Learn more about arthritis

Arthritis can be complicated and overwhelming. Learn more about arthritis including the best exercises, diets, and adventures. We are here to not only make it easy for you to understand but to bring hope to your situation with the tips and tricks we present.

how is osteoarthritis diagnosed

How is osteoarthritis diagnosed: 4 ways to know if you have it

How is osteoarthritis diagnosed? Do you have a suspicion that your joint stiffness, swelling, and pain may be caused by osteoarthritis? Not sure what comes next? Getting a diagnosis can be a scary process, but is absolutely necessary to understand how to treat, stop progress of a disease, and ultimately get you back on track to a life full of adventure. 

If you are experiencing new onset joint pain, stiffness, or just something in your joint(s) feels off- figuring out what is going on is important. 

Assuming and/or just trying to forget about the symptoms can actually lead to increased severity of symptoms if they aren’t addressed…

I meet people all the time wishing they had taken action sooner but instead assumed that osteoarthritis is just “normal” as you get older. 

The reality is, the quicker you know what is going on, the quicker you are able to take action to reduce the symptoms and slow the progression. 

Here are 4 ways doctors and other medical professionals use to rule in or rule out osteoarthritis. 

1. Look at your symptoms

The first thing when diagnosing osteoarthritis, or truly any disease, is to look at what your symptoms are, when they occur, how severe they are, etc.

It helps to pay close attention to the things that cause the most pain, limitations, or impede your daily life. These are essential to being able to relay that information to your doctor so that they can get a clear picture of what is going on with your individual case. 

There are symptoms that are common to osteoarthritis which are described in the video below. You can also read more about what osteoarthritis typically feels like in this post here.

Symptoms play a pivotal role when looking at how to diagnose osteoarthritis so knowing the common ones can give you vital information.

 If you suspect osteoarthritis may be at the root of your symptoms, try and keep a journal of what is going on.

Note when the symptom goes on, how bad it is, and when it goes away/things you do to make the symptoms less severe. It is important for clinicians to get a clear story of what is going on so that they may begin to rule in and rule out different diagnoses they suspect.

With a journal you will better be able to track trends associated with your symptoms. For example, if you notice after you walk a certain distance or on concrete more pain or stiffness- associating these two things will help tremendously with the treatment plan. 

2. Physical Exam by a professional

When you visit a doctor, one of the first questions they usually ask is about your symptoms. Hopefully, with that last bit of information, you are equipped with the knowledge and your journal of how your symptoms manifest so that you are able to tell your whole story to the doctor.

They will also likely ask you about previous medical history and figure out if there are any identifiable risk factors for OA in your life.

There are lots of risk factors that are associated with osteoarthritis including family history, level of activity, other health conditions like diabetes, among others. 

Communication is extremely vital between you and the doctor or medical professional you are seeing. If you aren’t sure who to see to help you with your joint pain- read this article.

If a doctor doesn’t ask something you think they should have – don’t be afraid to speak up! Doctors are not perfect and any information you can relay to them may help with a better, more accurate diagnosis for your individual case.

What to expect

Say you made an appointment to address knee pain you have been experiencing. A physical exam may be part of the process on how to diagnose osteoarthritis.

The doctor will likely assess your knee and other joints for various hallmark signs of OA, some that you yourself may not have even noticed!

They will visually examine the joint(s) for swelling, asymmetry from side to side, different bony contours, etc. They will also feel your joint for warmth, tenderness, bony protrusions or knobs, muscle wasting (atrophy), pain, and crepitus.

They will also ask you to move the joint through the range of motion and then passively repeat this to assess your range of motion.

They will look at the way you walk (your gait) to assess for compensations or abnormalities.

They will then take this information and decide on the next step. 

3. Imaging

Imaging such as x-rays, MRIs, and other scans are commonly ordered to help diagnose osteoarthritis.

But, images on their own, don’t particularly give the whole picture.

Research has actually shown that just because you having findings of narrowing of the joint space, and wear to your cartilage- it doesn’t automatically mean pain. 

"The prevalence of knee osteoarthritis features on MRI in otherwise healthy, asymptomatic, uninjured knees is high—up to 43% in adults aged ≥40 years."

Culvenor et al, 2019

This means that someone could have the exact same x-ray you do and may not experience any pain at all.

This is why your own personal history, signs and symptoms are the most relevant piece of information. This will give more insight into how to treat, stop progression, and return to your active lifestyle.  

Imaging is simply an adjunct test to one’s history to give even more insight to the condition and is very useful in most instances.

What imaging can you expect?

The two most likely methods of imaging are X-rays and MRIs.

X-rays are typically used for bone and MRIs are typically used to look at soft tissues such as muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

On the x-ray the clinician will be looking for the most hallmark signs of OA: joint space narrowing, osteophyte formation (bone spurs), subchondral sclerosis (thickening of bone), and cysts (Braun, Hillary J., and Garry E. Gold, 2012).

The MRI will give a more in depth look at the muscles surrounding the affected joint as well as the cartilage damage that may occur with osteoarthritis.

Some level of caution

I often hear people seeking out an MRI or an x-ray to “see what is going on inside their joint”. The problem with this is that many of these images are unnecessary and can actually negatively impact your pain. 

You cannot “unsee” your image once you get one. If the image is described or even looks worse than originally thought, you may actually begin to experience more pain…

This video below goes into when you should consider an MRI and when one may not be necessary. 

4. Blood tests, Arthrocentesis

Blood tests and/or arthrocentesis (pulling fluid out from an affected joint with a needle) may be used in order to primarily rule out or exclude other diagnoses that may mimic osteoarthritis.

The primary one they will be looking for is rheumatoid arthritis. It is important to rule out rheumatoid arthritis as it does require different routes of treatment if discovered.

When looking at how is osteoarthritis diagnosed, there aren’t any specific blood markers that indicate the condition. There are certain things such as levels of inflammation, A1C, vitamin D, and other options for testing that could aid in ruling out other conditions and helping to create a treatment plan that may be necessary. 

So I have osteoarthritis, now what?

If you have been told you have osteoarthritis based upon these above tests, I’m so glad you’re here. My main mission at Keep the Adventure Alive is to give you the best information possible along with hope to continue adventuring even with osteoarthritis.

I meet people ALL THE TIME who aren’t sure the first step they should take to reduce their pain and start tackling osteoarthritis. 

I have taken the knowledge and experience from treating hundreds of people with osteoarthritis and created a step by step process that has helped so many get out of pain and get back to doing what they love. 

This is inside the Arthritis Adventure Blueprint. Instead of scouring the internet and wasting time on supplements, fancy braces and other things that don’t work- now you have access to something that is tested and proven by a physical therapist! 

Learn more about this step by step program below so you can get started on your adventure right now! 

how is osteoarthritis diagnosed
how is osteoarthritis diagnosed

References

Braun, Hillary J., and Garry E. Gold. “Diagnosis of osteoarthritis: imaging.” Bone 51.2 (2012): 278-288.

Culvenor AGØiestad BEHart HF, et al. Prevalence of knee osteoarthritis features on magnetic resonance imaging in asymptomatic uninjured adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Guest writer and contributor: Kayci Smith, SPT at the University of Utah

Disclaimer: This post is for general informational purposes only. It should not be used to self-diagnose and it is not a substitute for a medical exam, cure, treatment, diagnosis, and prescription or recommendation. It does not create a doctor-patient relationship between Dr. Kuhn and you. You should not make any change in your health regimen or diet before first consulting a physician and obtaining a medical exam, diagnosis, and recommendation. Move Well Age Well, LLC and Dr. Alyssa Kuhn, PT, DPT are not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any conclusions drawn, services or product you obtain through this post, video or site.

knee arthritis pain dos and don'ts

9 Do’s and Don’ts if you have knee arthritis pain

If you have knee arthritis pain, it is important to know which things you should and shouldn’t be doing, especially if you are searching for pain relief. As a physical therapist that exclusively works with clients with osteoarthritis- I have found 9 common things that I find myself telling clients to do or avoid. I have included this list below!

This article may contain affiliate links in which Keep the Adventure Alive gets a small compensation if you purchase from the links at no extra cost to you.

Lowdown on knee arthritis pain

If you have knee arthritis pain, movement can seem very overwhelming. It can be difficult to figure out why your knee is angry and how to reduce pain levels. Let me tell you- cortisone shots, and surgical procedures aren’t always the answer. 

Depending on the stage of your knee osteoarthritis- there are typically 5 stages– your first step towards relief may vary. 

I do want you to know something though: whether you are in the mild stages or if you are bone on bone, there is still hope for relief. Learn more about bone on bone knees here.

Essentially your first step is to figure out what is flaring up your joint pain and figuring out how to reduce these triggers. Problem is, there are a lot of things that can flare up your pain and some aren’t always the most obvious. 

Following these simple do’s and don’ts below can help you get started on finding out how to reduce your knee arthritis pain. 

1. Do get a second opinion

Just like all other fields, doctors, physicians, and surgeons all have different ways of looking at things. Same goes with physical therapists and other medical professionals. 

You may be told many different things when it comes to “fixes” for knee arthritis pain. You would be amazed at what some people are told…

It is so important to find an arthritis specialist that understands you and understands your goals. More on that here.

It is always important to get a second opinion or a new perspective on your arthritis pain. Before deciding on a procedure, injection, or surgery- have someone else take a look at your situation.

This is not saying you shouldn’t trust the medical professional giving you the original opinion.  But, someone else may think of something or see something that someone else may have missed. This is especially important before deciding on a joint replacement surgery.

I have met many people who were told: 

  • not to exercise 
  • to avoid squats 
  • that surgery is the only way for relief
  • to only do lower impact exercise 
  • that physical therapy wouldn’t work for them

In these circumstances, this can lead you down a path of depression, inactivity, and hopelessness- a scenario that you are likely trying to avoid! 

Keeping an open mind and allowing for a new perspective on your situation can help to open your eyes to all of your options! 

2. Don't overdo it

I know this one may sound easier said than done but hear me out.

One of the main problems I see as a physical therapist primarily treating clients with hip and knee osteoarthritis is the difficulty of managing and preventing flare ups. 

Has this ever happened to you? Your knee is finally feeling good so you decide to clean the house, run a few errands, and even walk a few miles with a friend in the evening. Then, when trying to go to sleep that night- your knee is throbbing

This typically happens when too much activity is done to a point where your joint is sending you signals saying it was too much. 

