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Managing life with Knee Arthritis


Knee arthritis affects 6% of the population with the NHS reporting 10 million suffers in the UK. With varying symptoms from none at all to hot swollen joints that are constantly stiff and painful, every person with arthritis manages their condition as best they can. There is no cure, however, there is a lot that you can do to help living with arthritis knee pain. Let’s explore arthritis in the knee some more.

What is knee arthritis?


Osteoarthritis in the knee is the most common form of arthritis. It is what most people refer to when they talk about arthritis in the knee, a long term form of wear and tear damage over time. Most commonly affecting those over 50 years old but can affect those younger. Referring most commonly to the wearing of the cartilage and surfaces of the joint, including a narrowing of the joint space between the two bones that make up the knee.


There are 3 bones that make up the knee; the top of the knee is formed by the femur (the thigh bone) which has two rounded surfaces that are joined by ligaments to the tibia (shin bone) which is flatter surface. To allow the bones to move on one another the top of the tibia is covered in more fibrous, thicker connective tissue known as the meniscus, we have one for each surface of the femur. This is the hinge joint of the knee which gives us the ability to bend and straighten our knee. Sitting on top of this joint is one with the kneecap (patella), it sits within the tendons that come from the quadriceps muscles (front of thigh) to the top of the tibia to straighten our knees.


There is a lot going on in this joint! And over time that activity causes wear and tear, some people may have accidents or damage over time that leads to tears in the cartilage which thins over time, particularly with knee arthroscopy surgery (removing tears in the meniscus). You can begin to get symptoms with mild changes to the joint, particularly if you’re not a person who is regularly active. Others may begin to develop more pain when sitting and coming downstairs, this would indicate to more of a knee cap related problem.

Stages of Knee Arthritis

Symptoms of knee arthritis

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with knee arthritis


If you are experiencing early symptoms of mild arthritis with mild pain and some stiffness you are one of many who tries to continue living life as normal. Good news is there are several things you can do to improve your symptoms.

You may not always feel like exercising if your knees are sore, however getting up and moving them will help.

Walking with Knee Arthritis Essential Wellness

Walking

Walking is the simplest way to get into exercise for your arthritis. Starting at a steady pace and build up 3 key things: frequency, time and speed. When you first start walking you may find that you get a few more aches and pains, you’ll build off up time, first of all, perhaps starting with a weekly walk and then begin to build up in frequency. How many walks are you doing at the moment?

As you build up stamina and are able to walk in regular 20 minute or longer intervals you may want to start thinking about speed. If you quicken your pace you’ll find you begin to get out of breath and your pulse quickens. Brisk walking helps your heart so your general health will improve, stairs will be easier and you may find daily tasks become easier too.

Nicose Salad Healthy Lifestyle Essential Wellness

Healthy Diet


The food we choose to eat cannot be underestimated. What we put into our mouths keeps our bowels, muscles and brains healthy. Getting a variety of foods in our diet can sometimes be challenging, but reducing our intake of processed and salty foods can greatly support the body to keep the joints healthy. Some people benefit from turning to supplements to boost essential vitamins and minerals.

When we give the body what it needs it often rewards us by reducing inflammation, improving sleep and easier weight loss. For every extra pound you carry, you put 4 times more pressure into your knees. That’s got to be incentive enough to improve our diets in small ways for big gains.

We also can’t talk about diet without talking about hydration. With the body being 80% water we shouldn’t overlook the importance of drinking more than 6 glasses of water per day. Even including hot drinks, do you think you’re getting enough? By ensuring your body is hydrated you can enjoy for supple joints, reduced stiffness and an overall increase in concentration and wakefulness.

Managing a flare-up of knee arthritis

Everybody's knee arthritis symptoms can vary and it's common to go through flare ups. At these times we might have to adapt your life to manage having knee arthritis. What do you do? Can you remember a flare up you've had this year?

Flare ups can come on due to suddenly increasing your activity and sometimes it can feel like it's for no reason at all. It can creep up suddenly or you might see warning signs.

Some people start feeling uneasy several days before the pain gets significantly worse, perhaps you are experiencing a lack of concentration or you’re finding it more difficult to get to sleep.

