Arthritis is a severe inflammatory condition characterized by pain and stiffness caused by damage to the articular cartilage and other supporting tissues. Although it can affect any joint, arthritis is more prevalent in weight-bearing joints such as the knees, wrists, fingers, toes, and hips. The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. 
OA is the most common form of arthritis in the knee. It is a degenerative type, “wear and tear” arthritis that occurs most often in people 50 years of age and older.
RA affects most commonly small joints in the body include: Joints that attach your fingers to your hands, wrist and joints that attach your toes to your feet, Ankle joint.
In osteoarthritis, the cartilage of the knee joint gradually wears away. As the cartilage wears away, it becomes frayed and rough, and the protection space between the bones decreases. It leads to bone rubbing on bone and produce painful bone spurs.
1. KNOWING IF YOU HAVE ARTHRITIS:
Evaluate your risk factors depending on the type of arthritis, several factors may make you prone to arthritis. Although some of these factors are non-modifiable, there are others you can change to reduce your risk of arthritis. 
Gender: women are more prone to develop OA and rheumatic arthritis. Men are more likely to have gout, a form of inflammatory arthritis resulting from high levels of uric acid in the blood while
Age: age groups between 40 to 55 having a greater risk of developing arthritis.
Obesity: being overweight puts stress on the joints in your knees and can increase your risk of developing arthritis.
Genes: If someone is having a family history of arthritis, you may have a higher danger of developing OA. Genetic background can make you more liable to certain types of arthritis (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis or systemic lupus erythematosus).
History of joint injuries: joint injuries can be partly responsible for the development of osteoarthritis.
Occupation: Certain jobs requiring repetitive knee bending and squatting may increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis of the knee.
Infections: Microbial agents can infect joints and possibly cause the advancement of differing types of arthritis.
2. RECOGNIZE THE SYMPTOMS OF ARTHRITIS:
The most common arthritis symptoms are severe pain and stiffness. However, depending on the kind of arthritis (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis) you may experience a broad range of other symptoms as well. To recognize signs of arthritis, take a note if you experience any of the following symptoms
- Pain that often worsens with activities.
- Decreased or limited range of motion.
- The stiffness of the joints
- A feeling the joint may “give out.”
- Swelling and tenderness joints.
- Deformity of the joints (ex: knee joint knock-knees or bow-legs) is typically an advanced symptom of arthritis that has been left untreated.
- Fatigue and malaise (often seen in periods of RA rheumatoid arthritis flares).
3. KEEP TRACK OF JOINT PAINS:
Not all joint pains (knee, hip) a sign that you might be suffering from arthritis. Arthritis pain is usually felt on the inside of the knee and some cases on the front or back of the knee.
- Activities that load the joints, such as walking long distances, climbing the stairs, or prolonged standing, can make arthritis pain worse.
- In cases of severe arthritis, the pain may occur in sitting or lying down.
4. ASSESS THE JOINT STIFFNESS AND RANGE OF MOTION:
Besides pain, arthritis also decreases the range of movement in your hip and knee joints. Moreover, due to the loss of gliding surfaces of the bone, you may feel that your joints become stiff, and your motion is limited.
5. WATCH FOR JOINT SWELLING OR GRATING SENSATION (CREPITUS):
Swelling is another sign of inflammation (in addition to pain, warmth and redness) and is a common symptom of arthritis of the knee. Also, people with knee arthritis may feel or hear a catching or clicking within the knee or hip joint.
6. MAKE A NOTE ON CHANGES/ EXACERBATION OF SYMPTOMS:
The symptoms of arthritis can occur gradually and often progress as the condition worsens. Learning to recognize the patterns of arthritis symptoms may help you differentiate it from other knee pains.
People with rheumatoid arthritis often experience periods of worsening of the condition called flares. During these periods, the symptoms worsen, reach a peak, and then gradually lessen.
TREATING ARTHRITIS OF THE KNEE
7. TAKE ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DRUGS
- Some of the anti-inflammatory pain medications (such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs) help to treat the pain as well as inflammation.
- Drug therapy is usually the next step and focuses on pain relief. Drug therapy typically includes acetaminophen, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs), cyclooxygenase (COX-2) inhibitors, and opiates.
- Always consult your specialist before attempting to treat arthritis with medications, especially if you are taking other medications to treat arthritis.
8. GET A HYALURONIC ACID SHOT FOR AFFECTED JOINTS:
Although technically these are not medicines, these substances are injected into joint to complement naturally occurring Hyaluronic Acid, normally In healthy joints Hyaluronic acid acts as a shock absorber and lubricant, allowing the joints to move smoothly over each other. 
These injections are not helpful to everyone; they can relieve the symptoms for 3 to 6 months.
9. GO TO PHYSIOTHERAPY:
Specific exercises can help increase the range of motion and flexibility, as well as assist in strengthening leg muscles. Physiotherapists are trained to evaluate patient’s unique medical condition and suggest an individualized exercise program as per the condition, age and lifestyle of the patient.
The main objectives of physiotherapy for knee arthritis are:
- Reduce knee pain and inflammation.
- Normalize range of knee joint motion.
- Strengthen the knee quadriceps and hamstrings.
- Strengthen your lower extremity: calf muscles, hip, pelvis
Improve your (kneecap) alignment and function of the patella femoral.
- Normalize muscle lengths.
- Improve your proprioception, agility and balance.
- Improve your activities such as walking, squatting.
10. CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR WHETHER YOU REQUIRE SURGERY:
Your doctor may recommend surgery if your arthritis pain causes disability and pain. During a joint surgery, your doctor removes the damaged joint and replaces it with an artificial one.
The benefits of the suggested surgery should outweigh the risks that almost all surgeries entail. It is important that as a patient, you obtain all information about the various surgical options and post-surgery complications, as well as the post-surgery rehabilitation plan.
- OsteoarthritisEssential facts Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, and one of the leading causes of pain and disability worldwide. Nursing Standard, Volume 29 (48) – Jul 29, 2015
- Evidence‐Based Knee Injections for the Management of Arthritis
Cheng, Olivia T.; Souzdalnitski, Dmitri; Vrooman, Bruce. Pain Medicine, Volume 13 (6) – Jun 1, 2012