What is Knee Osteoarthritis?

One of the most common causes of knee pain is osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a condition in which cartilage (the natural cushioning between the joints) wears away, causing the bones of the joints to rub against one another. As the protective cartilage is worn away, bone is exposed, the knee becomes swollen, and activities become increasingly painful. With less of the shock-absorbing benefits of cartilage, the rubbing results in pain, swelling, stiffness, and sometimes, the formation of bone spurs.

Symptoms
For many patients, osteoarthritis pain may intensify over time. Typical signs and symptoms include stiffness (most notably in the morning or after prolonged inactivity), soreness, and pain that worsens during or after activity. The pain may be experienced as dull or sharp.

Chiropractors in Valrico, FL, find that a patient with osteoarthritis may also experience loss of motion in the affected joint, swelling, or a sensation of grinding when moving the joint. Sometimes, bone spurs (points of the bone that grow outward as a result of the joint friction) can even be felt under the skin.

Causes
While everyone will eventually develop some degree of osteoarthritis, several risk factors can increase the risk of developing it significantly. Someone is more likely to develop osteoarthritis in the knee if they are over 45, overweight, has had a knee injury, or has a family history of the condition.

Treatment
Treatment programs for osteoarthritis of the knee typically include a combination of medication and exercise therapy. Non-surgical treatments are typically sufficient for the management of symptoms and the preservation of daily functioning. However, when medication and physical therapy from a chiropractor in Valrico, FL, do not provide the patient with enough relief, a total replacement of the knee joint may become an option.

How a Chiropractor Can Help
If you have knee pain due to osteoarthritis, chiropractic treatments are among the safest therapies you can use. During your visit, a chiropractor in Valrico, FL, will take a medical history and perform a physical exam to determine what approaches are right for you. Options may include a knee adjustment or chiropractic laser therapy. Meanwhile, physical therapy provides targeted exercises that help maintain the ability to perform everyday tasks.