Using A Tens Unit For Knee Pain And Proper Placement Of The Electrode Pads
The knees are one of themost used joints in the body. They are used for all kinds of daily activities,including walking, running, climbing stairs, and getting in and out ofyour car. They are also responsible for carrying the weight of your body.
Unfortunately, as aresult of excessive use, trauma, or injury, its not uncommon for pain todevelop in the knees. When you experience knee pain, your life can be greatlyimpacted. Not only can it limit your mobility, but it can negatively impactyour well-being.
Causes of KneePain
There are several reasonswhy knee pain can occur. Some of the most common causes include:
Tendon Ruptures. This happens when the quadriceps and the patellartendons rupture either partially or completely.
Damage to the Meniscus. Injuries or trauma can cause apiece of the meniscus to tear off and float in the knee joint, causingsignificant pain.
Dislocation. A powerful blow to the knee can cause the lower leg tobecome completely displaced in relation to the upper leg. This can stretch andtear the ligaments, the arteries and the nerves. A dislocation is rare and isconsidered a limb-threatening emergency that requires immediate medicalattention.
In the most seriouscases, surgery may be required to fix the damage to the knee and ease the painthat damage causes. For those who do not require surgical treatment, a TENSunit can be used to help manage pain in the knees.
What is a TENSUnit?
How to Use a TENSUnit for Knee Pain
Talk To Your Doctor About Knee Joint Injections
Knee joint injections should only be explored when more conservative treatments for knee pain have proven ineffective. Before the procedure, your doctor will inject a numbing agent to reduce pain, followed by a corticosteroid to decrease inflammation. They may also discuss options like PRP injections.
While injections may work to decrease pain, knee joint injections do not treat any underlying knee pain causes or halt progressive joint deterioration. Still, when combined with a healthy diet, regular exercise, physical therapy, and other lifestyle changes, they can provide profound relief. Learn more about this option in the following video.
Focus On Modifying The Fundamental Movements To Work Around Discomfort
Trying to push through discomfort when doing squats or the notorious knee extension machine, is a sure fire way to knee pain. If your knee pain has gotten to the point where something as simple as going up or down stairs is painful, then figuring out what the right prescription of exercises are can be a challenge.
However, what shouldnt be negotiated is still trying to implement the basic squat, hinge, or lunge pattern into your routine, albeit with some modifications. Here are some knee friendly variations to the fundamental movements we mentioned above, that will help build strength and capacity in the knee:
#8 Spanish Squat
The Spanish Squat is great as it provides a form of Reactive Neuromuscular Training that allows the body to optimize its positions and stability, while also helping to rewire some of the faulty movement patterns in the process.
#9 Reverse Lunge with Hip Dominance
The reverse lunge really separates itself from its forward counterpart due to its more posterior chain dominancy. This means that reverse lunging targets the glutes and hamstrings to a greater degree than the forward lunge, largely due to the tibial angle and relative torso angle over the front leg.
#10 Split Squat
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Be More Aware Of Controlling How Your Knee Moves
The knee joint does a lot more than just bend and straighten the leg. It allows for rotation around the knee joint, translation back and forth, and adduction/abduction . What does that all mean? It means that your knee has to not only be able to perform these motions, but more importantly it needs to be able to resist these motions.
The inability to resist excessive motions in different planes is what can lead to increased stress on ligaments, cartilage, and other structures in the knee, and yes, injuries as well.
There is a reason we continue to see such high rates of ACL injuries, meniscus tears, and other knee related injuries. Failure to make the lower body more resilient to stress, especially when fatigue plays a factor, is what can make you more susceptible to injury. Try these simple exercises to give your routine some variety and help reduce the likelihood that your knee will give you trouble:
#5 Mini Band Alternating Knee Knockers
While the band is positioned around the knees, remember that we are actually working the hips into abduction/adduction, along with slight external rotation and internal rotation with this exercise.
#6 Bowler Squat
These have many different names, but no matter what you call the Bowler Squat, they are a highly effective way to train single leg squat mechanics, while placing an emphasis on lateral hip stability and control. A little loading goes a LONG way here so dont overdo the dumbbell weights.
Using Tylenol To Kill Knee Pain
Earlier today to was talking to a good friend of mine who is an anasthesiologist at the University of Louisville. Basically they are the doctors that know just how much drugs to give you when you are getting operated on.
Anyhow, I asked her some questions regarding acute knee pain and chronic knee pain . What I was curious to find out was the effect of taking over the counter drugs like Tylenol, advil, nuprin, and motrin for long periods of time. Getting feedback especially from a doctor that specializes in administering drugs I felt was even more valuable
I got some really interesting feedback
I found out that when there is swelling, pain, and discomfort in the knees from a knee injury there is a chemical reaction that sends signals to the brain to deal with the swelling, pain, and discomfort in the knees. If an over the counter drug like Tylenol, advil, nuprin, or motrin is taken within the first few days of the injury this can be beneficial in dealing with the knee injury.
