Arthritis can be a debilitating ailment that impacts many of us in the UK especially as we get older. Using knee support for arthritis can be a great way to help manage the symptoms of arthritis in the knee. Knee support for arthritis can be found in many online and in person shops across the UK. In this blog we highlight the top knee support for arthritis as well as shed light on this common ailment and how you can live a full life despite your arthritis.
What type of knee support should I get?
The type of knee support really depends on the type of arthritis you have.
For osteoarthritis a neoprene sleeve with a patella (knee cap) cut out can be beneficial. The cut out is thought to help hold the patella in place preventing as much wear to the joint. See this open patella knee support here: physioroom-open-patella-knee-support
For rheumatoid arthritis a neoprene sleeve which provides support to the entire knee is more beneficial. By creating compression around the joint it reduces swelling to the area which could reduce pain. See this full neoprene sleeve here: https://getabearhug.com/collections/single-supports
What even is arthritis?
Knee support for arthritis can help provide some relief to the pain experienced from arthritis to the knee. With the high knee replacement surgery cost for private healthcare and the long NHS waiting lists it is no wonder why many of us are seeking alternatives. An arthritis knee brace will reduce your symptoms, however, for a long term solution it is worth considering some alternatives.
To be able to fully evaluate your options it is vital that you have a thorough understanding of what exactly arthritis is. As mentioned above there are two types of arthritis; osteoarthritis and rheumatoid.
Osteoarthritis is also known as wear and tear arthritis. This is because it is associated with the breakdown of cartilage within the joint and the thickening of the bone structure to help protect it. This results in stiffness and pain.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where your immune system attacks the healthy cells in the joint leading to inflammation. This can lead to swelling and pain.
1 in 10 arthritis sufferers have osteoarthritis, therefore this is a lot more common. In both cases reducing the load placed directly through the knee reduces the symptoms. This is why walking aids for arthritis in the knee are a popular choice as well as using knee supports for arthritis. But did you know that there are lots of alternative approaches which enable you to manage the symptoms without relying on an aid?
Massage to help with arthritis in the knee
One of the main causes of pain felt by those suffering from knee pain from arthritis in the knee is due to the swelling from inflammation. Massage treatment within the area increases blood flow which helps reduce inflammation. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324518#:~:text=Lymphatic%20massage%20aims%20to%20improve,parts%20from%20more%20congested%20areas.
Alongside this massage is able to help a patient increase their range of motion in their joints and help activate muscles. By doing this more load is able to be spread to the other muscles in the body, meaning less load is put through the knee. This has a huge impact in reducing pain and can give the knee joint space to recover.
Both types of arthritis cause inflammation in the body. Foods also cause inflammation, but did you know that some foods reduce inflammation? By eating a diet low in pro inflammatory foods and higher in anti inflammatory foods you can reduce the amount of inflammation in your body which will have a big impact on arthritis symptoms. An-anti-inflammatory-diet-may-be-good-for-your-joints
Further to this, and specifically for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis eating an anti inflammatory diet has a significant impact on reducing pain. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8706441/
Pro inflammatory foods are;
-Processed carbs like pasta and white break
-Sweetened beverages like coke
Anti inflammatory foods are;
-green leafy veg
-nuts like almonds and walnuts
-Oily fish like salmon and mackerel
-Fruits like strawberries, blueberries and cherries
Strength and Mobility
Imagine a car which has lots its suspension. Over the years the car will begin to wear down at a faster rate than a car with good suspension. In the case of a car we are able to replace the suspension and fix the damage which has been caused by the faulty suspension. The muscles in our bodies act as our suspension, and the damage in this case is the wear down of our knees. By increasing the strength of our muscles and the range of motion of our joints we can ensure that our body's suspension acts as it should do without putting an uneven amount of load in one place. If you are reading this then it is likely that some damage has already been done. But fear not, our bodies are incredible versatile and are able to do amazing things YES EVEN WHEN WE GET OLDER!!!! Were not suggesting that you can heal your arthritis through strength work but you can certainly regain a level of strength and mobility that will mean you feel much more capable day to day and experience significant reductions in pain.
Where to start?
To reduce the amount of force being put through our knees we need to get our bodies working efficiently. Due to the sedentary lifestyles we lead our bodies begin to adapt which can lead to problems. The prime suspect here is our hips and their partner in crime, the glutes.
By spending most of the day in a seated positon our hips shorten to adapt. Go back to physics class for a moment and recall equal and opposites. If one part of our body tightens the other will lengthen.
This means that our glute muscles are under active and hips are overactive and tight. To resolve this here are some easy exercises to perform at home;
#1 Hip flexor stretch.
Here is a video of Me (Liam) demonstrating a hip flexor stretch. Try 1 minute per side each day.
#2 Glute bridge.
Here is a video of Emma demonstrating a glute bridge. Get your knees set at 90 degrees. Squeeze your core and squeeze your bum to lift up. Try doing 3 sets of 20 reps per day.
This will be a great starting point for your strength and mobility to help with pain associated with arthritis in the knee.
Most of the time when we receive a diagnosis of something as life changing as arthritis we give up and fall victim to our circumstances. We put it down to getting old and accept our fate. However, all is not lost and you can still live a very fulfilled and diverse life full of the activities you love. There are so many recently published scientific studies on the benefits of strength training for reducing the pain associated with arthritis. There is hope. All you need is the right guidance.
We at Pocket Coach offer lots of different ways to help reduce the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis. We offer in person services in and around Northampton such as massage therapy and personal training https://www.pocketcoach.online/post/private-personal-trainer-northampton. We also offer online mobility classes for older adults called Moga. These classes can be done live on a Wednesday at 1930 or on demand at a time that suits you. We also offer online coaching where we can provide you with exercise and nutrition plans to help promote a better lifestyle which may reduce the pain associated with arthritis. Get in touch for a free telephone consultation to discuss your needs.