Other symptoms can include a more intense feeling of stiffness or heat coming from the knee. If you feel that the joint is changing then this again can be an early warning that something, some activity, or the weather or your condition has changed so your symptoms can resurface, feeling worse than previously.

The Flare up first aid kit


Managing a long term condition like knee arthritis you are likely to experience a flare up from time to time. Perhaps in the initial onset of your symptoms you may find the knee are more irritable and tend to flare up more easily with a change or increase in activity. For this reason we’d advise everyone to have their own unique ‘flare up kit’ to hand. Whether put together as you need it or stored in the bathroom ready to go, here are a few essentials to consider:

Arthritic Knee Supports

If you feel like your symptoms are more persistent or your knee has started feeling more sore than usual then a knee support can often go some ways to dealing with your symptoms. If you find your symptoms can be flared up easily then it’s highly worth considering the investment. Finding your perfect knee support that matches the level of support you need can be the difference between living life as normal or still feeling like things are a struggle. Even at times when your knee pain might be better.


On a good day, a knee support can allow you increased freedom of movement and the enjoyment of getting things done that you might have otherwise struggled with. Whether increasing your level of walking, heading to the gym or simply getting out into the garden. Depending on the level of support you need would depend on the type of support that would support you best.


A compression sleeve is great for all round support for arthritis in those that find they are getting through their usual tasks but any increase in speed or having a busy day can cause your knee to feel more sore towards the end of the day. Some of you may find that you need something extra both the knee support and hinged knee brace offer extra tiers of support so depending on your symptoms you may find that you move between using 2 supports to manage your symptoms more easily and limit the impact flare ups have on your life.

Knee Supports for Arthritic Knees

The highest rated supports in the UK for helping to control the pain and discomfort caused by arthritis.

