The knee is probably the most important joint in the body. The amount of pressure we put on our knees supports the equivalent of one-and-a-half times our bodyweight, and if something goes wrong with our knees, it can affect our mobility and quality of life.

Knee anatomy

The thighbone, shinbone and kneecap come together to form the knee. These bones are held together by four ligaments: collateral, medial collateral, lateral collateral and cruciate. The first three ligaments are found all around the knee, both inside and outside, and they control the sideways motion of the knee. The fourth ligament is only found on the inside of the knee, and it controls forward and backward knee movements. Tendons connect the muscles in the leg to the knee bones. The bones of the knee are also cushioned by two types of cartilage: the articular cartilage and meniscus.

Knee osteoarthritis symptoms

Osteoarthritis in the knee occurs when the cartilage wears away, and the bones in the knee start rubbing up against each other. As a result, pain, stiffness and swelling occurs, which affects common daily activities like walking, climbing upstairs, standing and exercising. Other symptoms of knee osteoarthritis include warmth in the knee area, tenderness and cracking.


In most cases, knee osteoarthritis can be treated at home through the use of over-the-counter medications and hot/cold pads. Common medications include ibuprofen, aspirin, acetaminophen and naproxen. The knees support a lot of weight, so using a cane or walker can take some of the weight off of the knees, which helps alleviate the pain and discomfort. Lifestyle changes like losing weight and low-impact exercising can also help to relieve the pain. In some cases, the pain can be so severe that only a doctor can treat it through prescribed medication or surgery.

Knee osteoarthritis can happen to adults at any age, but it is especially prevalent amongst the elderly. Because knee osteoarthritis can affect daily living, an elderly person who has this condition may need to use a company like Salus Homecare who provide caregiving services to people who have limited mobility. When osteoarthritis becomes too painful to deal with and is affecting daily living activities, seek treatment and help as soon as possible.

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