If you want learn how to know if you have arthritis in the knee there are 7 common signs that are considered to be indicators that it could be present.
It is important to remember that even if all 7 signs are present that it doesn’t mean you have arthritis; you need a doctor to examine you before you decide what treatments you should follow.
Sign #1 – Pain that is slowly getting worse
If you have pain or soreness in your knee, and it is slowly starting to get worse – you need to have your knees examine to determine whether or not you have arthritis. The worst thing you can do is wait until the pain is starting to interfere with your daily activities. There are two reasons that you don’t want to wait. The first is that if you wait until the pain is unbearable, it means the arthritis has progressed and you can interrupt it with early diagnosis and treatment. The second is that there is no reason for you to suffer if you suspect you have arthritis. Don’t wait, have it checked out.
Sign #2 – Swollen knee joints or tenderness the area
Knee joints swell and get tender on a regular basis due to the stress we put them under. If your knee joints are just starting to swell and are tender to the touch – and you haven’t been participating in marathon workouts at the gym, playing football, running or climbing – this can be a sign that you have arthritis in the knee. Inflammation can cause the knee area to swell and the irritation can make it tender as you start to become sensitive to the pain.
Sign #3 – Your knees “lock up,” or buckle
One classic way to know if you have arthritis in the knee is if your knees are starting to buckle, or have problems supporting your weight. They can also lock into position and you will not be able to bend them. This can make going up and down stairs, or just walking very difficult. It can also be a painful experience, but most people describe it more as an ache. It can become a dangerous event if your knees start to buckle repeatedly and you fall. This is a sign that you should see a doctor soon to prevent a fall injury.
Sign #4 – “Chatty” knees
Chatty knees means that you can hear a grinding or popping sound when you move the joint. It is very similar to the sound your knuckles will make when they crack, or when you twist your neck and it is stiff. More importantly, it is a loud enough sound that others can hear it too. Hopefully, you will notice the sound before it gets that loud because you will be able to feel the grinding before everyone in the room hears it.
Sign #5 – Reduced motion
If you are having trouble walking up and down stairs, or going up and down hills because your knees feel stiff or have trouble bending, this can also be a sign that you have arthritis. One of the most common ways that you can know if you have arthritis in the knee is if you have difficulty sitting down or getting up from a seated position. Your knees may feel like they can’t bend as easily as they used to; this is a much different sensation from having your knees lock.
Sign #6 – Decreased space in the joints
This is something that you will usually only see if your doctor takes an x-ray or MRI of your knee, but there are ways that you can detect it without a test as well. If you are experiencing discomfort when walking, and chatty knees, plus you notice that there has been a reduction in your height – chances are that the space between your joints has decreased due to bone spur growth. The spurs grow into the space that should be occupied by the cartilage, pushing the cartilage out and taking over. The result isn’t an increase in height, but a perceptible decrease.
Sign #7 – Change in knee shape
One way to know if you have arthritis in the knee is if the shape of the knee changes. You may have seen people with “knock-knees,” where it looks almost like a ball is growing off the inside of the knee. There are other such deformities that are a result of swelling and/or bone growths in the knee that cause it to become misshapen. The good news is that this is generally osteoarthritis and can be treated with removal of the growth and medication to reduce calcium growth and deposits (spurs) on the knee bones.
What can you do to relieve your knee pain?
There are many things you can do, such as using acupressure points to relieve your knee pain. Once you learn how to know if you have arthritis in the knee, you can also choose to follow other plans for relieving the pain, and preventing the arthritis from getting worse. The foods you eat, the activity you do, and even the clothing that you wear can all impact how well your body can work to keep your arthritis at bay and the symptoms in check.
When should you see your doctor?
If you do suspect that you have arthritis in the knee you should make an appointment to see your doctor. Even if you are positive it is arthritis you need to make sure of what kind of arthritis is present. If it is rheumatoid arthritis there are certain medications and dietary changes you will need to help boost your immune system, and to learn to avoid so that what you do as an alternative treatment doesn’t worsen the condition. Your doctor may also recommend treatments such as physical therapy or cortisone shots to relieve the pain in the here and now, so you can begin to build a program of living that supports healthy joints and prevents arthritis from complicating your life.