Arthritis refers to inflammation of the joints and there are multiple types of arthritis that can cause pain and discomfort. Two types of arthritis include osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, and both of these can lead to bone-on-bone knee pain. When your joints swell and become tender with arthritis, it is often related to the supportive parts of the joint, like cartilage and membranes that help the joint move smoothly and keep the bones from rubbing against one another. When it comes to experiencing bone-on-bone pain, it could be due to osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid Arthritis: An Autoimmune Disorder
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder, which means that this type of joint pain occurs due to an issue in the immune system. When you are diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder, it means your body’s immune response becomes engaged and starts to attack itself. When rheumatoid arthritis affects the lining of the knee joints it can cause symptoms like pain, swelling, stiffness, and even warmth and tenderness around the knee. Inflammation in and around the knee joint is a response of the immune system with a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis.
In order for your doctor to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis, they may perform a physical exam while also discussing your symptoms and experiences with joint pain and discomfort. The medical history of you and your family can also help your doctor determine whether or not you have rheumatoid arthritis. Your doctor may also run blood tests that check for things like anemia and indicators of inflammation in your system. An X-ray can also provide your doctor with a clearer picture of how your knee joint may have damage from rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis: A Degenerative Disorder
Osteoarthritis is actually the most common form of arthritis and is a degenerative disorder where the cartilage that cushions the joints starts to break down. As cartilage breaks down in the joints it can lead to the bones rubbing against one another, which causes significant pain and discomfort. It is possible for bone spurs to develop when the cartilage wears away and can contribute to the painful experience of osteoarthritis. Because osteoarthritis develops with wear and tear on the body, it is also more common in older adults. However, osteoarthritis can also develop due to injury or infection.
Our knees carry us through each day, so when the cartilage starts to break down and osteoarthritis develops it can be an incredibly uncomfortable experience. Inflammation in the joint will occur and cause tenderness and stiffness in the knee, especially with certain movements. Osteoarthritis can also lead to a decrease in mobility and flexibility of the knee, especially at the end of a long day, and may temporarily improve after a good night’s rest. Your doctor may use diagnostic imaging tools like X-ray and MRI to view how the knee bones and cartilage have been affected by wear and tear and the development of osteoarthritis.
Treating Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis
When it comes to treating bone-on-bone knee pain, your doctor must first diagnose whether it is caused by osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Once that is established, your rheumatoid or osteoarthritis treatments might vary slightly in order to address the root cause as well as your symptoms. Over-the-counter pain medications can help provide temporary relief from pain symptoms, but they won’t be able to provide any type of lasting relief. While both types of arthritis do not have a magical cure, there are many treatment options that can help you experience short-term and long-term relief from the symptoms.
Your Alan Nathans Family chiropractor can provide relief from your symptoms causing bone-on-bone knee pain. Gentle adjustments and therapeutic massage can help mobilize the knee joint and help improve your range of motion. While a chiropractic adjustment of your spine might seem odd when you’re struggling with knee pain, it can actually help redistribute your body weight and take the stress off your knees. Your chiropractor may also utilize complementary treatments like stretches, exercises, and soft wave therapy for bone-on-bone knee pain. These treatments help reduce inflammation and promote healthy blood flow to the area. Visit Alan Nathans Family Chiropractic in Jacksonville and get started on a treatment that will provide you with lasting relief from arthritis pain.