The longer you continue to take these over the counter drugs the more likely it is for you to build up a tolerance to one of these drugs. This may not sound like that big of a deal however if you take into consideration that combining one of these drugs with another drug like alcohol can have significant health implications to your body especially to your liver.
Another exampleis like the garbage men are on strike and they cant haul the trash away
Let me know what you think
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Explore Supplements And Natural Remedies
Supplements for knee osteoarthritis may increase production of synovial fluid in the knee joint. This helps smooth out rough movement that could be causing knee pain. Talk to your doctor before adding these into your regimen.
Losing Weight Can Improve Knee Pain
“Your weight plays a major role in knee pain,” says Bush-Joseph. “If you walked around all day with a backpack that had a 10-pound weight in it, you would feel how achy your back, hips and knees are at the end of the day. That shows you the impact extra weight can have on your joints.”
With each step people take, two to four times their body weight is transmitted through the knee joint, according to Bush-Joseph. Thus, the more you weigh, the harder the impact is on your knee joint.
However, people who are overweight and have arthritic knee pain can lessen the impact and ultimately, relieve knee pain by losing weight. In fact, people with arthritic knees lose about 20 percent of their pain with every 10 pounds of weight loss.
“If you are 20 pounds overweight and you have arthritic knee pain, almost half of your pain will go away by losing 20 pounds,” says Bush-Joseph. Of course, losing 20 pounds isn’t easy. But, if people are able to lose even 10 pounds and add in some stretching and flexibility training, they’ll experience significantly less pain, according to Bush-Joseph.
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What Causes Bone On Bone Knee Pain
Age is the main factor associated with Osteoarthritis of the knee. As people age, develop a certain level of bone-to-bone problem. That doesnt mean young people cannot suffer the same. Besides age, several other factors can contribute to early cartilage wear out. Some of these factors include
Bone on bone pain is that feeling of extreme tenderness, discomfort or the aching of a single or more bone. Its difference with joint pain is that you experience it whether moving or resting.
Conventional Treatments For Knee Pain
Ron Torrance II, D.O, a Sports Medicine Trained Physician at the New ReGeneration Orthopedics of Florida, says he commonly sees knee pain-related conditions among his younger patients who are generally fit especially runners, female athletes and anyone who uses their legs in other repetitive ways
Dr. Torrance feels that an often overlooked aspect of treating knee pain is the need for different interventions depending on someones current fitness level. For example, a young woman who experiences knee pain after running for several months will benefit from a much different treatment approach than an older man with osteoarthritis of the knees.
When treating knee pain injuries, Dr. Torrance first looks at his patients symptoms and then discusses their lifestyle and exercise habits. Knee pain treatment should always depend on which specific part of the knee is injured and the underlying cause of the pain. Even if medications and corrective devices like knee braces are needed to treat knee pain, exercises, stretching and other functional medicine practices should also be incorporated to help with recovery and injury prevention.
Aside from resting the knee after an acute injury, conventional treatments for chronic knee pain that lasts more than several weeks include:
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What About Glucosamine And Chondroitin
Glucosamine and chondroitin are components of healthy cartilage. Both are produced naturally in the body. They are also available in supplement form.
Researchers have long studied the effects of glucosamine and chondroitin supplements on arthritis. Many studies have found mixed resultssome have shown pain relief and function improvements compared to a placebo, while others showed no benefit from using these supplements.
Because of the lack of confirmatory evidence on the effectiveness of glucosamine and chondroitin supplements, the 2019 ACR/Arthritis guidelines recommend that people with knee OA not use these supplements.
There has been little or no research on the effects of glucosamine and chondroitin supplements in people with knee arthritis related to RA.
Most supplements are generally safe to use. Talk to your healthcare provider about whether it is safe for you to start a supplement with your current knee arthritis treatment plan.
While supplements have few severe side effects attached to them, it is still possible to experience these. Supplements can also interact with prescription drugs, can make other treatments less effective, and affect other health conditions you may have.
If You Keep Dislocating Your Kneecap
Most people who dislocate their kneecap will not dislocate it again. But in some people it can keep happening.
This often happens if the tissues that support the kneecap are weak or loose, such as in people with hypermobile joints, or because the groove in the bone beneath the kneecap is too shallow or uneven.
Regularly doing the exercises your physiotherapist recommends can help strengthen the tissues that hold the kneecap in place and reduce the risk of dislocating it again.
