Degeneration in the knees is also commonly known as Osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis affects cartilage, the slippery tissue that covers the ends of your bones in a joint. Healthy cartilage allows your bones to glide over each other and absorbs the shock of movement.
In osteoarthritis, the top layer of cartilage breaks down and wears away, forcing the bone to rub against bone, causing pain, swelling and loss of motion.
Osteoarthritis never happens overnight, it typically worsens gradually over time. At first, you may notice pain in the morning or after you’ve been inactive for a period of time. Your knees may hurt when you climb stairs, stand up from a sitting position, or kneel. Many patients also report pain after walking for too long.
Are you at risk for osteoarthritis?
Certain factors are known to increase your risk of osteoarthritis, and some of these factors are beyond your control.
- Old Age – Osteoarthritis is directly connected to wear and tear on joints, it also becomes more common as people get older.
- Family History – Degeneration often runs in the family; if your parents or siblings have osteoarthritis, you’re more likely to get it as well.
- Obesity – Being overweight places added stress and strain on your body, increasing the chances of degeneration in the joints.
- Poor Posture – Sitting or standing improperly can strain your joints, increasing your risk.
- Certain Occupations – If your job includes repetitive actions such as kneeling or squatting, lifting, climbing stairs or walking for extended periods of time, this can put undue stress on your joints.
- Previous Injuries – Injuries in the joint that occurred from playing sports or from an accident are more likely to result in osteoarthritis.