Anytime you experience pain, think of it as your joint is trying to tell you something. Whether it was too much of a certain activity without the right muscle support or stability or sometimes the opposite, not enough activity. 

Here is a video on overactivity and how to prevent overdoing it.

3. Do include variety

If you are primarily walking or cycling for exercise to help with your knee arthritis pain, there is something else you can include to maximize your pain reduction and actually make it last…

It is something simple but something that is commonly overlooked and missed. 

Thinking about how you typically move throughout the day, what direction are you primarily going? For most of us, it’s going to be forwards. Unless you are playing sports or have heard me talk about this already, you may be missing this one thing…which is VARIETY. 

knee arthritis pain fear (1)

Too often, daily life requires one direction. Walking to the mailbox, walking out to the car, walking into the store, walking to the kitchen- we move forwards A LOT. But what about the muscles that help us move sideways and backwards? They don’t get much love usually. 

These muscles are incredibly important though to support your joints, especially in the knee. 

If you then are adding walking and/or cycling as your primary form of exercise- that includes more forwards movement.

Simply adding sideways and backwards movement as a warm up or after your walking or cycling routine can be really powerful. It is how many clients I’ve worked with have unlocked things like deep squats, walking longer distances, sleeping through the night, and even running.

Learn more on how you can mix up your routine here.

4. Don't rest too long

Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely a time and a place for rest. Your joints do need rest in certain situations. 

But resting too much and avoiding movement can actually increase pain. Below is a common fear that many people have with knee arthritis pain and you may have experienced the same thoughts in the past.

knee arthritis pain fear

The more you rest, does not correlate with “saving your joints” or making the cartilage last longer.

Actually, contrary to popular belief, cartilage responds best when it is under stress during exercise for example. Here’s more on how that works

The less you use your cartilage, the more that you will typically lose. Along the same lines with muscle and the popular “use it or lose it” saying. Even if you are bone on bone it is important to move. 

Without movement you can also experience secondary consequences such as muscle weakness, weight gain, weakening of bones, and chronic disease. With osteoarthritis, it is imperative that movement is at least a part of your day, everyday. 

Even if you are bone on bone and are thinking “it’s too difficult to move because everything hurts” I have a workout here that will change your mind 🙂

5. Do Learn to Squat

It is impossible to avoid squats in daily life. This is why it is so important you learn to do so without excruciating pain. 

So many people become scared to squat because of the fear that it may cause more damage. Others may have been told to just avoid squats all together from a medical professional or by family members or friends.

Do you relate to her below?

knee arthritis pain squats

Squatting is ENTIRELY possible whether you deal with low or high levels of knee arthritis pain.  Its just about finding the best ways to be able to squat without flaring up your pain or making your knees angry. 

But let me tell you something, if you are looking to be able to use the bathroom, get in and out of the car, and sit on the couch- you have to be able to do a squat. There is hope.

Here is a post talking through the 5 reasons of why you are having knee pain with squatting and what to do about it.

6. Don't accept "take it easy" as a treatment

This is one of the most frustrating pieces of advice lots of people are given when it comes to osteoarthritis and you may have been told this too.

In terms of dealing with pain, “take it easy” is typically not going to lead to relief long term. 

If you are in a flare up, sure, temporary rest can be very powerful. 

But, one of the most powerful ways to relieve joint pain is to incorporate some degree of movement whether it’s gentle seated exercise or other strengthening movements.

As one of the Arthritis Adventure Blueprint members describes, she was simply told to “take it easy” when her pain flared after working a full week. 

knee arthritis options

The best thing to do to reduce knee arthritis pain and prevent it from recurring is finding what is triggering your pain. This could be the type of activity, muscle weakness, instability, footwear (especially if on concrete, this is my favorite brand), foods you’re eating, etc.

By building muscle strength and reducing inflammation- you can begin unlocking longer term pain relief. Here’s what is possible if you follow the the right path towards relief. This is the same woman from above. 

knee arthritis pain hope

If you’re looking to get started on this path so you can stop wasting time with things that don’t work, I have put everything into the Arthritis Adventure Blueprint to make pain relief possible for you too.

7. Do pay attention to food quality

Food quality can play such a vital role in how your joints feel but is rarely talked about during appointments with medical professionals in traditional healthcare. 

This usually isn’t your fault though. Many times professionals may say, “just lose weight” as their attempt to address nutrition. I mean really, those words provide zero help

Instead, focusing on managing inflammation by looking at the quality of your foods such as what type of ingredients are in the foods and how they impact your blood sugar. Learning more about these things can actually give you specific strategies that will lead to more success with weight loss and inflammation control.

Here is a video below with Dr. Morgan Nolte, a good friend and physical therapist who explains in detail what insulin resistance is and why you need to know about it if you have osteoarthritis.

If you are looking to change the way you eat and start feeding your body foods it actually likes, here is a guide to help you get started.

8. Don't Give up on your active life

Just because you have osteoarthritis does not mean you cannot lead an active life. It is possible to get your symptoms under control so you are able to do the things you want to.

By taking the right steps you can make all kinds of things possible from walking around the store to finally getting in the car with ease. You can return to hiking and even get back to running. 

There are lots of possibilities and I find a lot of the times you are led to believe you can never be active again…

Here is an empowering story about overcoming osteoarthritis.

The most difficult part is knowing what you need to focus on to make these things possible. When you find those missing pieces, you can open the door to so many possibilites.

knee arthritis pain exercise

Just knowing what is possible can be very powerful. 

Right now, think of something you would love to be able to do and let that motivate you to start taking action today. 

9. Do Take Action

Action is by far the most important thing when it comes to finding knee arthritis pain relief. 

There are ways to find short term pain relief with things that are done to you, also known as passive treatments. These typically include massage, chiropractors, pain pills, cortisone shots, PRP, stem cells, knee braces/compression sleeves, supplements, and pain relieving creams. 

Passive treatments can have a time and place but it is also important to include active treatments too. These typically include making changes to your diet, the right type of exercise, and regular physical activity. 

Relying on passive treatments can make you feel like you are constantly spinning your wheels. You can usually find temporary pain relief but it likely comes back again and again.

If you are looking for the first few steps you need to do to take action to find relief, you can download this free guide that shows you exactly where to start HERE

conclusion

With the right resources, it is possible to navigate knee arthritis pain and actually find ways to prevent the progression of symptoms. 

Disclaimer: This post is for general informational purposes only. It should not be used to self-diagnose and it is not a substitute for a medical exam, cure, treatment, diagnosis, and prescription or recommendation. It does not create a doctor-patient relationship between Dr. Kuhn and you. You should not make any change in your health regimen or diet before first consulting a physician and obtaining a medical exam, diagnosis, and recommendation. Move Well Age Well, LLC and Dr. Alyssa Kuhn, PT, DPT are not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any conclusions drawn, services or product you obtain through this post, video or site.

anti inflammatory foods list pdf

The Best Anti Inflammatory Foods List PDF 2022 For Osteoarthritis Pain Relief

This anti inflammatory foods list PDF will give you the best foods to eat to decrease the inflammation in your body. Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease and other chronic conditions are exacerbated by low grade, chronic inflammation. According to a recent study, “… dietary interventions are a particularly promising therapeutic treatment for chronic pain, with numerous studies suggesting that diet has a noticeable effect on pain as far down as the cellular level.” Fueling your body with anti inflammatory foods can make a significant change in the health of your body as well as your joint pain.

This article contains affiliate links that give me a small compensation if purchased from the link to support the blog, at no extra cost to you.

After extensive research of osteoarthritis and joint pain, it has been found that there is a correlation between levels of inflammation and degree of osteoarthritis pain.

A large part of the inflammation created by your body is impacted by the foods you are eating and the amount of movement you are doing. With joint pain, it can be hard to find movement that doesn’t make pain worse.

There are specific foods that have been deemed “anti inflammatory foods” based on the benefits they have for us and the reactions they cause in our bodies.

I always find, the more we know about something, the more adherent we are to actually doing it. Let’s learn a little more about inflammation.

WHAT IS INFLAMMATION AND WHAT CAUSES IT?

Inflammation is a natural reaction that your body creates when there is an injury, infection or a process called diet-induced oxidative stress. We will be focusing on diet-induced oxidative stress for a moment. This is important to understand what the foods you are eating are actually causing in your body.

Diet induced oxidative stress essentially occurs when your defense system, full of antioxidants, is outnumbered. Cells called free radicals start to take over. They like to wreak havoc and stimulate inflammatory cells. This is called oxidative stress.

When certain foods are broken down, they cause the formation of more free radicals. The more free radicals we have in our body, the more damage being done to our cells.

This triggers an inflammatory process and can leave you in a chronic state of inflammation if you are constantly resupplying our free radicals.

In normal circumstances, the antioxidants and free radicals are balanced. Free radicals have an important part in cellular processes but too much can lead to potential danger.

It is important to note that there are also other situations that can lead to this imbalance. These include UV radiation, smoking, and air pollution.

More and more research is finding out that nutrition plays a significant role in keeping our body in balance and out of oxidative stress. But which foods lead to a higher chance of oxidative stress? That is the purpose of the anti-inflammatory foods list pdf that you will below.

IMPORTANCE OF ANTI-INFLAMMATORY FOODS

If you want to keep your body in balance and prevent free radicals from accumulating, how do you do that? In a 2020 study they found that…

“Diets like the standard American diet (SAD), characterized by elevated intake of processed carbohydrates and saturated fats, have been linked to increased postprandial oxidative stress in the short term and chronic elevation of oxidative stress markers in the long term”

Kaushik et al, 2020

One of the culprits of oxidative stress is excess carbohydrates. This is NOT saying all carbohydrates are bad. Carbohydrates in excess can lead to increased risk for free radicals to begin accumulating.

Most processed foods, candy, sugary drinks, and even some “healthy” foods pack lots of carbohydrates that we may not even realize. Refined and processed foods can also contribute to something called insulin resistance which can wreak havoc on your joints. Learn more on that here.

High levels of saturated fats can also play a role in leading to oxidative stress. Many fried foods and processed meats contain saturated fat levels that exceed our daily allowance very quickly. They may even double or triple it!

Anti-inflammatory foods are one way you can help to bring your body back into balance. You can do this with certain foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals that contribute to our antioxidant defense system. You are essentially building a stronger army to fight free radicals.

If you aren’t getting enough of these types of foods, your defense system begins to crumble. This commonly leads to a period of chronic inflammation as the more free radicals you have, the more inflammation you have- thus more joint pain!

So which foods fall into this “good” category?

If you haven’t checked out this podcast episode from my podcast “Adventuring with Osteoarthritis” that can be found on Apple and Spotify, this episode is with Dr. Ann Kulze who talks about the best and worst foods when it comes to osteoarthritis! 

The Anti Inflammatory Foods List PDF

Which specific foods should we be eating more of if you have osteoarthritis? This anti-inflammatory foods list was created to answer that question! Often times I get asked, how can I treat my osteoarthritis pain naturally? Or how can I get rid of pain without having to rely on pain medications?

A significant part of that answer is fueling your bodies with the right foods because as the popular saying goes “you can’t out-exercise a bad diet”. Exercise has to work with diet in order to be able to break free from your pain.

Understand these 7 things before you begin exercising with osteoarthritis.

Discover these powerful foods with this FREE anti inflammatory foods list pdf below.

Then, below I will explain a few food groups that are key to beginning your anti inflammatory journey but this list will be vital to your success.

In the meantime, let’s find out some of the food groups that can build an amazing defense system. Learn how to fight inflammation using the foods you put in your body. Instead of viewing this way of eating as a “diet” we should start to look at it as a way of life to continue to reduce inflammation.

(here is my top 15 list on ways to reduce inflammation!)

 

MEDITERRANEAN diet: anti-inflammatory way of life

The Mediterranean diet is recommended to control inflammation levels as well as an abundance of other health benefits.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the Mediterranean diet is a way of eating based on the traditional cuisine of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. While there is no single definition of the Mediterranean diet, it is typically high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nut and seeds, and olive oil.

Meats are also included, limiting the amount of red meats and focusing on white meats and fish. Most of the foods found in the anti inflammatory foods list pdf above are compliant with the Mediterranean diet. Why is this diet so important?

“In fact, the Mediterranean diet is comparable to other interventions such as aspirin, statins, physical activity, and even antihypertensives such as ace-inhibitors or beta-blockers in terms of reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease morbidity, mortality, and events”

Widmer et al, 2016

Here are some primary food groups of the Mediterranean diet but this is not a comprehensive list. These are a vital part of the anti inflammatory foods list pdf.

Omega 3 fatty acids

We have two primary types of fatty acids in our bodies, omega 3 and omega 6. Omega 3 fatty acids are found in salmon, tuna, mackerel. You can find more food sources here.

Omega 6 fatty acids are found in most fast food, corn chips, sausage, and most baked goods. You can find more food sources here.

It is important that these two are kept in balance. Many times in a traditional American diet, you may find yourself getting more omega 6 fatty acids compared to omega 3.

In high amounts, omega 6 fatty acids can actually be pro-inflammatory, meaning they stimulate inflammatory cells.

It has actually been found that osteoarthritic joints can accumulate these omega 6 fatty acids which stimulate a specific inflammatory cell.

Omega 3s have an anti-inflammatory effect to combat this reaction and keep inflammation in control.

How much should you have?

“Aim to increase intake of long-chain n-3 fatty acids via a direct source of EPA/DHA; increase intake of oily fish; aim to consume a minimum one portion per week (as in general healthy eating guidelines) and preferably two”

Fruits

Many fruits contain high levels of vitamin C. It has been studied and found that “vitamin C has been shown to minimize oxidative stress damage to lipid and protein-based cellular components…”.

This means that fruits can decrease the number of free radicals and increase the strength of the antioxidant defense system. This ultimately leads to decreased inflammation.

Fruit also has the power to help decrease blood pressure, decrease risk of heart disease, and decrease body fat. This is because of the lower calorie food items, the amount of micronutrients, and antioxidant properties.  In order to reap these benefits you have to reach the recommended daily amount of fruit.

There are some fruits that carry more benefit than others. The anti inflammatory foods list PDF will show you which fruits are more beneficial.

How much should you have?

Fruits are usually combined with vegetables in the recommendations for daily consumption but the recommended amount of fruit is anywhere between 2-5 servings.

Nuts

Nuts can have a plethora of health benefits, not only for fighting inflammation but also cardiac and weight loss benefits as well. When following the Mediterranean diet, it is important that the fat sources you are consuming are quality. Saturated fats typically make up almost 20% of our diets!

Focusing on quality sources of fat can be extremely beneficial for controlling inflammation which is where nuts come in. Take a look at this study below:

“In a 2014 study conducted among adults with elevated risk for cardiovascular disease, study participants were given a Mediterranean diet supplemented with either extra virgin olive oil or nuts for a 12-month period. When compared a low-fat diet group, the participants given the Mediterranean diet exhibited a significant reduction of inflammatory biomarkers C-reactive protein and IL-6. Interestingly, when comparing the two intervention groups, those given nuts showed more than double the reduction of inflammatory biomarker

Casas et al, 2014

Consumption of nuts not only acted as anti-inflammatory sources, but they also have been shown to be linked to decreasing blood pressure and “bad” LDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol has also been linked with increased inflammation in the joints affected by osteoarthritis. Check the anti inflammatory foods list pdf to find out which nuts are the best as they are not all created equal!

How much should you have?

2 handfuls of nuts per day should be enough to reap these benefits. It is important to know that nuts are high in calories so too much of a good thing might be detrimental. Keep them in moderation with the right type of nuts and anti inflammatory benefits will be within reach!

Vegetables

We know that vegetables are good for our overall health but what if they also held super powers to help with your arthritic joints as well?! According to Dr. Ann Wellness, broccoli carries these super powers!

Broccoli can already claim superstar status for cardiovascular and cancer protection – and thanks to an exciting study, fighting arthritis may be added to its disease-busting credentials. In a series of three separate lab experiments, researchers from the University of East Anglia were able to show that sulforaphane, a compound in broccoli, blocks the destructive inflammation within joint cartilage that leads to osteoarthritis.

Dr. Ann Wellness

Other green leafy vegetables can be found on the anti inflammatory foods list above but broccoli is one that we should be paying extra close attention to! Other vegetables such as spinach, kale, and peppers can play a part in controlling arthritis pain.

How much should you have?

Try to consume at least 1-2 cups per day of vegetables to start. Many times clients have the most success replacing one of their typical dinner sides like pasta or rice with a dark green, leafy vegetable. This makes it nice and easy to get your daily amount.

You can also find other creative ways like switching your salad to spinach instead of iceberg lettuce, adding in a kale mixture, or adding broccoli as a topper to get some extra crunch!

Oils

Oils can be sneaky when it comes to driving up inflammation levels. Most of the time you may not even know they are present in foods, especially foods that come in a box. 

Oils like soybean oil are found in many frozen foods as well as other processed foods. I pulled a “Lean Cuisine” out of my freezer the other day and found that in this meal that is considered to be “healthy” soybean oil is one of the ingredients! 

When looking at healthy oils when it comes to minimizing inflammation, olive oil and avocado oils are your friend. 

I typically use avocado oil at higher heat when sauteing vegetables or using it to cook other things  (this brand is my favorite).

Olive oil can be used at lower heats and in particular for salad dressings. Pro tip- make sure it is extra virgin though as this will carry the most anti inflammatory properties (this is my favorite brand).

Turmeric

Outside of whole foods on this anti inflammatory foods list PDF, there are certain supplements that have powerful anti inflammatory properties, turmeric being one of them. 

Turmeric contains an ingredient called curcumin. This is where most of the anti inflammatory power comes from. 

Curcumin suppresses the inflammatory cells which can not only help decrease the irritation in your joint but can also help in the rest of your body too as most chronic health conditions have a tie to inflammation.

One of the Turmeric supplements that many arthritis sufferers have had luck with is the Jellybee Turmeric and Ginger gummy. It has the potential to reduce stiffness and pain associated with osteoarthritis.

You can also consume it in the spice form which can be found here if you like the taste of it! It is an easy add to so many recipes.

What are the inflammatory foods I should avoid?

There are certain inflammatory foods that you should stay away from, especially if you have osteoarthritis and/or joint pain. 

Here is a short inflammatory foods list

  • Processed sugars like high fructose corn syrup
  • Seed oils
  • Refined carbohydrates like breads, pastas, desserts
  • Processed meats such as bacon, some deli meat, sausage, etc

In general, if you can start with limiting your consumption of these foods and focusing on the foods in the anti inflammatory foods pdf, you will be well on your way to fighting inflammation!

🥦 🥕 🥑 🍊 🥒

If you want an expansive list of food ingredients you should avoid as well as my top 30 favorite snacks that are arthritis friendly, check out the Osteoarthritis Food Guide here.

Conclusion

Make sure you don’t leave this article without downloading the FREE anti inflammatory foods list pdf above. This guide has been created just for you to help you make anti inflammatory foods simple. Too often, we can be overwhelmed with the amount of choices we have when it comes to food. This guide can make it very easy.

Choose 4-5 of these foods to begin including in your diet. You may be including a few of these already but make sure you are hitting the recommended amounts to get all of the benefits.

Anti-inflammatory foods help to control oxidative stress and the amount of free radicals in our bodies. We need a strong defense system to continue to fight them, so keep those antioxidants coming!

The Mediterranean diet is a great way to meet all of these recommendations and limit the foods that may be helping to build the free radicals. Now you know what some of these foods are doing to our bodies, it might make you think twice about eating them.

If you have osteoarthritis and are interested in finding pain relief, anti inflammatory foods are only one piece of the puzzle. The Arthritis Adventure Blueprint walks you through a step by step process on how to eat clean, how to exercise, and how to feel strong again despite osteoarthritis. Learn more below: 

Disclaimer: This post is for general informational purposes only. It should not be used to self-diagnose and it is not a substitute for a medical exam, cure, treatment, diagnosis, and prescription or recommendation. It does not create a doctor-patient relationship between Dr. Kuhn and you. You should not make any change in your health regimen or diet before first consulting a physician and obtaining a medical exam, diagnosis, and recommendation. Move Well Age Well, LLC and Dr. Alyssa Kuhn, PT, DPT are not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any conclusions drawn, services or product you obtain through this video or site.

symptoms of knee arthritis

11 symptoms of knee arthritis & what to do about them to stay active

There are common symptoms of knee arthritis that can point you in the direction of finding answers to your pain and guiding your treatment. Some symptoms include: morning stiffness, fluctuating swelling, pain on one side of the body, and occasional flare ups. There is no test to determine presence of knee osteoarthritis which makes these symptoms very helpful to know about. You’ll learn the common symptoms along with what to do about them if they are present below.