Surgery may occasionally be needed if the kneecap keeps dislocating. A common procedure is a medial patellofemoral ligament repair.
This is where the connective tissue that helps hold the kneecap in place is repaired and strengthened.
Page last reviewed: 20 May 2019 Next review due: 20 May 2022
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Keep An Eye On Your Weight
The more you weigh, the more stress youll place on your knees. In addition to a dedicated walking regimen, its also important to adhere to a well-balanced diet and other healthy habits to achieve your ideal weight. This not only benefits your knees, but it also improves your heart health and makes you less susceptible to other chronic conditions as you age. If you are unsure what your ideal weight should be, speak with your doctor.
When Knee Pain Is Chronic
If your knee pain continues for three months or longer, stick with an exercise program apply ice or heat as needed use NSAIDs judiciously continue to lose weight, if needed and consider the following:
Walking aids. Using a cane or walker as needed can reduce the load on the affected knee, easing discomfort. A study published in 2012 in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases found that people with knee OA who used a cane daily for two months had less pain and better function.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy. Some evidence finds that CBT, a short-term therapy that can provide strategies for coping with pain, may help reduce discomfort and help you function better. A study published in 2015 in Arthritis & Rheumatology reported that people with knee OA plus insomnia who received CBT not only slept better but also reported less pain.
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Symptoms Of Knee Pain
The symptoms of knee problems can vary and will depend upon the cause and severity. However, knee pain is common.
Sudden pain in the knee can occur if you overuse it or injure it.
Instability and weakness in the knee, or the feeling that your knee is about to give way, is a common knee problem.
Other symptoms may include stiffness, popping sounds, locking of the joint and inability to straighten the knee, depending on the cause.
Increase Your Mileage Gradually
Studies show walking at least 6,000 steps a day can decrease the pain associated with osteoarthritis. But depending on your current state of fitness, youll need to be aware that increasing your mileage or step count too much too quickly can lead to knee pain or other injuries.
As a general rule, increase your total weekly mileage by no more than 10% each week. Be patient and youll eventually work yourself up to your mileage or step goals safely.
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When To See Your Doctor
Sometimes, severe knee pain is an indication that there is something serious going on and you should see your doctor if:
Sprains Strains And Injuries
Sprains and strains happen when tissues in the knee become stretched by unusual or increased activity, or an awkward twist or trip.
PRICE, described above, should lead to a reduction in pain and improved movement within days, and a gradual improvement over the weeks to follow.
A sprain often resolves itself, but some problems can require more treatment. For example, an injury to the pad of tissue in the knee joint known as the meniscus may require surgery.
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Exercises To Instantly Improve Knee Pain
Be honest with yourself, have you really tapped into and addressed all the things that could be the reason for your knee discomfort and exhausted every last conservative option before jumping into a reactionary model of medicine? Probably not. So thats why Ive put together my 5 most effective approaches to eradicating chronic knee pain from your training, including the best exercises in each category for you to start using right away. Its time to identify the problems, strengthen the weak links and get back to being pain-free once again.
Check If You Have Bursitis
Bursitis happens when the fluid-filled sacs that cushion your joints become inflamed.
You might have bursitis if 1 of your joints is:
- painful usually a dull, achy pain
- tender or warmer than surrounding skin
- more painful when you move it or press on it
The area may also be red. This can be harder to see on darker skin.
Bursitis can affect any joint, but it’s most common in the shoulders, hips, elbows or knees.
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Focus Your Efforts Elsewhere
Just because you are experiencing knee pain doesnt necessarily mean that the knee itself is the source of the discomfort. When assessing knee pain, looking at how the foot/ankle moves, is a great place to start.
Failure for the ankle to move throughout its full range of motion can lead to compensatory movements, which normally ends up finds itself occuring at the knee. Attempting to perform compound movements in the gym, jumping, sprinting, or even simple things such as going down stairs, all require adequate ankle mobility, especially into dorsiflexion range of motion. Address and clean up your ankle mobility with these drills below:
#1 Half Kneeling 3-Way Ankle Mobilization
The 3-Way Ankle Mobilization is a great drill for addressing joint mobility restrictions that restrict the ankles ability to meaningfully move into dorsiflexion. But remember, we must first figure out what type of ankle mobility restriction we have. Heres a great article from our colleague and fellow DrJohnRusin.com expert Andrew Millett: 10 Exercises To Instantly Improve Ankle Mobility
#2 Push-Up Position Dorsiflexion Rockbacks
The foot/ankle is the first thing that makes contact with the ground, so it is really important for its ability to absorb force. Failure for the foot/ankle to absorb force efficiently can put excess stress on the knee joint over time which can cause some irritation. Improve your ankle mobility and your knee will thank you in the long run.
#3 Glute Bridge Variations