Knee Supports for your Arthritis

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Knee Support, Adjustable Fit - Reduces knee pain & discomfort-Orthotics, Braces & Sleeves-Medium - M-Essential Wellness-5060536630046 Knee Support, Adjustable Fit - Reduces knee pain & discomfort-Orthotics, Braces & Sleeves-Medium - M-Essential Wellness-5060536630046
Knee Support, Adjustable Fit - Reduces knee pain & discomfort £24.99 £29.99
Stay Safe and Order with Confidence   Size of Knee Supports Measure all the way around the lower thigh. 10 cm above the knee cap. If within ~3cm of a cusp, consider ordering the size up to account for any future knee swelling. Medium - Up to 40 cm, suitable for slim to average legs Large - Up to 50 cm, suitable for average, overweight or muscular legs Extra Large - Up to 60 cm, suitable for obese and extra muscular legs Extra Extra Large - Up to 70cm  <-- Through feedback received from previous customers, the XXL size is brand new! Each knee brace is designed to physiotherapy specifications to provide great pain-relieving qualities via additional support when worn on either leg.   Risk-free 30-day satisfaction guarantee - feel the benefits or your money back. We offer free and fast delivery within the UK - arrives within 3 working days. Upgrade for faster delivery are available in the checkout Please allow extra time for Sundays, Bank Holidays and orders placed after 2 pm We accept goods for exchange or refund for up to 30 days Secure and safe checkout - notice the padlock next to our web address and acceptance of PayPal. You can also read 100's of reviews left by our previous customers. Buy now, and Be The Best You Protects and Supports Painful Knees Our knee supports are designed by licensed physiotherapists to offer essential support to weak, painful and injured knees. The comfortable support gives a reassuring sense of stability whilst being discreet and comfortable to wear under clothes throughout the day.The knee support is best to use when you require additional support if your knees are giving way, hurting or making it difficult to walk. Knee Support Most Recommended for a variety of Knee Conditions No matter what the cause of your knee pain is, this knee support can be used to ease your pain, swelling and instability. It is the ideal support for the following: Arthritis Patella Tendonitis Patella or kneecap Pain Mal-tracking patella Using the gym and keeping fit Cartilage Damage Ligament Tears Knee Instability or giving way Constant knee pain Pain with walking or climbing stairs   Knee Support Specifications Supportive Neoprene Material Unisex, designed to fit either knee Can be easily hidden under loose clothes Handwash in cold water and hang to dry Designed to specifications in the UK   Essential Wellness Delivery Information We offer free and fast delivery within the UK. Upgrades to delivery are available at the checkout for an additional cost Expected delivery times vary: free and fast: arrives in 3 working days, faster delivery: within 2 working days, International shipping times vary Please allow extra time for Sundays, Bank Holidays and orders placed after 2 pm We have a 30-day Satisfaction Guarantee and accept goods for exchange or refund for up to 30 days for any reason
Hinged Knee Brace, Adjustable Fit - Rigid Protection & Support-Orthotics, Braces & Sleeves-Medium-Essential Wellness-5060536630381 Hinged Knee Brace, Adjustable Fit - Rigid Protection & Support-Orthotics, Braces & Sleeves-Large-Essential Wellness-5060536630398
Hinged Knee Brace, Adjustable Fit - Rigid Protection & Support £39.99
Stay Safe and Order with Confidence The hinged knee brace provides a reassuring stability to those who feel their knee could give way at any moment. With the addition of sidebars and hinges on both sides of the brace, you get complete freedom of movement without comprising the feeling of security.  The multiple straps allow you to adjust the knee brace throughout the day, perfect if your knee increases or decreases in swelling throughout the day, simply re-adjust to fit perfectly.  A comfortable inner lining provides all-day comfort for your knee, allowing you to walk with less pain, swelling and worry.    Suitable for severe knee conditions No matter what the cause of your condition, this hinged knee support can be used to ease severe knee pain, swelling and instability. It is the ideal support for the following: Severe Arthritis (Osteoarthritis) Severe Tendonitis Mal-tracking Patella (Knee Cap wobbles side to side) Cartilage Tears Getting back into activity and exercise Following Surgery Recent patella dislocation Recovery from recent knee injury Knee Giving Way Falls related to knee pain     Hinged Knee Brace Specifications Firm and supportive neoprene material Strong metal hinges either side prevent lateral movement Designed to fit either knee Handwash in cold water and hang to dry Designed to specifications in the UK Sizing Information Medium - Maximum width 42cm. Suitable for most Large - Maximum width 52cm. Suitable for overweight or muscular legs Extra Large - Maximum width 62cm. Suitable for obese legs Delivery Information We offer free and fast delivery within the UK Upgrades to delivery are available at the checkout for an additional cost Expected delivery times vary: free and fast: arrives in 3 working days, faster delivery: within 2 working days, International shipping times vary Please allow extra time for Sundays, Bank Holidays and orders placed after 2 pm We use a Karma System and accept goods for exchange or refund for up to 30 days
Knee Compression Sleeve, Lighter More Breathable Support-Orthotics, Braces & Sleeves-Medium-Essential Wellness-5060536630749 Knee Compression Sleeve, Lighter More Breathable Support-Orthotics, Braces & Sleeves-Medium-Essential Wellness-5060536630749
Knee Compression Sleeve, Lighter More Breathable Support £19.99
Stay Safe and Order with Confidence    Gentle compression reduces swelling and eases knee pain The knee compression sleeve gently compresses the knee to reduce daily swelling, aches and pains. With an anti-slip material at the top of the sleeve, once the sleeve is in place and comfortable for you, you won’t need to re-adjust it throughout the day. The sleeve will stay in place, providing constant, gentle support.  The knee compression sleeve is easy to put on and take off, as if you were putting on a sock. Essential Wellness knee compression support gets you back on your feet and doesn’t let your knee injury slow you down too much.   It is the ideal support for the following: Arthritis (Osteoarthritis) Patella Tendonitis Weak knees Recovery support from mild ligament sprains Knee swelling Travelling long distances in car, train and plane Fibromyalgia Long term use after knee surgery and knee replacement Knee soreness with wet or damp weather Knee cap (patella) pain Knee Compression Sleeve Specifications Nylon blend with non-slip bands with elastic compression evenly throughout the garment Unisex, designed to fit either knee Can be easily hidden under loose clothes Suitable for all-day wear, recommend taking off overnight Designed to specifications in the UK   Sizing Information Medium - Maximum width 36cm. Suitable for most Large - Maximum width 42cm. Suitable for muscular legs Extra Large - Maximum width 48cm. Suitable for overweight legs   Delivery Information We offer free and fast delivery within the UK Upgrades to delivery are available at the checkout for an additional cost Expected delivery times vary: free and fast: arrives in 3 working days, faster delivery: within 2 working days, International shipping times vary Please allow extra time for Sundays, Bank Holidays and orders placed after 2 pm We use a Karma System and accept goods for exchange or refund for up to 30 days

