Do you have knee pain or joint pain?
Some of the initial signs of joint pain includes:
- Swelling at the joint
- Joint stiffness
- Ache or tensions around the joints
- Grinding sound at the knee when standing up
- Difficulty moving the knee or joint when exercising
- Knee pain or joint pain during exercise
There are many causes of knee pain or joint pain. Almost everyone will experience some form of joint pain or inflammation in certain period of their lives. Joint pain or knee pain is a discomfort that arises from the point where two or more bones meet. Both small joints, such as those in the fingers, and large joints, such as the knee and hip, can be affected. Joint or knee pain can be mild, causing some soreness each time you move your joint or knee. Joint pain can be severe, making it impossible to use your joint.
Types of Arthritis
According to The National Arthritis Foundation (NAF) in Singapore, Arthritis means the inflammation of joints. An inflamed joint is usually red, swollen, warm and painful. Arthritis is not a single condition. There are more than 120 different types of Arthritis, which may affect one or more joints in the body. Arthritis is not an old age disease. Anyone from as young as 6 months old may develop Arthritis.
(Retrieved from : http://nationalarthritisfoundation.wordpress.com/what-is-arthritis/ )
Arthritis can be broadly classified into 2 main groups:
- Osteoarthritis (OA) or degenerative joint disease
- Inflammatory arthropathies - Rheumatoid arthritis, gout or spondyloarthropathies
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a condition that is caused by the combination of several factors. While it is often called 'wear-and-tear' arthritis or degenerative disease, this condition is due to more than just wearing away of the joint surface. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It usually causes pain and limited motion, and is most common in the knee joint and hip joint.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic, autoimmune condition that causes the body to attack its own soft-tissues and joints. Rheumatoid arthritis most commonly affects the joints of the hands and feet, but can also cause elbow, shoulder, and neck problems. Joint swelling is often quite pronounced in rheumatoid arthritis.
The diagnosis of RA is based on clinical examination of symptoms, patient history, as well as some blood tests. RA cannot be confirmed or excluded by any one test. The most common test is rheumatoid factor (RF). The other supporting tests are: anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (Anti-CCP), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), and X-ray."
Methotrexate (MTX), a DMARD (disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs) has been traditionally used to treat RA. It is also the most used form of treatment in rheumatoid arthritis, especially with generic forms available. Currently, combination therapies between DMARDs and NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are commonly practiced.
Among the above two types of arthiritis, Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis. A form of degenerative or ‘ageing’ disease, it is more common among the elderly although young people may also suffer from it, especially if they have had a significant injury to the joint.
According to the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases 2011; 14: 113–121, The epidemiology of osteoarthritis in Asia , Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most prevalent of the chronic rheumatic diseases and is a leading cause of pain and disability in most countries worldwide.  The prevalence of OA increases with age and generally affects women more frequently than men. Most of the OA disability burden is attributable to the hips and knees. In fact, OA is the precipitating diagnosis for more than 90% of the increasing number of total hip or knee joint replacement operations being undertaken worldwide. Many countries in Asia are ageing rapidly. It has been estimated that the percentage of people aged 65 years and over in Asia will more than double in the next two decades, from 6.8% in 2008 to 16.2% in 2040. In most of the developed world, demographic change was a gradual process following steady socioeconomic growth over several decades. In many Asian countries, the change is being compressed into two or three decades. For example, during the period 2008– 2040, it is estimated that Singapore will increase the proportion of people aged 65 and over by 316%, India by 274%, Malaysia by 269%, Bangladesh by 261%, and the Philippines by 256%. In 2008, Japan had the world’s oldest population (21.6% aged 65 years and over) and China and India were ranked the top two countries in the absolute number of people aged 65 and over (106 and 60 million, respectively). 
1. World Health Organization (2002) World Health Report 2002. Reducing Risks, Promoting Healthy Life. Geneva, WHO.
2. Australian Orthopaedic Association (2009) Hip and Knee Arthoplasty. National Joint Replacement Registry Annual Report 2009.
3. Kinsella K, He W (2009) An Ageing World: 2008. U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC.