"Arthritis" to doctors is any cartilage injury, but to patients they think about pain and loss of function.
Cartilage injury can be managed effectively, with surgical and non-surgical treatment.
Knee arthritis progresses more rapidly than other joints, because the knee takes so much of the body's weight during activity. As such, research and intervention is very aggressive because the loss of function can be dramatic.
What can I do?
1. Lose weight - a BMI in the lower end of the normal range, will help your pain
2. Exercise - ideally non-weight bearing repetitive exercise such as cycling or swimming is ideal, however any exercise can be beneficial
3. Strengthen the thigh muscles - this doesn't happen with walking, which strengthens the hip muscles. This requires cycling or swimming, or gym programmes. It is easy to injury yourself in any sport, so it is helpful to get some advice from a registered provider such as a physiotherapist.
4. Modify your activities / expectations - some people may have trouble with hill-climbing activities, while others may have trouble with running. As such, it is important to continue to have goals, but you should work around your knee's function.
5. Supplements - it is difficult to find good science around nutritional supplements, as they are regulated like a food product, and not like a drug so the companies supplying these products have not had to undergo rigorous studies of effectiveness in order to gain a PBS listing.
Orthopaedic Surgeon in Cairns, Far North Queensland