This post may contain affiliate links that provide us with a small compensation with no extra cost to you if you use the links in this article. 

In order to figure out what is going on with your knee, take a look at these common symptoms of knee arthritis below. If you just have one of these symptoms on their own- it may indicate something else is going on. If you have a cluster of these symptoms, it could be knee arthritis.

If you do have any of these symptoms I want you to know there is absolutely hope for relief and it is not inevitable you will need a joint replacement. 

In fact, here’s a podcast episode below detailing how to avoid surgery if you do in fact have knee osteoarthritis.

 

 

Please note that some of these potential symptoms of knee arthritis could point to other conditions as well so it is important to consider that in your decision. 

If you do believe it is knee arthritis based on a majority of these symptoms, seeking out a second opinion is advised.

Table of Contents

1. Knee Morning Stiffness

If you wake up in the morning with knee stiffness, this is one of the hallmark signs of osteoarthritis. This usually includes feeling like you have to lift your leg out of bed and are hobbling for the first few steps.

It is important to note that after about 15-30 minutes of movement, you should experience a significant decrease in stiffness with osteoarthritis. If the stiffness hangs around for up to an hour- there is a possibility for rheumatoid arthritis (learn the difference here).

What to do about it:

Usually a few simple movements can help tremendously with this morning joint stiffness. Simply sliding your leg up and down in bed, as you increase the bend in your knee can help to get blood flowing. You can also sit on the side of the bed and kick your legs out. 

Here are some examples below in this short video:

2. Gradual Knee pain

One of the primary symptoms of knee arthritis is a gradual onset of pain. Some describe it as a slight pain that appears and continues to linger as it increases in intensity. This pain is typically brought on without a specific injury. 

Pain is commonly felt in the inside of the knee and/or behind the knee cap. It may even seem like the pain switches locations depending on what you are doing.

Pain felt above or below the knee joint could indicate a tendon injury to the quadriceps tendon or the patellar tendon. 

Pain levels typically stay at a dull ache, especially in the beginning. They can increase depending on activity levels or degree of irritation. 

One caveat to this is that if you have a history of a knee injury like an ACL tear, MCL tear, meniscus tear, or an injury that required surgery- you are more at risk for knee arthritis.

Many people try to ignore the pain at first, hoping it goes away. In this situation, pain typically tends to increase if the correct action isn’t taken, which could worsen the condition.

What to do about it:

If you begin to experience knee pain, think about when you feel it the most (i.e during a certain movement, certain time of the day, certain foods you’ve eaten, etc). 

Seek out help from a medical professional you trust (here’s a post on how to choose the right doctor). It is so important to make sure you stay ahead of this pain making sure you have the right muscular support and movement mechanics to prevent making the condition worse.

Many times I notice the most pain occurs when muscle imbalances and asymmetries occur so a movement expert can help you find out what you need to work on. If you need help with this, please contact us

3. Feelings of instability

If you have changes in your knee cartilage and/or changes in your meniscus, it can lead to feelings of instability. For example, it may feel like your knee is going to “give out” or it may buckle when all of your weight is on it. 

This symptom of knee arthritis isn’t the most common but can happen depending on what is going on inside your knee and can be compounded by leg muscle weakness.

If knee instability is tied to an injury or you have a history of knee ligament repair (ACL, MCL, LCL) these can also lead to instability. 

Even if it doesn’t actually give out or buckle, this is a safety hazard because it can lead to potential falls especially when on the stairs.

What to do about it:

If your knee is feeling unstable, aside from seeking out help from a medical professional you trust- you can also try a brace. 

I usually recommend the soft, neoprene compression sleeves because they don’t change the way you move. Some of the braces with hard parts in them can negatively impact the way you walk. 

What type of brace that will be the most beneficial for you will depend on the severity of your instability. Here is a list of my favorite neoprene compression sleeves.

4. Knee noises

Crunching, creaking and cracking in your knee can be a common symptom of knee arthritis. You may hear noises when you are going up and/or down the stairs as well as when you are squatting to sit down. 

These noises aren’t inherently dangerous though. Many people believe that these noises indicate more “damage” but that is usually not the case! 

I have a full post on knee noises you can check out here.

What to do about it:

If you are experiencing knee noises, there are a few things you can do to reduce the severity and the frequency. Most of which includes strengthening different muscles and moving in different ways that don’t bring more stress to the are that is creating the noise.

I have a video below that shows you the best movements to help reduce knee noises! 

5. Pressure or pain climbing stairs

If you feel pressure in your knees or a dull discomfort when going up and/or down the stairs, it could be one of the symptoms of knee arthritis.

Commonly, people have most difficulty coming down the stairs with knee arthritis but can also be common in patellofemoral pain syndrome or patellofemoral arthritis, which is arthritis of the kneecap. With this type of arthritis, treatments are very similar to knee arthritis.

What to do about it:

If you have pain on the stairs, you could try going up the stairs sideways, hanging onto a stable handrail to find pain relief right now. This is a temporary fix though. 

It is absolutely possible to climb up and or down the stairs with ease and confidence again though. The one primary thing that makes this possible is building leg strength. I have a Stair Climbing Secrets Video Training here that can help you get started on the right track.

symptoms of knee arthritis

6. Difficulty squatting

Squatting can feel impossible when your knees are irritated. If you feel pain as you try to do a squatting motion, if you have difficulty squatting lower, or have a hard time standing up from a chair- these all can be a symptom of knee arthritis. 

It is important to note that muscle weakness is a secondary symptom to pain and muscle weakness simply does not happen just because you have knee arthritis. 

If you reduce your activity levels, muscle weakness can occur- which can actually lead to more knee irritation if not addressed. 

Squatting is a vital function for daily life so it is not something you have to avoid! Instead, it’s all about working around your knees and finding ways to do it that don’t further irritate them. 

What to do about it:

If you have difficulty squatting, here is a post that can help explain a few common mistakes that I typically see as a physical therapist. 

One of the best ways to get better at squatting is to find a variation that works for you. One of the most common ways that can be very nice to irritated, arthritic knees is to use what are called suspension straps (this is my favorite brand), Check out this video below to see how they work.

7. Fluctuating knee swelling

Knee swelling can be a very common symptom of knee arthritis especially following an additional injury like a meniscus tear, irritation after a lot of activity, and/or fluid build-up due to inactivity. 

Sometimes swelling can last a few hours, sometimes it can last a few days depending on the severity of your arthritis, your activity level, presence of potential injury, how quickly your body moves fluid and/or the strength of your knee. 

Swelling can also be a sign of a recent injury such as a ligament tear, meniscus tear, a fracture, or the presence of a baker’s cyst (more on that here) so it is important to rule these out first. 

If you notice any other symptoms accompanying like skin warmth and redness, fever, nausea, swelling into the calf, calf pain, or increased fatigue- it is important to seek further medical care to rule out any other serious conditions.

What to do about it:

If swelling is due to knee arthritis, it is important to think about the potential cause. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Did you do more activity than usual before you noticed the swelling?
  • Have you significantly decreased your activity levels over the past few days?
  • Have you noticed a recent flare up or increased pain? 

Trying to identify the irritating factor can help to pinpoint the potential cause of the swelling. Then you can take action to mitigate it, such as spreading out errands throughout the week instead of all on one day or trying to move when sitting or standing for long periods of time. 

If you are having a hard time figuring out where the swelling is coming from, moving in different ways than you usually do can significantly reduce swelling, i.e moving sideways and backwards can get different muscles moving to help pump the swelling out! 

One last thing, knee compression sleeves can help to reduce swelling and keep it to a minimum- making sure that the sleeve fits appropriately. You do want to avoid sleeping in these though.

8. Feeling off-balanced

If you feel as if your balance is declining or you don’t feel as balanced as you used to, it could be a sign of knee when accompanied with other of the above symptoms. 

Secondary to muscle weakness, balance can decline when you aren’t moving as much as you used to. Pain and swelling can also impact how your muscles are able to work. If they aren’t able to contract efficiently, your balance may suffer. 

What to do about it:

Short and sweet but the best way to improve balance is to work on it. There are lots of ways to improve balance with knee arthritis, there are some examples in this post.

You can also check out some of my favorite balance exercises in this video: 

9. Loss of flexibility

If your knee is feeling tight, stiff, or swollen you may notice that it becomes hard to bend and/or straighten your knee all the way. 

Loss of range of motion is one of the common symptoms of knee arthritis but it doesn’t have to be permanent. You may notice that with limited range of motion, it becomes hard to do certain tasks such as climbing stairs, getting in/out of the car, and even walking normally. 

Loss of range of motion can also occur after scar tissue build up from a previous injury or surgery as well so it’s important to rule out other potential causes.

What to do about it:

If you feel like you are losing the ability to fully bend and/or straighten your leg because of osteoarthritis- it is important to address it while preventing further loss. 

This is an example of an exercise that can help address both bending and straightening. The goal would be to complete anywhere between 8-12 of these. Don’t force any range of motion, slowly start to work the muscles to improve blood flow and induce relaxation to the tight muscles.

If this one does not feel particularly good to you, don’t worry! There are tons of other ways you can work on range of motion. If you need more ideas to try and want to learn more about knee arthritis- grab this FREE guide on where to get started if you have knee arthritis.

10. Pain on one side

If you primarily notice pain in one knee more than the other, this could be on of the symptoms of knee arthritis. Most of the time, osteoarthritis develops on one side of your body. This is not to say that it isn’t possible to have it in both knees but usually it starts out in one knee.

If you have pain in both knees equally and if you notice pain in both hands, wrists, elbows, ankles, or feet- it could be a potential sign of rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis typically affects both sides pretty symmetrically. 

If your pain started on one knee then migrated to the other one or your other hip or even lower back- this is common as you likely change the way you move when you have pain. Compensations when you are walking, climbing stairs, and squatting are common and can lead to pain in other joints. This is why it is important to address it as quickly as you can! 

What to do about it:

If you notice pain in one knee, the best thing to do is to find out what is causing your pain. It could be the way you are moving or lack thereof, it could be the foods you are eating, it could even be the stress you are feeling. 

Honestly, it’s likely a combination of a few things. But, almost everytime you go see a medical professional for your knee, they usually only look at your knee! Taking x-rays and moving your knee around.

I find SO OFTEN that with osteoarthritis many people are chasing the wrong solutions to find relief. Instead it’s important to find the root cause- that’s how you make pain relief last.

