What is Knee Arthritis and How Do You Treat It?

If you think you’re the only one who suffers from arthritis and knee pain, know the reality is you’re not alone. In fact, knee arthritis is quite common.

So common, in fact, that it reaches epidemic proportions in America!

In 2010, there were over 700,000 knee replacements surgeries performed in the U.S. alone.¹

The number of knee replacement surgeries is expected to exceed 3.5 million by 2030.²

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recently reported that over 52 million adults in the U.S. have arthritis, with 2% of those having activity limitations. It expects this number to reach 67 million by 2030. People are experiencing higher rates of arthritis at younger ages than ever before.³

According to the CDC, arthritis and other rheumatic conditions are the most common cause of disability among U.S. adults and have been for the past 15 years.⁴

People experience higher rates of arthritis at younger ages than ever before because of factors like:

Age
Repetitive stress
Heredity
Athletics
Gender
Weight
Illness
Lifestyle

You’ve probably already heard the term “arthritis” many times. You know it has something to do with pain and stiffness in your joints.

What does the term really mean, and what knee arthritis treatment options are available?

What is Knee Arthritis?

Simply put, arthritis describes more than 100 different conditions that affect your musculoskeletal system. People of all ages get arthritis. Two-thirds are under 65, with 300,000 of those being children.

It is a serious health problem that continues to grow in our nation each year. In fact, it limits activity more often than heart disease, cancer, or diabetes (according to the Arthritis Foundation). 1 in 3 US adults with arthritis have anxiety or depression (CDC).

You can get rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis in your knees.

Here’s how those conditions differ:

  • With osteoarthritis, the cartilage that caps your bones wears away. Normal wear-and-tear over time, and also traumatic injuries cause this condition. It’s the most common type of arthritis.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis actually describes when your body’s immune system mistakenly attacks your own joints. You experience pain and swelling. Your bones and joints slowly erode and deform. You can get this type of arthritis at any age, but it usually comes after 40.

X-Ray of a normal knee joint and one with osteoarthritis

X-Ray of osteoarthritis in the knee joint

How Does Knee Arthritis Treatment Work?

Currently, you cannot cure this condition permanently like you would a broken bone.

But we have good news for you: you can reduce knee pain and live a happy, comfortable life on your own terms.

Traditional knee arthritis treatment often involves a combination of these:

Weight loss
Steroid injections for intense pain
Regular knee exercises
Knee braces
Use of pain relievers
Physical therapy

 

Sources
  1. http://cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/inpatient-surgery.htm
  2. http://advisory.com/Daily-Briefing/2012/09/28/JAMA-Demand-for-knee-replacements-could-reach-3-5M-per-year-by-2030
  3. http://cdc.gov/arthritis/data_statistics.htm
  4. http://cdc.gov/arthritis/data_statistics/national_nhis.htm#disability