Find answers to medical questions from experts about joint pain, joint inflammation and osteoarthritis treatment.
Question: I’m 45 years old and I run, play street soccer or cycle at least a few times a week. Lately, there has been stiffness in my joints that just won’t go away despite stretching and exercising. A friend says I may have osteoarthritis. Can this be so?
Answer: Yes, it’s a possibility, although inflammation of the joints (arthritis) can occur for other reasons — including gout, meniscus tear, or tendinopathy (tendon injury) around the knee.
Stiffness and pains are merely symptoms consistent with inflammation and are non-specific. For instance, tears in the meniscus can cause mechanical obstruction but may present only with pain, swelling and stiffness.
Tendinopathy of the patellar tendon (located below the kneecap) can present with knee pain at the front of the knee, but so can degenerative conditions involving the patellofemoral joint (between the kneecap and the thigh bone) along with crepitus (described as ‘roughness’ beneath the kneecap).
Knee Pain: Finding Ease for Old Knees
As mentioned, there are other causes of inflammation of joints due to non-mechanical reasons. Precipitation of gout crystals in joints can cause redness and inflammation of affected joints and there are also conditions where the immune system attacks the joints and cause pain and stiffness.
If the symptoms persist, please check with your doctor to establish the diagnosis.
Knee Arthritis: Symptoms, Types and Treatment
Question: At 50, I have started to get the occasional pain in my knee. An X-ray subsequently showed that I have severe osteoarthritis. I’ve searched “knee osteoarthritis” online, and there is an overload of information about things to buy and try. How do I know what works and what doesn’t?
Answer: There are many treatment options available for osteoarthritis, including oral supplements containing glucosamine as a core ingredient. It is debatable whether supplements can reduce pain and disease progression. However, many people are keen to try these as side effects are minimal. Intra-articular injections containing either steroids or hyaluronic acid are helpful in the short term. But rather than medication, why not try some exercise?
Low-impact exercises — with the guidance of a physical therapist to help with muscle strengthening and weight loss — are useful. If you suffer from severe and debilitating osteoarthritis, surgical options such as a partial or total knee replacement can work wonders to improve your quality of life.
Download the HealthHub app on
Google Play or
Apple Store to access more health and wellness advice at your fingertips.
Read these next:
This article was last reviewed on
22 Nov 2023
Helping Youth Fight Depression
Building Resilience In Your Child
3 Ways Your Child Benefits From Boredom
Play To Win
Healthy Food for Kids in a Bento
View More Programmes
Check out our tips on how you can live well together, and test your knowledge on healthy living. Whether it’s eating healthy, staying active, going for health screening, or caring for your mental well-being, it’s never too late to start your journey!
National Steps Challenge™ rewards you for staying active. Start moving now and be rewarded daily!
A resource guide for stroke survivors, their loved ones and caregivers. Find out how to spot the warning signs and symptoms of a stroke. Learn how you can support patients in seeking treatment and recovery from stroke.
Browse Live Healthy
In partnership with