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High-Activity Occupations at Risk for Knee Osteoarthritis

Certain occupations with repeated squatting, kneeling, and heavy lifting can place a lot of stress on your knees. Over time, this can cause deterioration of your knee cartilage and lead to osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is sometimes called “wear and tear arthritis” because it occurs when the cartilage that protects your knees wears away after heavy, repeated use.

As the articular cartilage is lost, the joint space between the bones narrows. This is an early symptom of OA. The Reflex health team can spot this when evaluating the knee with fluoroscopy.

As the disease progresses, the cartilage continues to thin. It becomes grooved and fragmented, with the surrounding bones becoming thicker and eventually beginning to rub against each other. Normal activity becomes painful and difficult.

People with jobs that require kneeling or squatting for more than an hour a day are at high risk for knee osteoarthritis. Jobs that involve lifting, climbing stairs, or walking also pose some risk. Specific jobs that are at higher risk for knee OA include: carpet layers, miners, building contractors, ship yard workers, postal workers, drivers, farmers, and housekeepers.

The main symptoms commonly associated with OA of the knee are:

  • Knee aches and pain that worsens when you are active and improves when you rest
  • Stiffness, especially in the morning and when standing up
  • Cracking and popping when moving the knee
  • Limited range of motion in the knee

If you work at a job that involves a lot of stress on the knee and you have the symptoms above, you may have knee arthritis. Schedule an appointment for a knee evaluation with Reflex. The earlier you seek treatment, the less likely you will have muscle strength changes and cartilage loss, which will improve the outcome.

There is a common myth that the only treatment options for arthritis of the knee are Tylenol, Ibuprofen, steroid injections, or surgery. Amazingly, few people are aware of the many effective non-surgical treatments available for osteoarthritis in the knees. Reflex can help people suffering from knee pain due to knee injuries, past knee surgeries, or degenerative problems like arthritis from overuse.