Symptoms: pain and stiffness of knee joint, especially after prolonged walking, walking stairs, squatting. Knees would degenerate and develop osteophytes at faster pace.
Consequence: cartilage abrasion, causing bone to bone friction and give rise to osteophytes growth.
Causes: pain caused by kne joint degeneration usually emerges after middle age. Degenerative changes are found inside the joint because of prolonged use. Different from short term symptoms caused by ligaments sprain or back pain, pain and swelling caused by osteoarthritis knee would be more chronic in nature.
Osteoarthritis knee introduction: knee joint is the biggest joint of our body and it is a major weight-bearing joint. Because of high mobility level and heavy loading, knee joint is one of the most vulnerable joints to degenerations. Pressure at knee joint when walking stairs is 3 times greater than during level ground walking. Thus, these kinds of activities would induce a great wastage to the knee cartilage.
Medications: NSAIDs (with side effect of causing abdominal disorders, not suitable for long term use)
Supplements: glucosamine sulphate is one of the nutrition supplements which is necessary for our body to produce cartilages. Research articles show that glucosamine sulphate can reduce the abrasion of the cartilages. It can also minimize the imflammatory response and speed up the self-recovery process. Chondroitin sulphate is directly absorbed into the cartilage and facilitates its growth.
Chiropractic adjustment: by means of lever concept in biomechanics, chiropractor can restore the joint displacement by proper manipulation techniques.
Exercise therapy: weak knee quadriceps muscles would increase the pressure inside the knee joint which would accelerate the cartilage abrasion, causing pain and inflammation. Among different kinds of sports, swimming is the most suitable because buoyancy of water could decrease the loading to the knee joints and allow adequate stretching and mobilization to the knees.
Physiotherapy: short wave diathermy, interferential therapy, etc. are used for muscle relaxation and inflammation control.
TENS: domestic use for symptomatic relief.
Heat treatment: hot bath or hot pack help promote the blood circulation and release muscle spasm.
Surgical operation: knee joint replacement surgery, may need re-operation because of abrasion after decades.