Determining Whether You Should Visit an Arthritis Knee Pain Center
The thought of actually visiting an arthritis knee pain center can be a daunting one. But do you know what can be even more daunting? The thought of living with arthritis knee pain for one more day. Arthritis knee pain can be debilitating, affecting your mobility and quality of life. Today, we aim to shed some light on the origins of this pain, its identification, effective pain mitigation, and the vital role specialized pain management centers play in offering you the relief and support you deserve.
Determining whether you should visit a knee pain center or specialist revolves around:
- Understanding the different causes of arthritis knee pain.
- Identifying underlying and chronic symptoms.
- And knowing when to seek help.
Join us today while we explore these three facets, and feel empowered to put yourself first, knowing you’re in good hands. Above all else, know you’re not alone in this. Even the CDC says that “In the United States, 21.2 % of all adults, or 53.2 million people, have arthritis.”
So, What Causes Arthritis Knee Pain?
Arthritis knee pain specifically stems from two primary types: Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Even though they both have “Arthritis” in the name, don’t let that fool you. These two conditions are worlds apart in their root causes. Yet, they can both send you to an arthritis knee pain center all the same. Exploring their causes can help you recognize symptoms early on.
Let’s start with Osteoarthritis. Then we’ll move on to rheumatoid arthritis later.
Osteoarthritis: The Wear-and-Tear Arthritis
Osteoarthritis, commonly referred to as the “Wear-and-Tear Arthritis,” is the most prevalent form of arthritis that can affect your knees. It occurs specifically when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones wears down over time. This unfortunate progression leads to bone-on-bone contact, which is not the way your body was designed to move or bear weight.
This degenerative condition can stem from various factors. Understanding them is important in determining what kind of specialist you should see and when. They include:
- Age-related wear: As you age, the cartilage in your knee (Specifically where the bones of your upper and lower leg meet) naturally degenerates. Naturally, this gradual thinning and weakening makes older adults more susceptible to osteoarthritis.
- Joint injury or trauma: Past knee injuries or surgeries can also predispose individuals to osteoarthritis. Even seemingly minor injuries can increase the risk. An example of such an injury is a tear to your meniscus; even if properly fixed, your knee won’t move exactly the same.
- Overuse or repetitive stress: Certain occupations or activities that involve repetitive stress on your knees, like kneeling or squatting, can accelerate cartilage breakdown and trigger osteoarthritis. Examples of these kinds of occupations are that of tilers and floorers.
Knowing what causes osteoarthritis is one thing. Recognizing the symptoms is another. Let’s get into them.
Signs You Should Start Looking for an Arthritis Knee Pain Center
Recognizing these symptoms early on and seeking professional evaluation is crucial for effectively managing osteoarthritis knee pain. Timely intervention can help alleviate your discomfort, preserve your joint function, and improve your overall quality of life.
- General stiffness.
- A gradual onset of pain.
- And the sensation of grating or grinding.
Stiffness, Especially After Periods of Inactivity
Stiffness in your knees, particularly after prolonged periods of rest or inactivity (Such as when you first wake up or sit for an extended period), is a common symptom. This stiffness tends to improve with movement and may also coincide with the feeling of your joint “locking” or being hard to straighten.
Gradual Onset of Pain that Worsens Over Time
Something else that may be cause to consider visiting an arthritis knee pain center is a mild discomfort that progresses gradually. This discomfort often starts as a dull ache or stiffness and tends to worsen over weeks, months, or even years, until it reaches an unbearable level of pain.
Sensation of Grating or Grinding Within the Knee Joint
One of the distinctive signs of advanced osteoarthritis in your knee is the sensation of grating, grinding, or crunching within the joint itself during movement. This sensation, called crepitus, occurs due to the roughened surfaces of your bones rubbing against each other as the protective cartilage wears away.
Rheumatoid Arthritis: The Autoimmune Culprit
In contrast to osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic autoimmune disorder characterized by the immune system’s erroneous attack on your body’s tissues. All of this primarily affects the synovium (Or the lining of the membranes that enclose your joints).
Just like we did with osteoarthritis, let’s look at some of the various factors this condition can stem from. Then we’ll get into some of the symptoms and signs you should find an arthritis knee pain center near you. They include:
- Genetic Predisposition: Certain genetic factors play a role in increasing your susceptibility to developing rheumatoid arthritis. While genetics alone don’t determine the occurrence of RA, they contribute to its onset. Be informed if you have a family history of RA.
- Environmental Triggers: Various factors such as infections, exposure to certain pollutants, smoking, or hormonal changes may trigger your immune system’s response, initiating the development of RA. Scientists are still researching exactly how these triggers lead to RA.
- Immune System Malfunction: Your immune cells release inflammatory substances that cause swelling, pain, and destruction of the synovial lining, cartilage, and bone within your affected joints. This continuous immune response perpetuates the cycle of joint deterioration.
But now, let’s get into some of the big symptoms you should look for when dealing with rheumatoid arthritis and what you can do about them.
Signs You Should Start Looking for an Arthritis Knee Pain Center
Before we get into some of these symptoms, it’s important to note that rheumatoid arthritis typically manifests with symmetrical joint involvement. This means it affects corresponding joints on both sides of your body simultaneously. This characteristic feature sets RA apart from other forms of arthritis. In the context of knee pain, you might experience inflammation, pain, and stiffness in both knees concurrently.
- Morning stiffness.
- Swelling and warmth.
- And additional symptoms.
Morning Stiffness Lasting Longer than 30 Minutes
One hallmark of rheumatoid arthritis is prolonged morning stiffness that lasts for more than 30 minutes. This stiffness can be particularly severe, making it challenging for you to initiate movement after waking up or after periods of inactivity. Thankfully, this stiffness might improve as the day goes on.
Swelling and Warmth Around the Affected Knee Joints
RA-related knee pain is often accompanied by swelling and warmth around the affected joints. The inflammation caused by your immune system’s attack on the synovium leads to the accumulation of fluid in your joint. This fluid and warmth are also clear signs to visit an arthritis knee pain center.
Additional Symptoms Beyond Joint Pain
In addition to knee joint pain, you might also experience systemic symptoms such as fatigue, low-grade fever, and an overall feeling of malaise. These symptoms often accompany joint pain and can significantly impact your daily life, causing reduced energy levels and overall discomfort.
So, what do you do?
Should You Seek Professional Help?
We’ve had the honor of working with numerous patients over the years who attempted self-diagnosis and treatment. They did well, but in the end, they simply couldn’t do enough. Remember what we said at the beginning of this article? You’re not alone in this. Lots of people struggle with arthritis. Thankfully, lots of doctors want to help too.
Consulting a specialized pain management center with experienced professionals is pivotal for effective arthritis knee pain management. These centers, like our own, house expert teams specializing in diagnosing and treating various forms of knee arthritis. Our personalized care approach tailors treatments to your individual needs. We consider the type and severity of your arthritis, medical history, and lifestyle factors. This ensures a comprehensive treatment plan that integrates medication, physical therapy, and advanced techniques to alleviate pain and enhance your joint function.
All that to say going to an arthritis knee pain center might be your next step.
Take Action: Book a Consultation Today!
Now is the time to take control of your arthritis knee pain and embark on a journey towards a pain-free life. Don’t let discomfort hinder your daily activities or limit your mobility. Scheduling an appointment with Bergen Pain Management is the first step toward finding effective solutions tailored to your unique needs.
Booking an appointment is simple and straightforward. We’ve streamlined the process to ensure your convenience and ease. We believe professional guidance is key to your success. So, don’t wait. Don’t let arthritis knee pain dictate your life another day.
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