The Development of Symptoms
Early signs that the second stage of knee arthritis has commenced is when the knee joint starts to ache, becomes swollen, reddens and heats up. At first the ache will not be severe, however, after more than general use of the knee, e.g., when walking for long distances; sitting for a long period of time; tripping but not falling down; or walking on a non-smooth surface, such as in the garden or in the golf course, the patient will develop this ‘ache’. Additionally, some swelling will also start to develop along the knee joint line. When the skin in this area is touched or caressed, the patient will often feel a sensation of heat and feel like the area itself is ‘warming up’. When compared to the other knee, the effected knee will be redder in colour.
Elderly ladies who enjoy walking when doing various activities often complain of an annoying ache that will intermittently occur, making an everyday activity, such as a trip to the shop, an unpleasant experience. This is also true of elderly people who like to visit foreign countries on holiday. As they explore new and exciting settings, they will often find that they need to walk further distances than usual; unfortunately this can lead to problems when they arrive back home. For example; going to visit the Great Wall in Beijing is a very popular activity when visiting China, especially for the elderly. It can be a really captivating experience and something that is often cherished for life. Friends will often walk up together in a group, going as far as possible, whilst holding hands. When walking up the great wall, each step is very big with the fort distances in the wall far apart. In fact, it can be so steep that you almost need to climb to make progress. This can have an unfavourable effect on the knee.
Subsequently, usually a few days after returning from the excursion, it can be a common occurrence for the knee to become swollen and start to ache. Moreover it can also become difficult to put weight on the knee when taking a walk. Unfortunately, in some circumstances, a wheelchair will be required. A visit to the orthopedic doctor to investigate the symptoms can sometimes result in a diagnosis of Knee Arthritis, which can be both regrettable and very daunting news to hear.
Another common mistake made by individuals who are suffering, is regarding the inflammation of the knee cap. On discovery of this symptom, the patient will usually tend to it by applying a hot compress of giving a massage. Regrettably, this can have an adverse effect and actually make the knee become more inflamed. Furthermore, when there is inflammation present, the area around the knee has already become more heated, therefore a massage, or using the hot compress, will increase the pain, often to the extent that the patient is unable to walk. The correct treatment here is to use the cold compress. Nevertheless, there are some exceptions. For example, in cases where the heat has accumulated in the knee joint, such as when an athlete has just finished a run, and the muscle is so tense and tight that it is depleted in oxygen, it is advisable to use the hot compress to relieve the pain. The aim of the treatment at this stage is to quickly reduce the inflammation. Patients are advised to take a rest and not to go on long walks. If the patient feels in so much pain that they feel a visit to the doctor is required, then then they will often be prescribed pain killer medicine including preliminary advice on knee arthritis.
Another type of knee disease that patients often mistake for knee arthritis is gout in the knee joint. The symptoms are quite similar, however, in gout the pain is more sudden and severe and often the knee will become a lot more swollen. Another significant difference is that in gout the skin tends to heat up a lot more. The pain can be excruciating for a patient and usually they are unable to walk and can have great difficulty sleeping. Gout is caused by the accumulation of uric acid in the joints, and the knee joint is no exception. Even when there is small stimulation (such as when wearing new shoes), as this can affect the knee when walking it can also lead to severe pain of the knee joint. It is thought that consuming too much high protein (poultry, animal visceral, all kinds of legumes… nut and pea, vegetable sprouts, alcoholic drinks) is a major factor in the build-up of high uric acid in the body. For those that have an abnormal digestion, the protein will be changed to uric acid.
Part 1 : Identifying the Early Stages of Knee Arthritis
Part 2 : The Development of Symptoms
Part 3 : The Effect on Living Standards
Part 4 : Pain Increases When Bending the Knee
Part 5 : When an Operation is Required
Part 6 : When a Patient is Unable to Walk