The most common form of knee arthritis is osteoarthritis, a degenerative disease in which the cartilage within the knee joint slowly wears away. This usually occurs as a result of the natural aging process or due to excessive use. Athletes will frequently suffer from knee osteoarthritis because the regular, intense running, jumping, and pivoting of their sports cause the cartilage in the knee joints to wear down prematurely.
Knee arthritis symptoms include stiffness and pain throughout the knee. Pain usually begins gradually and worsens over time as the condition progresses. Knee pain is usually most severe after periods of inactivity, such as first thing in the morning or after vigorous exercise.
There are a number of physical therapy approaches and medications that can be used to reduce the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis. A knee doctor might recommend exercises to keep the knee joint from locking up or swelling. These nonsurgical options can be helpful, but if your knee pain persists, surgery may be recommended.