Knee osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis that affects the knee joint. It can result in pain, swelling and stiffness. Knee osteoarthritis can make daily tasks, such as walking and climbing stairs, quite difficult. However, a new study has revealed that when it comes to the pain associated with knee osteoarthritis, women have a greater sensitivity than men.
Researchers found that women have a lower tolerance for heat, cold and pressure in comparison to men. The findings may be beneficial for doctors and help them determine appropriate treatment for men versus women. Furthermore, additional research may help create new, sex-specific treatments that will be more effective for men and women alike.
Lead author, Dr. Emily Bartley, said, “Many questions still remain as to why women with knee osteoarthritis are more sensitive to painful stimuli than are men. While therapeutic approaches to control pain are only beginning to take these sex differences into account, there is still quite a bit of research yet to be done to help reduce this gender gap and improve clinical therapies for men and women alike.”
Current treatment for knee osteoarthritis involve lifestyle changes, such as minimizing activities that aggravate the joint, losing weight, physical therapy, using assistive devices like crutches or a cane, using cold and hot compresses, medication, acupuncture and surgery – depending on severity.
The findings were published in Arthritis Care and Research.