If you have been struggling with how to relieve OA knee pain, you might feel uncertain about what to do.
OA is a progressive, chronic condition, sometimes called “wear and tear,” that affects the cartilage between the joints. Over time, that cartilage, which normally serves as a “shock absorber,” can become stiff and break down.
As OA worsens, the cartilage may actually wear away altogether, leading to more pain as the joint increasingly becomes bone-on-bone. It may be especially pronounced in the knees or hips. OA is commonly diagnosed in older adults, but also may be found in younger people who have been very physically active or experienced knee injuries earlier in life.
Ahhh, youth…we feel as if we could spread our wings forever…we are invincible! And yet, sometimes, our bodies teach us otherwise. Joints may become stiff or achy due to lack of use. If you have osteoarthritis (OA) in the knee, you might be familiar with the condition’s various symptoms, including sudden weakness or pain. And there could be increased pain if you experience a potentially serious cartilage injury – such as a tear in the meniscus, the cartilage in the knee that cushions and stabilizes the area between the shinbone and the thighbone.
Imagine: you’re in the middle of an AstroTurf field, playing soccer, which you love. The sun is blazing, and the bleachers are filled with parents, teachers and other high school kids cheering at each winning goal. The striker from the opposing team has the ball, so you start sprinting for a tackle. You collide, landing hard on your right knee. You hear a loud “pop” as you slowly get up from the field. Your knee immediately swells.
Coach sends you to the doctor, who recommends ice and elevation, putting you on the DL for a few weeks. Even though you still feel some pain when using your knee, you’re back on the field soon enough. But the pain never goes away entirely. In fact, it actually worsens as you get older, a bittersweet reminder of your glory days on the field.
This scenario might not require too much stretching of the imagination if, when you were younger, you played rigorous year-round sports. And there is a decent chance that you experiencedknee injuries as a result of years of competing.