will determine what type you have through a variety of processes.
To help your doctor achieve a proper diagnosis, he/she will begin with a medical history about you, your current condition and symptoms. They will inquire about the intensity of your present pain, the duration of your symptoms and the limitations you are experiencing. Details about what instigated the problem, when it started, and whether or not you have ever had treatments for this or a similar condition in the past, are very helpful in assessing your injury.
A physical examination will be performed to determine if you have any signs of knee arthritis or other knee injuries. Your doctor will visually assess and palpate (feel) the bones and soft tissue in and around both of your knees to evaluate symmetry and recognize differences. This will identify any abnormalities, such as mild or severe inflammation, fluid, bone deformity, and weakened muscles. He/she will press on the injured side of your knee joint to test for point tenderness and help determine the main location of your injury. He/she may ask you to complete a series of knee and leg movements such as moving your knee from a bent to straight position (or vice versa), or rotating your knee to see what motions cause pain, weakness, instability and/or grinding, catching, popping or locking. These sounds or restrictions will often indicate a soft tissue tear and/or arthritis in your knee.
A medical professional will sometimes recommend diagnostic testing to obtain more detailed information, and assess the amount and/or type of damage done to your knee. There are a variety of different tests available to help them analyze the situation; however these will be dependent on the degree of your injury.
X-rays will provide a two-dimensional image of the overall structure of your knee. It is helpful in identifying loss of joint space, arthritis, abnormal bone shapes such as bone spurs or bone cysts, fractures, and degeneration (wear and tear) on the joint. X-rays can be helpful to exclude any other possible causes of your knee pain and assist the doctor in determining if surgery should be considered for your specific situation.
The image above is an anonymous example of an MRI of the knee. As you can see, the MRI scan is very valuable as it is really the only way to get a great visual of deep soft tissue without the need for surgery.
MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging) will provide more detailed information and will help to evaluate the soft tissues in and around your knee joint (muscles, tendons, ligaments, menisci, other connective tissues).
It can identify ligament and meniscal damage, and help to determine the extent of your injury, the displacement and degree of your tear, fluid on your knee, a discoid meniscus and/or other associated conditions.
Joint aspiration (arthrocentesis) involves withdrawing and analyzing fluid from your knee via needle and syringe. This will help to determine if there is inflammation and the cause of your joint swelling, for instance gout or some kind of infection. Arthrocentesis can be performed in your doctor's office.
Blood tests cannot diagnose osteoarthritis, but may be ordered to rule our other causes of knee pain, like rheumtoid arthritis.
Arthroscopy is used to visualize and repair damage to the knee. A small incision is made in the knee and an arthroscope with a camera is inserted to look inside the the knee joint and assess any damage.
Further diagnostic tests such as CT or CAT scans (computerized tomography) or diagnostic ultrasound can be used to determine the degree and location of your injury if required.
Resting the area of injury, for our natural process to heal the tissue needs time. Not resting an injury can bring about the issue of an injury not going away (chronic). To repair damaged tissue, the bodies quickest way to heal is to create scar tissue and adhesions - this is good in the short term, but in the long term will be problematic.
The growth of scar tissue and adhesions can lie in any direction. Ultimately what causes stiffening in the tendon and muscle, entrapping a nerve, restricting movement, less elasticity, poor circulation, and flexibility.
Unfortunately, scar tissue may plague you for weeks, months and maybe even years, depending on your level of activity and the amount of conservative treatments you have done during your rehabilitation. Scar tissue is a major problem, especially when it comes to re-injury of your tendon or muscles. When dealing with scar tissue it is always important to:
When a tear first occurs or when it is irritated by overuse or re-injury, you experience swelling and inflammation in your knee. Using ice packs to treat your knee reduces pain, swelling, and tissue damage.
Icing works by slowing nerve and tissue function in the knee. This is important because once blood vessels are damaged, they can no longer carry oxygenated blood to the meniscus and tissues begin to break-down.
Once inflammation and swelling have been reduced in your knee, nourishing and strengthening the tissue in your joint is the goal. Circulation Boost (Circulatory Boost) promotes blood flow to the treatment area bringing the necessary oxygen and nutrients to the knee treatment area.
Remember, when you rest your knee, you are not creating the natural blood flow your knee usually receives when your knee is active. With the use of Circulation Boost you can help augment this loss of circulation and help maintain good knee health while inactive. Our Knee TShellz Wrap® provides effective, non-invasive, non-addictive pain relief with no side effects.
