Knees are one of the most common joints affected by rheumatoid arthritis. Unlike osteoarthritis which causes wear and tear, rheumatoid arthritis results from body’s own immune system acting against it.
2 things occur when rheumatoid arthritis affects the knee joint:
- Excessive generation of synovial fluid
- Release of inflammatory chemicals by the immune system
Both these actions damage the cartilage which acts as a cushion to support movements of the knee. This causes pain, swelling and degeneration of the knee joint. The patients of knee rheumatoid arthritis experience so much pain and stiffness that even walking becomes a challenge. Apart from pain and stiffness, extreme fatigue and warmth around the knee are other symptoms.
Genetic or environmental factors are suspected to play a role in causing knee rheumatoid arthritis. It is very difficult to reverse rheumatoid arthritis completely if it once happens.
Here are some remedies that can help you manage the symptoms of knee rheumatoid arthritis:
- Warm the painful joint, especially in winters for at least 15 minutes using hot packs or heating pads.
- Begin a gentle exercise regime like walking, yoga, swimming, cycling etc. Ask a doctor what is the best option for you.
- Do some muscle strengthening exercises for the knee. This will give them support, help them absorb shock and keep them flexible.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight worsens the condition by putting pressure on knee joint. Try to reduce excess fat.
- Wear flat supportive shoes with softer heels for walking.
- Increase intake of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like fish, sunflower oil and broccoli, and vitamin D like dairy products.
- Take a 20-minute stroll in sunlight every day especially in winters.