Pain Relief

Many people are reluctant to take pain killers, you might be one of them, but when flare ups strike they can be vital at helping you get through the first few days without taking to your bed. When you have a flare up it’s best to keep moving and not take to your bed, or the sofa and rest more that 24 - 48 hours, after this period the benefits of resting are outweighed by the loss of muscle and the stiffness that can begin to set into the knees.

It might be hard to believe you lose muscle after just 3 days of bed rest, we don’t recommend anyone takes to their bed unless completely necessary. This is where pain relief can come in handy. Whether you have already been prescribed something by your GP or if you can speak to your local pharmacist about pain relief, starting on a course for a few days of taking tablets to manage your flare up can be far more effective that waiting until you pain has reached a 10/10 unbearable score. Once your pain has reached this difficult level is quite unrealistic to take 2 paracetamol and expect a huge relief.


If you aren’t a fan of taking tablets, perhaps reserve these for your flare up times and talk to your local GP or pharmacist about how you can use them effectively to manage a flare up if you feel it coming and for the weeks afterwards. Many people with arthritis go through a boom and bust cycle of flare up and recovery, pain and relief, activity and inactivity. The goal of pain management is to use this as a tool to maintain our activity, keeping our bodies healthy and gradually, if we can. Build more activity and exercise into our routine over time. This is the opposite sentiment to racing out into the garden on our first summer’s day and doing 6 hours of gardening and no expecting to feel the consequences the following day!

Don’t forget pain relief for knee arthritis can also come in other forms, TENS is a non invasive treatment for pain relief taking advantage of the way the body uses nerves to send messages that are interpreted by the brain as pain. The TENS acts to interrupt these messages using different receptors so that you feel the TENS sensation rather than your pain.

Experiences of using TENS for pain relief in the knee varies from person to person in terms of success and tolerance so do seek medical advice before making this purchase.

Hot water bottle/ice pack

Another two items that can be invaluable for managing your symptoms during a knee arthritis flare up are hot and cold - mainly in the form of a hot water bottle and an ice pack. There is much debate on which should be used when and I usually try to keep it simple. What brings you the most relief?

Hot

If you feel that your knee is affected by cold, damp weather. That you wear extra layers to keep the joint warm, if you often feel stiffness in the joint or if you have a persistent deep ache that is unrelenting - try heat. Use a hot water bottle, wrapped in a towel to protect your skin and let it sit over the sore knee for 20-30 minutes. Try to move the knee gently from fully straight to fully bent (as pain allows) at the end of the time and free up any stiffness in the joint.


Heat can be a great easier of pain, and if you feel benefits from this, then good news there are other ways to incorporate this into your management - hydrotherapy, hot tubs, steam rooms and hot baths can all bring similar relief (please ensure that it is medically safe for you to use a steam room/sauna etc) your local physiotherapist or GP may be able to refer you to a hydrotherapy facility.

Cold

A great relief to those joints that feel warm to touch, that may also be swollen and stiff due to this. If you’re feeling that your joint feels warm then consider using an ice pack or most simply, a frozen bag of peas wrapped in a towel, for up to 20 minutes at a time. Similar to using heat, stretch and move the knee after applying the cold treatment. The key to healthy joints is movement so keep that going whenever you can. You may also find that it works well for you to use cold preemptively. That applying a cold pack after a day in the garden, on the trails or a session at the gym can help rehabilitate the joint and prevent any big reaction of the arthritis from the activity.

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