Common Causes of Knee Pain – Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Knees

Common Causes of Knee Pain – Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Knees

There are all kinds of things that can cause knee pain, from simple sprains and strains that will heal up in a matter of a few weeks, to painful, chronic conditions. One chronic condition that is extremely painful is rheumatoid arthritis, which causes inflammation and pain in the knee joints. As a rule, arthritis affects both knees, so sufferers can’t even say that they have a “good knee”.

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is actually an autoimmune disease, and it causes the joints in the body to be pretty much constantly inflamed. In addition, the tissues around the joints, and even some organs, can be affected by this disease. Rheumatoid arthritis can be found in patients of any age, and can have varying degrees of severity. Over time, patients with arthritis will find that their joints may deteriorate, and they will have less and less range of movement. In many cases, patients with chronic arthritis can go many years before their symptoms begin to cause real suffering, but, in most cases, the disease will flare up at some point in time.

Currently there is much research being done to discover what actually causes rheumatoid arthritis. There are a number of possible suspects, but nothing has been proven thus far. It is possible that infections and illnesses that lower the immune system may play a part in the development of rheumatoid arthritis, but again, this is just one possibility.

How to Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Knee

There are many non-surgical treatments that have been proven to be quite effective for a number of patients with rheumatoid arthritis in the knees. Often, it is recommended that patients take anti-inflammatory medications, which may be prescription-strength or over-the-counter. Lifestyle changes can also play a large role in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in the knees. Because the knees carry a lot of weight, being overweight can aggravate any condition of the knee, including rheumatoid arthritis, so it is a good idea to lose some of the extra weight. A healthy diet and exercise plan can go a long way in treating this type of condition. Often, physicians will recommend that patients with rheumatoid arthritis in the knees visit a physiotherapist, where they will be taught specific exercises that are meant to help keep the knees functioning properly. A lot of patients also use heat therapy, as well as compression with a knee brace, for stability and pain relief.

There may come a time when arthritis cannot be successfully treated non-surgically. At this point, the patient will often need to undergo knee replacement surgery. This is where the damaged part of the knee is removed, and replaced with a prosthesis. This is a very common procedure, but it does require a few months of rehabilitation time.

Although it is an extremely painful condition, arthritis in the knees doesn’t have to mean that all of the patient’s activities must be limited. It is better to remain active and to follow the orders of their physicians. As long as they are giving their knees the proper treatment, they will be able to deal with arthritis much more easily.

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