When dealing with degerative conditions, keeping your knee as healthy, flexible and strong as possible is the goal - basically fighting the effects of knee inactivity. The Knee TShellz Wrap®, available exclusively from MendMeShop®, provides effective, non-invasive, non-addictive pain relief with no side effects.
A TShellz Wrap® treatment before activity is an easy way to warm up the knee tissues and prepare them for use. This in turn, will reduce your risk of knee strain or further soft tissue injury due to "overdoing it". End your day with another treatment to prevent tightness from setting in overnight.
Conservative treatment tools just like these have been used successfully by thousands of knee injury sufferers - just like you.
We believe the use of TShellz® Circulatory Boost Wraps for boosting blood flow to soft tissue in the area of application is one of the most under-utilized home treatment options available on the market today. We have client after client that have tried many options out there and have been amazed at how effective and fast the TShellz Wrap treatment helped relieve their pain while increasing blood flow in the knee.
With regular use of the Knee TShellz® Circulatory Boost Wrap:
*Know that every personal soft tissue injury is unique and the TShellz Wrap may not work for everyone. This is why we offer a 60-day money back return on all our TShellz Wrap devices.
This, in turn, improves immune system function which increases the body's ability to eliminate toxins and other waste by-products resulting from damaged tissue within the knee. This allows the knee to more easily stimulate the self healing process.
Many knee injuries are the result of trauma to a tendon or muscle, usually causing the tissue to tear. As a result of the tear, your body triggers a natural healing process resulting in pain, inflammation, and the creation of scar tissue, then eventually reinforcing that band-aid solution with flexible tissue (proliferation). Increased blood flow will make this process more quick and efficient in the majority of cases.
This is a very important point. Many people with knee conditions often re-injure their knee due to the fact the damaged muscle or soft tissue is tight and the range of motion of the knee is restricted. Even the most minor of activities can cause a recovering knee to strain, sprain, or even tear. Every time this happens, your recovery is delayed. This is why using the TShellz Wrap® not only now, but also into the future, is wise. Heat energy emitted from the TShellz Wrap® is absorbed by tissue, gently warming it, and thereby increasing the elasticity...all without risk of causing further harm and greatly reducing your chances of re-injury.
Osteoarthritis in the knee occurs when the articular cartilage begins to degenerate. Over time, the femur (upper leg bone) rubs against the tibia (lower leg bone) with little or no protection from the articular cartilage. This lead to pain in the knee joint. The space within the joint starts to decrease without the cushioning and stiffness in the knee becomes a problem. The TShellz Wrap® excels at emitting a soothing heat, allowing for less stiffness and better range-of-motion. It obviously won't fix arthritis, but it will alleviate the symptoms and perhaps reduce your risk of secondary strain injuries by improving tissue flexibility in the area.
Use the TShellz Wrap® before activity to reduce risk of further injury, before bed to prevent tightness from setting in during the night, and again in the morning to make your tired body come alive.
Believe me when I say this; words alone cannot accurately describe what the TShellz Wrap® can do for you. It truly is something you need to experience first-hand.
This is up to your discretion; however any continued discomfort in your knee should be investigated. If you experience any of the symptoms for more than 2 weeks, or you find the symptoms interfere with daily living (can't complete normal task) and you've tried the initial conservative treatments. It is recommended that you seek professional medical attention when you experience:
Taking measures to protect your knees and maintain healthy joints is something everyone can do to prevent knee pain. Should knee injury or disease become a part of your life, understanding your condition is the first step in determining the appropriate treatment.
Get an accurate diagnosis from your physician and discuss your options. Proper treatment will allow you to resume your activities faster and safer.
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Knee Osteoarthritis: Quick Links
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Learn more about Knee Surgery and Post-Surgery Recovery
Learn more about how the TShellz Wrap® stimulates blood flow.
Learn more about Ice vs Heat Treatments for Knee Strain
During your recovery, you will probably have to modify and/or eliminate any activities that cause pain or discomfort at the location of your soft tissue injury until the pain and inflammation settle. The more diligent you are with your treatment and rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results!
Please be aware that this information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider before using any of our outstanding products to make sure they are right for you and your condition or if you have any questions regarding a medical condition. Always see your doctor for a proper diagnosis as there are often many injuries and conditions (some very serious) that could be the cause of your pain.
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