I created the Arthritis Adventure Blueprint to give you a step by step process on exactly how to figure out what is causing your pain and how to fix it because many times you don’t get the answers you are looking for from traditional healthcare.

I have met so many people with osteoarthritis who have been chasing pain relief for years without any success in finding it. Instead of you wasting your time weeding through so much information, I gathered everything you need, right in one spot. 

11. Pain flares

If you notice intermittent bouts of higher levels of pain, swelling, and/or stiffness that appear to “come out of the blue” this could be what’s called an osteoarthritis flare up.

Sometimes they can be triggered from too much activity, too little activity, eating lots of inflammatory foods, changes in weather or even with high amounts of stress. They can also spontaneously occur.

Either way, these flare ups are typically temporary. They can last up to 5-6 days depending on the cause and what you do to find relief. 

What to do about it:

If you notice a flare up in pain, it is important to understand what can help to reduce this pain so it doesn’t derail your entire day! 

There are lots of tools you can use to help with immediate pain relief that are explained in this video below. Some include gentle movement, certain pain creams (Voltaren is a common one), heat/ice, and others.

When it comes to a pain flare up, you do want to take action to reduce the pain. Laying on the couch and resting isn’t always the best way to find relief.

arthritis adventure blueprint

The Arthritis Adventure Blueprint

Dr. Alyssa Kuhn’s signature program to help you go from hopeless to hopeful with osteoarthritis. You will learn the secrets to arthritis pain relief that actually work- including exercise, diet, and other ways to control inflammation! Say goodbye to short term pain relief, it’s time to make it last.

Disclaimer: This post is for general informational purposes only. It should not be used to self-diagnose and it is not a substitute for a medical exam, cure, treatment, diagnosis, and prescription or recommendation. It does not create a doctor-patient relationship between Dr. Kuhn and you. You should not make any change in your health regimen or diet before first consulting a physician and obtaining a medical exam, diagnosis, and recommendation. Move Well Age Well, LLC and Dr. Alyssa Kuhn, PT, DPT are not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any conclusions drawn, services or product you obtain through this post, video or site.

knee pain when climbing stairs

Knee Pain When Climbing Stairs? 5 Exercises You Need to Master to Find RELIEF!

Knee pain when climbing stairs is extremely common whether you have pain going up or down the stairs- you are not alone! But what if I told you there was a chance that you could actually master the stairs and climb them with ease. Specific exercises can help you build strength so you can trust your leg(s) and have more confidence in your knees when coming down the stairs in particular. Once you master these specific things, knee pain from climbing stairs can be a thing of the past! 

If you are experiencing knee pain, pressure, or noises when going up or down the stairs, you are in the right place. It is possible to be able to go up or down the stairs confidently and without severe pain (I know it can be scary!). 

Firstly, there are a couple of things you can do to set yourself up for success that are external factors to ensure your safety. You can find those in this post here. 

There are a few key things that you need to master in order to tackle stair climbing. Here are a few of the most important ones: 

  • Single leg balance: if you have a hard time standing on one leg, stairs may feel scary to you!
  • Single leg strength: almost every activity you, involves double limb movements- squats in particular. It can be easier for your body to compensate during these movements but when it comes to stairs, you need single leg strength! 
  • The ability to squat: speaking of squatting in the previous point- if you have knee pain when climbing stairs- you have to be able to master a squat without severe pain.
  • Knee bending and straightening: if you are lacking range of motion in your knee- it could be one of the things working against you on the stairs.

I know what you might be thinking….

"So....uhhh where do I begin?!"

As you can see, there are a lot of different parts to being able to climb stairs with ease. You may be able to point out one or two things that you know you probably aren’t great at. 

But there are others that you may not know if you need to work on them or not! 

If you would like direction on where to begin, check out the 3 Stair Climbing Secrets Video Training here. 

If you have an idea of what you might need to work on, take a look at these exercises below. These can help to prepare your joints for all that stair climbing requires. 

Choose at least 1-2 of these to begin working on first to start decreasing your knee pain when stair climbing! 

5 Exercises to decrease knee pain when stair climbing

Please note that not all of these exercises below may feel good to you right now and that’s okay. Ideally, you will choose 1-2 exercises to start with and progress to the others as you are able to.

This is not an exhaustive list of exercises either. There are of course other exercises to master before you are running up and down the stairs again! You can find more of those in the 3 Stair Climbing Secrets Video training mentioned above. 

When doing any type of stair training, please exercise with caution. Use support of stable stair railings and wear shoes that have tread on them, especially if you have carpeted stairs. Most of these exercises should be done on the bottom step for safety.

1. Lateral Step up

This exercise can be helpful to work on both single leg strength in your hips and knees in particular. The good news with this one is if you are able to do it without compensating or limping- it usually doesn’t bother the knee! 

The higher the step, the harder this exercise will be so if you do have a lower step you can start on, I would recommend that.

Try to complete 8-10 reps as you are able and repeat on the other leg. Take note of any differences, i.e if one side appears weaker than the other. This will help you decide what you need to prioritize.

2. Step back and march

This is one of my favorites because it challenges balance usually without irritating the knee! If you do experience hip pain, this one may not be one to start with, especially if you notice it when you lift your leg. 

Use the stair railing for support especially for the first couple of reps and decrease support as you feel more confident. The idea is to try between 10-15 reps each side. 

If doing this after another exercise, understand that balance is usually always harder under fatigue! It is good to challenge balance under fatigue especially when trying to tackle knee pain from climbing stairs because you may actually be reaching fatigue on the stairs themselves.

3. front foot elevated lunge

Even if you only have difficulty going down the stairs, this one is a must. This front foot elevated lunge can be really helpful in your knee tolerating the position required going down the stairs. 

Single leg strength is vital and traditional lunges can increase pain when the knees are sensitive. One way to reduce knee pain when climbing stairs is to improve single leg strength.

This one can throw off balance a little bit so please keep that in mind, making sure you have support as needed. 

Complete 8-12 of these trying to bend your knees as far down as comfortable. If they don’t bend much right away, that’s totally fine! Complete on both sides to make sure you are even. 

4. Banded chair squat

Mastering the squat is huge especially when you have knee pain when climbing stairs. This is a variation that includes getting up and down from a chair. You also need a resistance band too (you can get a set here)! 

If this is initially hard for you, try from a higher surface such as a chair with a cushion on top of it or trying it from a bed or another taller surface. 

Here is an important video on what type of pain is okay and which is not. 

Inside of the stair climbing secrets, you will find other squat progressions that you can use once you master this one. 

Complete 8-15 reps as your able. Once you can complete 15 reps with no pain, swelling, or stiffness during or afterwards- it’s likely time to move on to a more difficult exercise.

5. Tandem row the boat

When creating workouts I always like to put a balance exercise towards the end. This is because as I mentioned previously- balance becomes harder under fatigue. 

For this one you need a light dumbbell to start and as you progress, the heavier the dumbbell, the harder this will be. 

I like to do this one for a specified time, anywhere from 20-30 seconds on each side. You may feel slight wobbling but you want to find a position that you do feel like you have control over. 

How to stop knee pain from climbing stairs for good

If you have knee pain when climbing stairs the only way to help the situation is by taking action. 

A cortisone shot may help initially but it will like wear off and longer term use can cause some damage. 

Anti inflammatory meds may take the edge off but won’t make you feel any stronger down the stairs. 

A knee brace or compression sleeve can increase your confidence slightly and can help you feel more stable but not on its own.

The best way to increase the ease of going up or down the stairs is to start building muscle strength. But the key is to do it in a way that does not flare up your pain. 

You also do have to be consistent for at least 4 weeks before you may notice a major improvement. I am all about small wings because I believe those are the best ways to carry you forward when it comes to chronic pain. 

If you don’t notice any change after 4 weeks, the exercises may not be exactly what you need and that’s okay! There are millions of exercises out there! 

As long as you aren’t pushing through significant pain and aren’t causing severe pain while doing these exercises above, you likely are not causing any “damage”. 

So here’s to tackling knee pain from climbing stairs. so you can run up and down the stairs again 🙂

Disclaimer: This post is for general informational purposes only. It should not be used to self-diagnose and it is not a substitute for a medical exam, cure, treatment, diagnosis, and prescription or recommendation. It does not create a doctor-patient relationship between Dr. Kuhn and you. You should not make any change in your health regimen or diet before first consulting a physician and obtaining a medical exam, diagnosis, and recommendation. Move Well Age Well, LLC and Dr. Alyssa Kuhn, PT, DPT are not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any conclusions drawn, services or product you obtain through this video or site.

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osteoarthrosis defined

Tell me more about osteoarthrosis! 3 things you need to know

Osteoarthrosis and osteoarthritis sound very similar, so what is the difference between the two? Even Google is autocorrecting to osteoarthritis. As it turns out, osteoarthrosis and osteoarthritis can be used interchangeably. Both are describing a joint disease that impacts joint health and cartilage. As described in an article written in 1984 by M. H. Atkinson, osteoarthrosis is described as, “… a disorder of synovial joints characterized by cartilage degeneration with secondary changes in the adjacent bone.” Now remember this is 1984, so some things have been discovered since then. Let’s take a deeper look.

It can be confusing trying to figure out what osteoarthrosis is, especially if you have been told you have it. There’s not much information out there on it.

Don’t worry though, I’ll help you get to the bottom of it! Here are three things you need to know:

1. So what is osteoarthrosis?

It sounds a lot like a common term we hear, osteoarthritis. 

Is there a difference? 

Broken down, osteoarthrosis translates to “chronic arthritis of noninflammatory character”

Osteoarthritis is described as ” ‘inflammation of bone and joint”, but also “osteoarthrosis is another name for the chronic condition known as osteoarthritis’ “

After doing some research, it seems as if the term osteoarthrosis was more commonly used in the 80s. The term is used less commonly now.

As it was described in the article mentioned above, “The three main symptoms [of osteoarthrosis] are pain, morning stiffness and a tendency for the affected joint to gel with immobility” which sounds a lot like the common symptoms of osteoarthritis. It was also described as commonly presenting in hip, knee, ankle/foot, and fingers.

The article goes on later to describe that the terms osteoarthritis and osteoarthrosis can be used interchangeably. 

My thinking is that osteoarthrosis began to lose it’s steam when scientists and researchers found out that this joint disease that was claimed to not be impacted by inflammation, actually is. The role of inflammation can be further described here.

