Also referred to as Osteoarthritis of the knee, bone on bone knee pain is a common problem. The study shows that more than 20 million Americans suffer from this disability. Whereas the problem is mostly associated with old age, young people are also not spared. There are several factors that can lead to Osteoarthritis of the knee. To some, the problem is hereditary. To others, it occurs as a result of an infection, injury, or being overweight.
Bone on bone happens when the knee cartilage wears out. This is the natural cushioning between the joint bones. When it no longer exists, the bones tend to rub against each other. This results in pain, stiffness, and inflammation which limit flexibility.
What Causes Bone-on-Bone Knee Pain?
Age is the main factor associated with Osteoarthritis of the knee. As people age, develop a certain level of bone-to-bone problems. That doesn’t mean young people cannot suffer the same. Besides age, several other factors can contribute to early cartilage wear out. Some of these factors include;
- Weight: Increase in weight causes pressure to build upon the joints and particularly the knees. For instance, if you gain a pound, it exerts between 3-4 extra weight on your knees. That means the cartilage has to work under increased pressure hence the faster wear out.
- Hereditary: Some people can be born with inherently susceptible osteoarthritis genes. That also includes genetic mutations which increase the chances of developing this problem. Others inherit physical abnormalities like the shape of knee bones.
- Other sicknesses: If you suffer from certain illnesses, you might be at higher risk of having the bone to bone pain. For example, people with rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to have osteoarthritis. Also, those experiencing metabolic disorders are in the same category. This includes people with iron overload as well as excess hormonal growth.
- Repetitive stress injuries: People who engage in repetitive jobs that exert pressure on joints are at high risk. A good example is jobs that involve a lot of squatting, kneeling, and lifting heavy objects. These will cause the cartilage to tear in the process.
- Sports: Sportspersons have higher chances of developing osteoarthritis of the knee. Soccer and tennis players, as well as marathoners, in particular, are at higher risk. This is because their games involve lots of exercises and movement of joints. Athletes can reduce the risk of osteoarthritis by engaging in moderate training. That alone strengthens the muscles because even their weakness can be problematic.
- Gender: According to studies, women from the age of 55 years are at higher risk of osteoarthritis. This means as the age catches up, women are on the first front compared to men.
Bone on bone pain is that feeling of extreme tenderness, discomfort or the aching of a single or more bone. Its difference with joint pain is that you experience it whether moving or resting.
What Are the Signs of Needing A Knee Replacement?
Knee osteoarthritis is hard to notice at the beginning. By the time you start experiencing severe symptoms, it may mean the damage is already done. It may call for serious medical intervention to replace your knee. So, what are some of the tell-tale signs that you need a knee replacement?
If you experience knee pain that affects your daily life, that should your time to act. Good examples of such pain are when in action. You should also take seriously the pain-capable of interrupting your sleep.
If you experience pain when doing your normal routines, it’s a sign your knee isn’t okay. You may need a knee replacement to enable you to return to normalcy. The delayed pain, also known as “payback pain” is also an indicator of a failing knee system.
If you notice any physical changes on your knee, it could be a sign of internal inflammation. So, changes like swelling and change of color on your leg mean something serious. If the swelling doesn’t respond to other medication, you may have to undergo knee replacement. Thus, you should not ignore any such signs.
Experiencing pain when bending or sitting on a low seat is a red signal. You can also experience seizing or catching of the joints when moving. These signs show increasing deterioration in your knee healthy.
A knee pain that derails your engagement on the things you love is a cause for alarm. Be it running, playing soccer, or mountaineering, you should be able to do them all without pain. A knee replacement can get you back on the things you love doing.
What Can You Do for Bone-on-Bone Knee Pain?
Bone-on-bone knee pain is treatable. The treatment aims at relieving pain and enabling movement again. Below are the various ways you can treat osteoarthritis;
- Medication: Going for anti-inflammatory medications will decrease the severity of pain. These on top of physical therapy can give you incredible results. Other than going to the hospital, you can get over the counter drugs. Some of the helpful drugs are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Injection: Receiving a cortisone injection into the knee joint is an effective way of treatment. Although, you should not overuse the injection. Such an act will worsen articulate cartilage. The results of the injection are almost instant. According to a study, the injection results are evident within a short while.
- Stem Cells Or PRP: This is a new treatment for Osteoarthritis patients. It involves the injection of the stem cells extracted from the bone marrow. They can also come from fatty tissues and platelet-rich plasma (PRP). Before you can undergo the treatment, you should at least try physical therapy. It helps to establish the proper course.
- Exercise: Engaging in movements and exercises that directly involve the knee is very beneficial. You can consult your therapist to recommend the appropriate exercises. These will help to quicken the healing process. In most cases, a combination of movements and exercise is the best.
- Brace: Braces meant for medial compartmental osteoarthritis are the best. They work by relieving pressure off the affected knee point. Instead of going for the general braces, getting the customized models is the best option.
FAQs – Frequently Ask Questions
What is the Difference Between Muscle Pain and Bone Pain?
Even though the two may sound similar, they are different. Bone pain is very penetrating, deep and dull. In most cases, it is as a result of injury or bone infection. On the contrary, muscle pain is less penetrating but unpleasant. It can be as a result of a tumor, loss of blood flow.
Why Is Bone Pain Worse at Night?
The aspect of bone pain increases at night can be due to several factors. One of these includes the natural drop of an anti-inflammatory hormone called cortisol. Also, laying still in one position at night leads to joints stiffening.
Is Walking Good for Bone-on-Bone Knees?
Yes. Minimal movements and exercises lubricating the joints can be very helpful. In general, walking around leads to more blood flowing to the cartilage. So, the cartilage will receive important nutrients.
Can Bone on Bone Knee Arthritis Be Reversed?
No. You cannot reverse knee arthritis. The only thing you can do is manage the situation to slow its progression. Undertaking the right treatment will reduce pain and improve mobility.
What Is the Best Age to Have A Knee Replacement?
There is no specific age for a patient to undergo knee replacement. The timing should be on the basis of the level of the disease, pain and joint function.
How Can I Naturally Lubricate My Knees?
Yes. Taking water helps to increase the synovial fluid responsible for lubricating the joints. Also, taking supplements like glucosamine, fish oil and turmeric can be very helpful.
Is There an Alternative to Knee Surgery?
Yes. Having osteoarthritis doesn’t mean will end with knee surgery. With a few basic practices and exercises, you can evade that dreadful knee surgery. These include; exercising to cut weight, strengthening leg muscles, and boosting flexibility.
You can suppress the pain of bone-on-bone knee pain without undergoing knee replacement. If you are experiencing the symptoms, start the home treatment first. They involve exercising, physical therapy, and refraining from some practices. If they don’t work out, then you should seek medical help.