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The #1 Sign You’ll Develop Arthritis – So Weird! Tips & Tricks to Spot it FAST

By on May 31, 2017
Do your knees make cracking or popping sounds when you move around? If so, it could be a sign you’re developing a type of arthritis called knee osteoarthritis, say researchers.

In a study appearing in Arthritis Care & Research, it reveals that 75 percent of people who had subjective crepitus, or the sound of grating, popping, or cracking sounds in or around a joint, went on to develop knee osteoarthritis a year later. This occurred despite experiencing no knee pain, which is usually a common sign of the disease.

Dr. Grace Lo, who led the research, says these findings could help healthcare providers–and their patients–figure out who is at risk.

“Many people who have signs of osteoarthritis on x-rays do not necessarily complain of pain, and there are no known strategies for preventing the development of pain in this group of people,” says Lo, a Baylor College of Medicine Assistant Professor of Medicine. “Future studies that target people who have x-ray signs of osteoarthritis, and who do not complain of pain but do report noisy knees, hold the promise of identifying interventions that can prevent knee pain.”

The Research

In the study, researchers studied 3,495 middle aged adults with a mean body mass index (BMI) of 28.2, considered overweight. While they already faced a higher risk of knee osteoarthritis, they didn’t present any early symptoms of the disease. Researchers wanted to see if subjective crepitus could be an early sign of the disease.

First, they assessed if they had the disease using the Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score, tracking the severity of their subjective crepitus. Then, during subsequent checkups 12, 24, and 35 months after the study started, they performed the analysis again to see if their diagnosis had changed.

After adjusting for age, sex, and BMI, researchers found that 75 percent of participants who reported subjective crepitus, but did not have osteoarthritis at the beginning of the study, developed the disease within a year. This occurred even if they showed no other signs of the disease when they were first analyzed. To researchers, this reveals a new risk factor for the disease–one that could potentially help thousands of adults identify their risk before it gets serious.

That’s major news.

“Among those without SOA [symptomatic knee osteoarthritis], subjective knee crepitus predicts incident SOA longitudinally, with most cases occurring in those with pre-existing tibiofemoral ROA [radiographic osteoarthritis] but without frequent knee pain,” write researchers in the journal’s online version. “Subjective crepitus offers utility for identification of at-risk individuals, predictive modeling, and future research.”

So what does this mean for consumers? Simple: If your knees make grating, popping, or cracking noises when you move, schedule a doctor’s appointment soon. They can help you prepare–and eventually fight–osteoarthritis when it develops. In some instances, they may even help prevent it.

Readers: Do your knees make any of these sounds? Let us know in the comment section below!

Sources:
Noisy Knees May Be an Early Sign of Knee OsteoarthritisScienceDaily.com
Subjective Crepitus as a Risk Factor for Incident Symptomatic Knee Osteoarthritis (Study)Wiley.com

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