Found in a study in 2013 by Sokolove et al., “OA is tightly linked to the interplay of joint damage, the immune response to perceived damage, and the subsequent state of chronic inflammation resulting in propagation and progression toward the phenotype recognized as clinical OA”

This is my opinion of maybe when the shift happened away from osteoarthritis and shifted to better fit the narrative of osteoarthritis.

2. What do I do now?

Osteoarthrosis is defined as a non-inflammatory arthritis where osteoarthritis is considered an inflammatory arthritis. 

But then when you look at the treatment approach, they are almost identical.

The article by M.H. Atkinson states, the treatment for osteoathrosis includes:

  • weight loss
  • physical activity 
  • supportive devices
  • rest (although long term rest is never recommended)
  • anglesics (or pain medications)

Doesn’t that sound oddly familiar to osteoarthritis? These things above can also help to reduce inflammation…

So if you have been diagnosed with either osteoarthrosis or osteoarthritis, the research points to finding movement your joints like so you can get them stronger.

Lucky for you, as a physical therapist, I have created a totally free, 4 day challenge to help you get started. Even if it feels impossible to exercise I absolutely encourage you to give this a try because you may just surprise yourself :). 

3. What does your future look like?

When you have a condition that impacts your joints, the less time you spend taking action, the more pain you likely will be in. 

Rest is almost never the answer when it comes to your joints, unless you are in a brief period of an intense flare up. Which even in that case, your joints will love gentle, relaxing movement. Contrary to popular belief, exercise is actually good for your joints! Read more on that here.

With more rest and avoidance of movement, you may tend to experience more pain, less range of motion, and decreased mobility. This is the case for both osteoarthrosis and osteoarthritis.

Surgery is recommended in some cases but is a big decision that doesn’t always guarantee full relief. Learn more about how to decide on joint replacement surgery here.

If you are able to find ways to control pain naturally such as through movement, diet, proper sleep, and medication management- you may not ever even need surgery. It is possible to thrive with osteoarthritis or osteoarthrosis naturally. Here is a powerful story to show how. 

It is so important that you are proactive in searching out treatment options. and getting second opinions before making big decisions. Many times, people end up getting surgery prematurely because of the belief that it is the only option.

When, in fact, even when your joints are considered to be “bone on bone” there absolutely is hope for natural relief! Get some inspiration from this video below.

Conclusion

As it appears in the research, osteoarthritis and osteoarthrosis are considered synonymous. If you have one or the other, the treatment will likely be almost exactly the same. 

If you are told you have osteoarthrosis, I would encourage you to ask the doctor, surgeon, or other medical professional what you can do besides surgery to find relief. This is because you absolutely have options no matter which stage of the process you are in. 

If you are feeling down or hopeless with the condition, I highly encourage you to check out my Youtube channel. There are lots of different inspiring stories and messages of hope that so many have found helpful. You can check it out here.

Disclaimer: This post is for general informational purposes only. It should not be used to self-diagnose and it is not a substitute for a medical exam, cure, treatment, diagnosis, and prescription or recommendation. It does not create a doctor-patient relationship between Dr. Kuhn and you. You should not make any change in your health regimen or diet before first consulting a physician and obtaining a medical exam, diagnosis, and recommendation. Move Well Age Well, LLC and Dr. Alyssa Kuhn, PT, DPT are not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any conclusions drawn, services or product you obtain through this video or site.

how to heal a torn meniscus naturally

That Dang Meniscus! How to HEAL a Torn Meniscus Naturally, the 4 BEST ways

Most degenerative meniscus tears, meaning those that come without a specific injury, have the capacity to actually heal themselves! When looking at how to heal a torn meniscus naturally, there are a few things that will make you successful. Non-operative management is possible, with the right movement program, inflammation control, and regaining your confidence. Surgery is considered in some circumstances and I’ll discuss how you know if your torn meniscus requires surgery below.

Patient story

Meet one of my clients who reached out to me with this story:

heal a torn meniscus naturally

Her knee did not feel stable and she was having pain that kept increasing. She began avoiding activity because she was scared she was making things worse.

She saw her primary care doctor who then referred her to an orthopedic surgeon. The surgeon wanted to go ahead with surgery for her torn meniscus but she got a different opinion which actually advised against surgery. 

She had luck with PT but was looking to return back to her normal activities. She was still having some residual pain with higher level activities.

We started working together, talking through the fact that some pain and discomfort is okay. It had come to light that she had become fearful of movement. She avoided certain activities in anticipation of pain. 

No one had ever mentioned what type of pain was actually “okay”. As humans, we are programmed to avoid pain, almost at any cost. This can actually be detrimental at times, especially with chronic pain. 

It was time to build her confidence in the fact that she wasn’t causing more meniscus or knee damage with every twinge of pain she felt.

She started becoming less fearful of movement. She started getting stronger, a feeling she hadn’t felt in a long time

She was even able to start running again, which was huge! She is back to playing tennis and mountain biking with her e-bike.

She is no longer limited by her pain from her meniscus. She also knows how to manage pain flare ups and feels more confident about what is best for her knee, instead of guessing. 

For her, she wasn’t sold on surgery and wanted to avoid it at all costs when she started having pain. Now she is thriving because she learned how to treat her torn meniscus naturally by taking action.

Options for meniscus treatment

If you have a degenerative meniscus tear, you usually have a few options when it comes to treatment. This list may not always be fully explained to you at your appointment so I want you to know the facts

The options for meniscus treatment include: 

  • Physical therapy or medical exercise
  • Meniscus repair (usually arthroscopic): cleaning of meniscus
  • Meniscectomy (partial or full, arthroscopic or open): removal of meniscus, partial and arthroscopically is the most common procedure

Researchers have been comparing these three things for many years to decide which is the best. When looking at how to heal a torn meniscus naturally, one of the best bets is on physical therapy and exercise.

When looking at how to heal a torn meniscus naturally, exercise and physical therapy can be one of the most powerful ways to do so. 

Let’s take a look at what the research says about meniscus healing.

Is exercise effective for a torn meniscus?

I took a deep dive into the research to find out the true possibilities of healing a torn meniscus naturally. Here’s what was found.

  • In a study of 102 people with knee pain and a degenerative horizontal tear of the posterior horn of the medial meniscus- average age 53.8 years old- half got meniscectomy surgery and half got physical therapy/strengthening exercises. BOTH groups had similar pain reduction, improvements in function, and satisfaction after a two year follow up.
  • Another study looked at those receiving physical therapy after partial meniscectomy and supervised exercise alone, without surgery. Interestingly, those that received surgery first did not have any better results than those that just did exercise. Both groups had “decreased knee pain, improved knee function and a high satisfaction”
  • A systematic review analyzed 6 different studies around operative versus non-operative meniscus treatment and found: “The results of this systematic review strongly suggest that there is currently no compelling evidence to support arthroscopic partial meniscectomy versus physical therapy.”

Are you starting to see a pattern here?

In most circumstances, the Arthroscopic Partial Meniscectomy is no better than traditional exercise alone when it comes to looking at pain and function.

Resources on how to heal a torn meniscus naturally are critical to your success as surgery may not be the most efficacious option anyways. 

The key here is knowing which exercises are not going to flare up your pain and will actually bring you the same benefits as found above.

Before I dive into how to heal a torn meniscus naturally, I do want you to know there are certain circumstances where surgery is recommended and these criteria below can help you decide.

Should you get meniscus surgery?

A very interesting study laid out the parameters when it comes to deciding on surgery, particularly the APM or Arthroscopic Partial Meniscectomy procedure.

“According to the current algorithm of the 2016 ESSKA Meniscus Consensus Project, the messages regarding APM were as follows:

  1. APM should not be considered as the first-line treatment choice;

  2. APM should only be proposed after a proper standardized imaging protocol;

  3. APM can be proposed after three months of persistent pain/mechanical symptoms or earlier in cases with considerable mechanical symptoms;

  4. No APM should be proposed with advanced osteoarthritis on Schuss view.”

This means that you should try other options before jumping the gun to surgery. This is why learning how to heal a torn meniscus naturally is very important.

The new approach to modern surgery is no longer “if it’s torn, take it out” but instead replaced with “Save the meniscus!” which is why you see many surgeons advising conservative treatment first.

It is important to note that conservative management will not work perfectly for everyone and some will have to go and have surgery. I do know many that have found relief following the surgery but also some that have “never been the same”.

Watch this video below to help you with this decision if you are feeling stuck: 

How to heal a torn meniscus naturally

If you have a torn meniscus, I am so glad you are here. 

Too often, it can be so difficult to decide what to do and where to turn. This overwhelm and confusion can lead to potentially premature surgeries and increased pain. 

Here are my top 4 steps to healing a torn meniscus naturally.

Step 1: Find the RIGHT movement

This is hands down one of the most important steps when it comes to your meniscus healing. Movement can be extremely powerful in this situation but you have to make sure you are doing the right things.

Many people try exercise but end up causing more pain or further injury because they aren’t doing the right things.

Muscle strengthening is one of the best ways to improve pain and instability related to an injured meniscus. Strengthening the muscles in your leg truly help to provide support to your knee joint.

Why is muscle support necessary? A meniscus helps to absorb the stress from daily movement to protect your knee. When the meniscus is torn, it doesn’t work as well and more stress goes to the knee. If you have appropriate muscle strength, your muscles can now compensate for some of the lost meniscus function.

So where should you begin? Here is a video example of the 6 best exercises you can try if you have a torn meniscus. 

Please be advised, all of these exercises may not feel great to you and that’s okay!  It is important to choose 2 or 3 to incorporate into your daily routine.

Step 2: Stay Active

Contrary to popular belief, rest may not be the most important thing in your healing journey. Too often we rest, thinking we are doing our joints a favor but in reality this can lead to more joint stiffness and pain.

Rest may also delay your journey on healing your torn meniscus naturally, leading to potentially requiring premature surgeries.

Minimize the time you are stationary to <2 hours at a time. You will see a dramatic increase in your mobility if you increase the amount of time you are moving throughout the day.

Even simply completing movements when you are sitting can help to reduce joint stiffness and thus decrease pain. 

Inactivity can actually lead to muscle weakness, increased irritation, and increased inflammation which leads to difficulty moving around.

If you are unsure where to start in your exercise journey and aren’t sure what movements are safe and which aren’t- the Arthritis Adventure Blueprint is here to help. It gives you a step by step process on how exactly to reduce pain through movement, manage inflammation through foods, and progress to finally feeling strong again. 

Step 3: Use a Knee Sleeve

Knee sleeves can help significantly with improving stability and decreasing pain. They can also help to control knee swelling if it is problematic for you. 

I love these because they don’t impede your range of motion and are relatively inexpensive compared to some of the harder braces. Here is my top 11 list of the best knee sleeves.

When looking at how to heal a torn meniscus naturally, these knee sleeves can help with acute pain relief and swelling to allow you to move more freely. 

The more reps you are able to do with the right type of exercises, the better off your leg strength and pain levels will likely be! 

Warning though, a knee sleeve is not meant to completely relieve knee pain nor is it a solution for meniscus repair on it’s own. It is simply a supplement to help you be more productive with movement throughout the day.

Step 4: Control Inflammation

This can be done in a variety of ways including food, stress management, avoiding overactivity, and getting proper sleep. If you have high levels of inflammation in your body, it can negatively impact healing ability of your meniscus.

Here is a list of the best anti-inflammatory foods to help you get started on your journey as well as my top 15 list of simple ways to control inflammation.

A good rule of thumb is to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep. If you have a hard time sleeping due to pain, you can try heat or ice before you go to bed (make sure you don’t sleep with it though), light movement/stretching, and gentle massage to help with pain flares.

Overactivity can lead to further inflammation so it is important to listen to your body and watch how much activity your joint can handle. 

For example, if you walk 30 minutes one day and ontice pain afterwards, try 20 minutes the following day to see if you experience less pain. Continue to modify as needed.

Making the right decision for your meniscus

Whether you decide to go the natural, conservative route or the surgical route, I want you to feel confident in this decision.

You can make the best of both situations and you have to choose what is best for you. Weigh all of your options. 

It is possible to learn how to heal a torn meniscus naturally and actually be successful with it. With dedication and consistency you will be able to thrive even with a meniscus tear. 

Meniscus tears are very common and there are options for treatment. You don’t have to give up everything you love because of a meniscus tear. Hang in there!

Top myths about knee pain- are you believing them?!

Meniscus tears are commonly associated with knee osteoarthritis. Whether you have knee osteoarthritis or just want to make sure you don’t get it in the future, I have an exciting ebook for you! (did I mention it’s free??)

Learn the top 3 myths around knee osteoarthritis that are commonly holding people back from relief. Common beliefs around knee noises and cartilage damage can truly impact your healing…and not in a good way.

Make sure you are well aware of the information you need to know about your knees so you don’t fall into a trap of premature or unnecessary surgeries and/or treatments. 

After this guide, the next step is joining the Arthritis Adventure Blueprint which is a step by step process to help you relieve your joint pain and stop the progression of osteoarthritis symptoms! 

arthritis adventure blueprint

The Arthritis Adventure Blueprint

Dr. Alyssa Kuhn’s signature program to help you go from hopeless to hopeful with osteoarthritis. You will learn the secrets to arthritis pain relief that actually work- including exercise, diet, and other ways to control inflammation! Say goodbye to short term pain relief, it’s time to make it last.

natural arthritis pain relief

The KEY to Unlocking Natural Arthritis Pain Relief in 2021: Embark on an Arthritis Adventure

If you are looking for natural arthritis pain relief, here is a brand new way to achieve it. An arthritis adventure is a powerful journey that hundreds with osteoarthritis have been on. Starting with joint pain, stiffness, and lack of mobility, they were able to find hope again. They were able to get back to running, hiking, biking, skiing, and simply just walking around the neighborhood. But wait…that’s possible with osteoarthritis?! It absolutely is.

“My grandkids keep wanting me to get on the floor but I just can’t because of my arthritic knees”

“I used to love running and used it as my stress reliever. But I was told I could never run again because of my arthritis and I am devastated.”

“My back pain can be so limiting that I really cannot even stand for longer than 20 minutes. It makes playing golf so difficult.”

Do any of these statements sound familiar? 

If they do, I want you to take a sigh of relief because you are in the right place. Instead of telling you, “you can never do x, y, z because of your arthritic joints”, we find a way. Natural arthritis pain relief is possible.

Take Staci for example, she was dealing with knee pain that became so limiting to simply just walking and going up and down the stairs. She was an avid backpacker here in Utah and was devastated when she could no longer hike.

She was determined to avoid surgery. She has now since returned to hiking after starting her Arthritis Adventure. Hear her story below. 

What is an arthritis adventure, tell me more!

An Arthritis Adventure something we developed at Keep the Adventure Alive because we got so tired of people simply being told you have arthritis because you are getting older and you really should stop all exercise. Also being told, “there’s really nothing you can do besides surgery”. 

We saw ex-athletes become sedentary, gain unwanted weight, and fall into depression because of this. We saw previously vibrant, active people become isolated, alone, and weak. 

We are changing the narrative around arthritis treatment. No longer does it look like medications, surgeries, arthroscopic procedures, and cortisone shots. Instead it looks doing exercises you actually feel confident doing, gaining so much more energy, and controlling inflammation naturally. You have OPTIONS.

An Arthritis Adventure is a journey of courage and motivation that is unlike any other arthritis treatment. This journey is for those who don’t accept that arthritis is going to hold them back. Those who aren’t willing to give up their active lifestyle.

It goes like this…

First, you choose an adventure

First you choose an adventure you would like to accomplish. Don’t sell yourself short just because you may have been told you can never do something again. Pick something that would truly make you happy.

Here are some examples from real clients: 

  • carrying grandchildren up and down the stairs 
  • get back to feeling confident on a mountain bike
  • getting up and down from the floor with ease
  • get back to running at least 3 miles
  • actually feel confident exercising daily again
  • return to sprint triathlons
  • be able to complete in fencing on a national stage

Really take some time to think about these goals because this will guide the rest of your journey. There is no going willy-nilly into this! Don’t just stop at “I want to be more active”. Give yourself a solid goal of “I want to be able to walk around the grocery store without knee swelling or more pain afterwards”.

After you have these goals, it’s time to move on.

Next step, the plan

It’s time now to create a plan. And let me tell you, it’s not as simple as: 

…exercise and lose weight.

When people are told to do this by healthcare professionals, they are almost never successful. Why? Because that is not a real plan. There are usually no directions given on how to achieve it. Most of the times people are left to their own discretion and fall off the wagon very easily.

Does this sound familiar? It’s totally okay if it does because almost everyone we meet has experienced this in some way. 

Instead of just hopping right to exercise or right to cutting everything out of your diet, you have to understand why you are doing it. In order to achieve long term natural arthritis pain relief you have to understand the answers to these questions. What are the benefits of exercise when it comes to arthritis? What foods are best for controlling inflammation?  Why should you be worried about inflammation in the first place?

If you blindly follow something because a friend, family member, or neighbor did it and said it worked, you may just be spinning your wheels

What we have found is that once you actually understand why something is helping, you will be significantly more successful. 

For example, one of our clients was not a fan of exercise nor did he really ever have an exercise routine. He began to develop severe back spasms and early signs of spinal stenosis. He did not want surgery so thought he would give exercise a try.

He had tried before but found it was so hard to stay consistent. He never really knew what exercises to do and was never fully convinced it was helping his joints, sometimes he thought it may have been hurting them. So he’d usually stop after a week or two.

It took until he realized that exercise is actually one of the best things for joints because it controls inflammation. He learned which exercises to do more of and maybe which to avoid. He learned the correct form and finally was able to reap amazing benefits! He actually looked forward to exercise because of how good it made him feel. Now he’s been consistently exercising for 6+ months.

Another client felt like she had been exercising like she should but still was not getting any pain relief. It turns out that exercise wasn’t what she needed the most. Her diet rich in inflammatory foods was what was holding her back. She was also severely under the recommended amount on protein. Making a few simple changes finally started unlocking pain relief.

Instead of spending a bunch of time figuring out where you need to start and what is holding you back, we’ve made it easy. In the Arthritis Adventure Blueprint we take you step by step into figuring out where you should be focusing.

Finding movement your joints love is next

Movement is such a critical part of this Arthritis Adventure and for natural arthritis pain relief. Not only for strengthening and weight loss but for daily life! We have to be able to move in order to make it through the day. 

Sometimes, it can seem like your joints won’t love any movement. That every movement you try hurts.

There are so many ways to move. Many more than we think. There are also so many different variations of exercises. 

Take squats for example. Almost no one raises their hand and says “wow, I love squats”, especially with osteoarthritis. But take a look at this video below to find out 10 ways you can modify squats that will actually be nice to arthritic knees, hips, and low backs! 

The best way to start in finding these movements is to invest in someone that can show you the way. Once you understand the exercises, form, and right amount- it becomes SO MUCH EASIER. You will actually be excited for exercise again because of how good you will feel afterwards.

We have created a library of the best 10 workout classes led by Dr. Alyssa Kuhn, physical therapist and arthritis specialist. These videos are between 20-45 minutes in length using various equipment like resistance bands, dumbbells, chairs, and other objects you can easily find in your home.

When you have someone guiding you along, pushing you, and motivating you- doors begin to open for arthritis pain relief. If you want to follow a sample workout routine, we do have a free 5 day challenge you can start with. 

Finally, make it consistent

The key to success on an Arthritis Adventure is consistency. If you can find a routine and do it regularly, you have so much potential for arthritis pain relief.

Even just simply doing exercise 10-15 minutes per day can make a huge difference. Changing out one or two of the things you typically eat that cause inflammation can have so much more impact than you realize. 

It is achievable even if you feel like you don’t have time. 

Even if you feel like you have “tried every exercise before”. 

Even if you have bone on bone arthritis, it’s still possible to find exercises that don’t flare up your pain.

The longer you wait, the harder it will become

Natural arthritis pain relief is possible

There is so much you can accomplish even with arthritis. Your life does not have to be over. You don’t have to fear for your future. Not if you start now. Not if you take a leap of faith on yourself.

Take a peek at our Arthritis Adventure Blueprint to realize your true potential without having to spend hundreds on medical appointments, procedures, and injections. 

You may surprise yourself at how good you feel…

best shoes for foot pain relief

How To Choose the BEST Shoes For Foot Pain Relief in 2021

Finding foot pain relief can open so many doors when it comes to what you are able to accomplish! Starting with the right shoes can be one of the best first steps. If you suffer from pain when walking or even just when resting while wearing shoes, then you’ll know just how unbearable this can be. This article will provide you with the best options for appropriate footwear for foot pain relief. With 77% of people experiencing foot pain, you are not alone!

