Wednesday, 22 of November of 2017

Tag » Arthritis Foundation

Do Your Knees Ache? Here’’s What You Need To Know

 

 

shutterstock_137018378If your knee pain makes you limp when you walk or you dread going up and down stairs, you might be one of the millions of people with osteoarthritic knees. In fact, the Arthritis Foundation says the knee is one of the most common spots for osteoarthritis to develop. But you don’t have to let knee pain limit your enjoyment of life. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “many people with OA are not being proactive because of the misconception that arthritis is an inevitable part of aging and that the aches and pains are simply something you must learn to live with.

Here are 4 things you need to know about this chronic condition:

1. What is osteoarthritis? It’s a medical condition that damages the cartilage, bones, fluid and lining of the joint. Cartilage covers the ends of the bones in the knee joint. Without this protective cushion, the bones can rub against each other, causing friction and pain. Over time, fragments of bone or cartilage may break lose and float around. Spurs may develop on the end of the bones and the joint lining may become inflamed. All of this leads to swelling, tenderness, stiffness and pain.

2. What causes it? According to the Arthritis Foundation, osteoarthritis is no longer thought of as simply a “mechanical process” where the joint wears out due to age. Instead, the current view is that osteoarthritis has multiple risk factors, including a predisposition based on family history; being overweight, which can put pressure on the knee joint; traumatic injury or accident; chronic overuse and stress to the joint.

3. Is there a cure? At the present time, there isn’t a cure for osteoarthritis, but there are number of treatment options, both surgical and nonsurgical. Exercise, over the counter medications and topical creams can help early stage disease. Injections and prescription drugs may help more advance conditions. But chronic pain and disability is best relieved through joint replacement surgery.

4. How is it diagnosed? The doctor will conduct a physical exam, which includes inspecting your knee for swelling, warmth or tenderness, and evaluating how far you can extend your leg without discomfort. X-rays can identify a narrowing of spaces in the joint and other evidence of joint disease. It can also rule out other conditions, such as bone fracture. If needed, more advanced imaging techniques, such as CT scan, ultrasound or MRI may be considered.

If OA knee pain is affecting you quality of life, call us today at 239-036-6778 to schedule a consultation. For more general information on osteoarthritis, go to www.kaganortho.com.


Can Diet Make A Difference With Osteoarthritis?

 

 

We’ve all heard about a heart-healthy diet to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. But what about osteoarthritis? Is there an “arthritis diet” that will make a difference in alleviating the pain, stiffness and swelling associated with chronic joint disease?

Healthy Diet

An article in the November issue of Arthritis Today, reports that yes, a balanced, nutritious diet does make a difference when it comes to managing osteoarthritis and may even reduce your risk of developing it. What type of diet is best? One that emphasizes plant-based foods, says Ruth Frenchman, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, who is quoted in the Arthritis Today article. Here are some of her suggestions for a joint-friendly diet:

*Small portions are the key. As you get older you need to eat less to stay the same weight. Maintaining a healthy weight reduces stress on the joints. You can also cut down on extra calories by avoiding sugary foods and limiting carbohydrates.

*Two-thirds of your daily diet should come from fruits, vegetables and whole grains. How much is enough? The recommended daily serving of fresh, frozen or dried fruit for the average adult is one-and-a-half to two cups. But be careful of fruit juice, which is high in sugar. For vegetables, here is the rule of thumb: eat two to three cups of vegetables daily, preferably dark green and orange vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli, greens, sweet potatoes, carrots and squash.

*Choose whole grains and lean, low-fat meat, poultry and fish, or dried beans, peas, nuts and seeds.

*Add low-fat or no-fat calcium-rich dairy products to help maintain strong bones. A total of three cups of cheese, milk or yogurt daily is recommended. Keep in mind that one-and-a-half ounces of cheese equal one cup of milk.

But it’s not only eating healthy that is important; maintaining an appropriate weight for your body type is also essential. Did you know that each pound you gain adds nearly four pounds of extra stress to your knees and increases pressure on the hips six-fold? The extra weight can eventually damage the cartilage that cushions and protects the joints, especially in the hips and knees. 

The Arthritis Foundation also reports that new research is showing a potential link between diabetes, blood sugar and joint damage – yet another reason to eat healthy and manage your weight. High blood sugar levels may trigger inflammation and “cause the formation of certain molecules that make cartilage stiffer and more sensitive to mechanical stress.”

Dr. Kagan and his staff certainly recommend eating a nutritious diet, keeping your weight down and making sure that you exercise regularly. But despite your best intentions, osteoarthritis may affect your quality of life. If chronic joint pain begins to limit your day-to-day activity level, we are here to help. Call us at 239-936-6778 or go to www.kaganortho.com for more information.


Tips for Living With Arthritis

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Anyone with osteoarthritis or who has a loved one with the disease knows that it can get progressively more painful over time as the smooth cartilage covering joints in the shoulders, knees, hips, wrist and fingers is affected.

While surgery to replace the joint may ultimately be the best solution, here are some tips from the American Occupational Therapy Association and Arthritis Foundation to make living with arthritis more manageable day to day:

  • Apply a heat pack or cold pack to the painful joint before and after performing activities.
  • Use a pillow to elevate the painful joint and provide support while you sleep.
  • Install a raised toilet seat and grab bars in the bathroom.  Similarly, sit in a chair with arms to help you stand up.
  • Remove throw rugs to prevent tripping.
  • Don’t lift heavy items. Use a cart with wheels to move laundry, garbage cans, grocery bags and other items.
  • Replace doorknobs and faucets in your house with lever-style handles that are easier to turn.
  • Take frequent breaks and pace yourself when doing activities that put strain the joint.

Here are a few additional lifestyle suggestions from the Arthritis Foundation:

Maintain a healthy weight and control blood sugar: Extra weight puts added stress on weight-bearing joints, such as the knees and hips. In addition, new studies show that high blood sugar levels, which increase the risk for diabetes, may trigger inflammation, which can damage cartilage.

Stay physical: It’s the best non-drug treatment for improving pain and function. Exercise stretches the joints and keeps them more flexible, while also strengthening the muscles surrounding the joint. You don’t have to join a gym; just take a walk.

Play it safe if you play sports: Wear protective gear soccer, hockey, rollerblading, baseball and similar sports that can strain joints. Injured joints are nearly seven times more likely to develop arthritis.

For more information about joint pain or other orthopedic-related conditions, go to www.kaganortho.com. To schedule a consultation call 239-936-6778.



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