If you’ve been having pain in your knees but aren’t sure if it’s connected to arthritis, check for these warning signs:
- Increase in pain
- You may have a gradual increase in pain, especially in the morning or after a period of inactivity. Some people experience pain when they move from a standing to a sitting position, when they kneel, or even when they are simply sitting down. Climbing stairs becomes especially difficult if you have osteoarthritis. More severe osteoarthritis will likely wake you in your sleep.
- Swelling and warmth
- You may experience swelling or warmth when you first wake up or if you’ve been sitting for a long time. Swelling in the knee occurs when bone spurs (osteophytes) form as the cartilage in your knee breaks down, or when too much fluid builds up in the knee. If your osteoarthritis is mild, the swelling can often be aided by anti-inflammatories.
- Stiffness and locking
- Osteoarthritis will weaken the muscles in your knee, which can cause your knee to give way or lock up. The joint may lock up so you can’t easily bend it or straighten it on command.
- Creaking or popping sounds upon bending
- Your knees may feel like they’re grinding as you move, and you may hear cracking or popping sounds. These sounds usually occur in arthritic knees because smooth cartilage has worn down and your bones rub together. The wearing down of cartilage can develop bone spurs.
If you are beginning to experience these symptoms, but aren’t ready for surgical intervention, you can try to combat these symptoms with anti-inflammatories, heat on stiff joints, ice packs on swollen joints, and physical therapy. If you would like your knees to get checked out by a doctor, please call our office to schedule a consultation at 317-455-1064.