This post may contain affiliate links where we obtain a small commission for purchasing from our links.

There are so many options when it comes to choosing the right shoes. Add in foot pain and it can complicate the process! 

Taking the time to find quality shoes for foot pain relief can help you stay active, especially if you spend a lot of time on your feet. Investing in the appropriate pair of shoes can make a big difference.

Here you will learn some things to think about when heading out shopping to help make this process a little easier. You have to take care of your feet in order to keep your joints healthy. 

Rules of Thumb for choosing the right shoes

Follow these simple tips to find the best shoes for you. If you are spending a lot of time walking or standing on concrete, head to this post here. Wearing supportive shoes is incredibly important when protecting painful, arthritic joints! 

  • Choose footwear built for comfort rather than style. For example, avoid high-heels or narrow frames; instead, aim for footwear with thick soles and a wide base.
  • Wear the socks that you normally wear when choosing your new shoes to feel as genuine as possible.
  • Shop at the end of the day, as your feet naturally expand during the course of the day.
  • Make sure that you measure both feet because there could be slight differences between your right and left.
  • There should be space in your shoes when you’re standing, around half an inch between the end of your longest toe and the toe box of the shoe.
  • Walk around, preferably on different surfaces, paying attention to how your feet feel.

 

Choosing Sandals for Foot Pain Relief

In good weather, it’s easy just to slip some thongs or sliders on, but these will not help with foot pain relief. You may not always want to wear clunky tennis shoes! 

  • If you’re looking for comfortable sandals, the most important thing to consider is the sole; this should be sturdy and contoured to support your foot.
  • Be sure to consider arch support sandals for foot pain relief. Sandals with arch support are a must with the added comfort they provide. KURU has awesome supportive sandals. 

Choosing the best fashion shoes for foot arthritis

You need shoes built for comfort and stretch, particularly if you suffer from pain associated with bunions. This is definitely something to consider before purchasing, no matter how cute the shoe is! 

Taking care of your feet is incredibly important to prevent further joint pains, compensations, or other injuries. Your feet dictate how you walk, run, and move about your daily life. BUT you can still find shoes that are fashionable while being the best shoes for foot pain relief here.

  • Some brands offer half sizes, as well as varying widths of shoes.
  • Footwear with removable insoles will help, as these will allow you to insert your own orthotic insoles if required.
  • Having additional padding, such as in the tongue and collar of the shoe, will provide extra comfort and foot pain relief.

Choosing Casual Shoes for Foot Pain Relief

Finding casual shoes such as shoes to wear around the house or while running errands is also important. Many times if you have a history of plantar fasciitis, knee osteoarthritis, or a stress fracture- walking around barefoot may not be the best thing for you! 

Finding comfortable shoes you can wear around can help to stave off joint pain.

  • Be sure to take note of the type of fabric the shoes are made from. Flexible fabric is good if you suffer from hammertoes or bunions – and yet is supportive.
  • Casual shoes designed for foot pain relief often require additional arch support, so watch out for that when shopping and be prepared to get insoles as well.

 

Choosing running shoes to help with foot pain

Running can be possible if you are dealing with foot pain or even knee osteoarthritis. Before you pick out your shoes, make sure you are doing the right things for your body to help make sure your joints are ready for running! Learn more here.

Running, as a foot pain sufferer, can be absolutely horrendous! It is essential to make sure that you have the right shoes for this because of the impact that running has on your feet.

Shoes can help to absorb some of the repetitive stress that comes with running, especially if your joints are angry from arthritis or another injury. 

  • Soles with foam provide extra cushioning.
  • A wide toe box will allow your toes to splay as your feet hit the road, reducing pressure on bunions or hammertoes and adding stability to your feet.
  • Full mesh shoes don’t always provide the most support
If you are looking for shoes specifically designed to help relieve pain from foot arthritis- head here. Many times plantar fasciitis can be common when you are doing a lot of running. These shoes can help provide optimal support so you are no longer limited by pesky foot pain. You will find an amazing selection of running shoes as well as the other options listed above including sandals, fashion shoes and more! 
 
This video below explains shoes I have personally tried and a trusted brand in the foot and ankle arthritis world. Take a look.

Conclusion

Aside from footwear, you can also find foot pain relief by building strength and improving your balance, both can help tremendously whether your foot pain is related to ankle arthritis, foot arthritis, or plantar fasciitis. Here are some of my favorite balance exercises to get started with. 

Choosing new shoes for foot pain relief can be challenging if you don’t know what you’re looking for. But, with this guide in hand, the process should be simpler, and you can have confidence in what you’re buying.

When your feet are out of these comfortable shoes, there are some things you can do to keep them healthy. Here are 5 simple exercises that you can do simply sitting on the couch if you have foot or ankle arthritis pain and/or stiffness! 

Disclaimer: This post is for general informational purposes only. It should not be used to self-diagnose and it is not a substitute for a medical exam, cure, treatment, diagnosis, and prescription or recommendation. It does not create a doctor-patient relationship between Dr. Kuhn and you. You should not make any change in your health regimen or diet before first consulting a physician and obtaining a medical exam, diagnosis, and recommendation. Move Well Age Well, LLC and Dr. Alyssa Kuhn, PT, DPT are not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any conclusions drawn, services or product you obtain through this video or site.

can arthritis be reversed stop sign

Can Arthritis Be Reversed?! 5 Things You Can Do Right Now To STOP the Progression

So can arthritis be reversed? Many are too quick to say no because there isn’t a cure for arthritis but there is hope out there to stop the progression of it. You can reverse the severity of the symptoms of arthritis so you can still THRIVE. No raining on your parade today! The journey to help reverse arthritis is not an easy one but man, it is worth it to be on the other side.

This was a comment I recieved recently on one of my instagram posts and I thought I’d share it to see if any of you could relate:

I literally just cried my eyes out. I was very active and randomly both knees started swelling was diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis and the Dr told me no more squats. They are my favorite. I am glad to see there is hope in doing squats again.❤️

Meghan

When we think about if arthritis can be reversed, so often our dreams are just shot right out of the sky. Everyone is quick to tell you the things you cannot do. You are usually left with no other options besides a tunnel of despair. One you feel alone in, I may add.

You likely already know that there isn’t a cure for osteoarthritis. What we can do though, is reverse the severity of the symptoms. Arthritis doesn’t have to dictate our lives; it is possible to come out on top.

But this journey to reverse arthritis symptoms may not be all butterflies and rainbows. Unfortunately the process looks more like a 2 year old trying to draw a line compared to a straight shot to freedom from pain.

I want you to know that you can do it. You can finally find freedom from arthritis pain once you dedicate yourself to the process. People have returned to hiking, skiing, biking, and even running despite being told that it was something they could never do again!

If you want to skip right ahead to the 5 things you can start doing right now to reverse arthritis- download this free guide instantly ⬇️

can arthritis be reversed

The exact 5 action steps will be found in this guide above. Let’s now look into some of the best ways you can approach reversing arthritis symptoms and what is possible if you do.

The BEST ways to reverse arthritis symptoms

The main symptoms of osteoarthritis are joint stiffness and pain. You can learn more about what osteoarthritis feels like in this article. What are the best ways to reduce these two major symptoms?

Let’s take a look.

Joint stiffness can be annoying. Sitting down or standing in the same position for >20 minutes and all of a sudden your joints feel like cement blocks. Maybe you even have to hobble around for the first few steps. In order to find relief from joint stiffness, movement is one of the best answers. 

Depending on the joint, there are specific movements that can be done. Take a look at this video below for some simple, yet effective ideas!

Joint pain can be one of the most limiting symptoms when it comes to osteoarthritis. Painful joints can make movement really hard. It is important to understand what is causing your joint pain, and it may not be as obvious as you think.

One woman I had met had tried everything from ointments, medications, acupuncture, massage, heating pads, diet overhaul, and even walking- experiencing little to no long term pain relief. What she didn’t realize was she was lacking one extremely important thing: VARIETY in her movement.

Simply adding in specific moves that brought variety to her routine, unlocked pain relief that she never thought was possible.

We live our lives in a forward direction. We rarely ever move side to side or even backwards. It is extremely important that we consciously try to add variety to our day. Unsure of where to begin? Don’t worry, I have you covered. Here are some excellent ways to get started: 

What is possible once arthritis pain is behind you

When I meet with someone who appears hopeless because of arthritis pain, I know there is great opportunity that lies in working with them. I want you to know that if you are feeling hopeless, sitting here reading this blog post, you are not alone in this journey anymore.

You can learn so much from others who have walked your same path and came out on the other side. Once joint pain and joint stiffness are under control- doors of opportunity can fly open.

I just recently was working with a woman who was dealing with right knee swelling, stiffness after sitting for work, and inside of the knee pain that would even wake her up at night. She was in her 40s and was dedicated to keeping her backpacking adventures alive.

She experienced increased knee pain after a hike and it just never went away. Come to find out she was told she had arthritis. She was an avid hiker and backpacker here in Utah so that diagnosis didn’t settle well with her. 

Initially, we worked through ways to manage pain and swelling. We were able to find movements she was actually able to do without flaring up her knee pain! She dedicated herself to adding these movements every day.

Fast forward 2 months. She has been on 2 camping trips including hiking for multiple days. She has been able to begin interval running- which she didn’t think would be possible again! She now has a goal to go on a hike that is over 2000 ft of elevation gain.

She has been able to accomplish amazing things and keep her arthritis adventure alive. If you want to stop waiting to start yours, learn more about how you can get started HERE.

If you want to read more ✨inspiring✨ stories, head to this blog post.

Conclusion

The next time you hear “can arthritis be reversed” you now know the answer is simply not, NO. Instead of trying to reverse it completely, you can reduce the severity and the magnitude of your symptoms so you can live out your arthritis adventure.

How are you going to begin to reverse your arthritis symptoms today?!

Disclaimer: This post is for general informational purposes only. It should not be used to self-diagnose and it is not a substitute for a medical exam, cure, treatment, diagnosis, and prescription or recommendation. It does not create a doctor-patient relationship between Dr. Kuhn and you. You should not make any change in your health regimen or diet before first consulting a physician and obtaining a medical exam, diagnosis, and recommendation. Move Well Age Well, LLC and Dr. Alyssa Kuhn, PT, DPT are not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any conclusions drawn, services or product you obtain through this video or site.