What happens when I have osteoarthritis?
You may experience swelling, joint pain, stiffness and find normal activities become increasingly challenging. Your knees may ‘creak’ and be noisy with activity.
What happens internally?
First of all the cartilage starts to roughen. The cartilage is cushioning that lines each bone and helps bones to glide over one another.
When the cartilage starts to become rough a repair process begins. Extra bone can grow – called osteophytes. Fluid in the joint can increase, the capsule surrounding the joint may stretch.
If you have arthritis in your knee you may have noticed one knee looks larger or a slightly different shape.
There are also changes in your nerves – your walking pattern may change, muscles weakened and balance may be affected.
You may have heard arthritis referred to as ‘wear and tear’ but as described above it is really a ‘wear and repair’ process that is going on all the time. When you have arthritis the wear process is overwhelming the repair process. Although these changes are irreversible, there is a lot that can be done to make significant improvements to your osteoarthritis symptoms.