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How To Control Knee Pain

Do: Take Medications As Prescribed

Arthritis Information & Relief : How to Control Pain in a Knee With Arthritis

Over-the-counter or prescription-strength non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are among the mainstays of knee osteoarthritis treatment, Pisetsky says. While effective, they do come with their share of side effects, he explains. We typically tell patients to take them as needed for pain but emphasize that theyre not used to slow disease progression, he says.

Other treatments are also available to help relieve knee pain, stiffness, and swelling, including analgesics such as acetaminophen and injections of corticosteroids and hyaluronic acid into the joints. While corticosteroid injections are commonly performed, their long-term effects are still under investigation. Using heat and cold therapy can also help relieve symptoms try moist heat for joint stiffness and ice for joint pain and swelling, says Wyss. Just be sure to work with your doctor to develop the best treatment strategy for you.

Fruit Can Help Relieve Knee Pain

In a study of 293 Australian adults, eating plenty of fruit reduced the risk of developing bone marrow lesions: a marker for worsening knee osteoarthritis and pain.

The knee-friendliest fruits appear to be vitamin C-packed ones, like kiwi, orange, mango, grapefruit, and papaya. The researchers suspect its the vitamin C in fruit that protects the knee joint and supporting structures.

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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Know When To See Your Doctor

While many conditions that cause knee pain can be helped by exercise, in some instances it may not be appropriate, says Dr. Lauren Elson, an instructor in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School. You should stop exercising and see a doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • fever

Garlic And Root Vegetables

Patello

Garlic, onions, ginger and turmeric have anti-inflammatory properties. Various studies have shown that these pungent root vegetables can be useful in treating symptoms of arthritis and other joint pain. Incorporate these vegetables into meals for added flavor. Plus, theyre all available in a supplement.

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How Will It Affect Me

If you have osteoarthritis of the knee, you will probably feel your knee is painful and stiff at times. It may only affect one knee, especially if youve injured it in the past, or you could have it in both. The pain may feel worse at the end of the day, or when you move your knee, and it may improve when you rest. You might have some stiffness in the morning, but this wont usually last more than half an hour.

The pain can be felt all around your knee, or just in a certain place such as the front and sides. It might feel worse after moving your knee in a particular way, such as going up or down stairs.

Sometimes, people have pain that wakes them up in the night. Youll probably find that the pain varies and that you have good and bad days.

You might find you cant move your knee as easily or as far as normal, or it might creak or crunch as you move it.

Sometimes your knee might look swollen. This can be caused by two things:

  • Hard swelling: when the bone at the edge of the joint grows outwards, forming bony spurs, called osteophytes .
  • Soft swelling: when your joint becomes inflamed and produces extra fluid, sometimes called an effusion or water on the knee.

Sometimes osteoarthritis of the knee can cause the muscles in the thighs to weaken, so your leg may look thinner. This weakness can make the joint feel unstable and could cause the knee to give way when you put weight on it.

Facts You Should Know About Knee Pain

  • Knee pain is a common problem with many causes, from acute injuries to complications of medical conditions.
  • Knee pain can be localized to a specific area of the knee or be diffuse throughout the knee.
  • Knee pain is often accompanied by physical restriction.
  • A thorough physical examination will usually establish the diagnosis of knee pain.
  • The treatment of knee pain depends on the underlying cause.
  • The prognosis of knee pain, even severe knee pain, is usually good although it might require surgery or other interventions.

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Do: Warm Up And Cool Down Before And After You Exercise

Dont jump right into your workouts if you have knee osteoarthritis, Wyss says. In general, a warm-up lubricates your joints so you’re less stiff and its easier to move, which lowers the risk of sustaining any injury during your workout. Cooling down helps you reset after exercise. A physical therapist or trainer can instruct you on the appropriate warm-up and cool-down exercises for you, he says.

Managing Osteoarthritis Of The Knee

How to Control Pain After Knee or Hip Replacement

There are many treatments short of surgical replacement.

If your knees have become painful, tender, or swollen, are stiff first thing in the morning, or are making crackling noises, the probable cause is osteoarthritis, which affects more than two-thirds of women over age 60. Osteoarthritis results from the breakdown of joint cartilage, the tough, slippery tissue that protects the ends of bones . Eventually, the cartilage may wear away completely, permitting bone to rub painfully against bone. The goals of osteoarthritis treatment are to reduce pain and stiffness, limit the progression of joint damage, and maintain and improve knee function and mobility.

About 5% of women in the United States over age 50 have had total knee replacement surgery, the recommended treatment when more conservative measures have failed and pain and disability are intolerable. The number of these procedures has more than doubled over the past decade, according to research presented at the 2012 annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons . This is partly because knee replacement worksmore than 80% of patients say they’re satisfied with the results. But experts say it’s also a sign that people aren’t fully utilizing the many noninvasive strategies that evidence suggests should be tried firstabove all, weight loss and exercise.

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Injections Are Another Low

If other strategies dont provide enough relief, injection therapy is an option with low risk.

A corticosteroid injection involves delivering this anti-inflammatory drug directly to the knee. The benefits are typically short lived. But it varies from person to person. I tell my patients the pain relief can last anywhere from a week to a year, says Dr. Day. One cautionary note with corticosteroids is the potential to increase blood sugar, which is a concern for people with uncontrolled diabetes.

For a possibly longer lasting effect, an injection of hyaluronic acid can be tried. Hyaluronic acid is a substance that healthy joints have a lot of and arthritic knees dont, says Dr. Day. It takes longer to start working than a corticosteroid injection, but the effect often lasts six months to a year.

Two other injection therapies are platelet-rich plasma and stem cells, neither of which is covered by insurance. PRP involves drawing some blood, spinning it in a centrifuge, and injecting part of it into the knee. Theres currently more science backing up the effect of PRP than stem cells, says Dr. Day.

If youre not able to get your symptoms under control with a combination of these measures, she says, it could be time to talk to your doctor about surgery.

This article originally appeared in Cleveland Clinic Arthritis Advisor.

Relaxation Meditation Positive Thinking And Other Mind

Drugs are very good at getting rid of pain, but they often have unpleasant, and even serious, side effects when used for a long time. If you have backache, fibromyalgia, arthritis, or other chronic pain that interferes with your daily life, you may be looking for a way to relieve discomfort that doesn’t involve drugs. Some age-old techniquesincluding meditation and yogaas well as newer variations may help reduce your need for pain medication.

Research suggests that because pain involves both the mind and the body, mind-body therapies may have the capacity to alleviate pain by changing the way you perceive it. How you feel pain is influenced by your genetic makeup, emotions, personality, and lifestyle. It’s also influenced by past experience. If you’ve been in pain for a while, your brain may have rewired itself to perceive pain signals even after the signals aren’t being sent anymore.

The following techniques can help you take your mind off the pain and may help to override established pain signals.

1. Deep breathing. It’s central to all the techniques, so deep breathing is the one to learn first. Inhale deeply, hold for a few seconds, and exhale. To help you focus, you can use a word or phrase to guide you. For example, you may want to breathe in “peace” and breathe out “tension.” There are also several apps for smartphones and tablets that use sound and images to help you maintain breathing rhythms.

Image: Thinkstock

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What Are Knee Pain Symptoms And Signs

Below is a list of some of the more common causes of knee pain. This is not an all-inclusive list but rather highlights a few common causes of knee pain in each of the above categories.

Acute knee injuries

Fractures: A direct blow to the bony structure can cause one of the bones in the knee to break. This is usually a very obvious and painful knee injury. Most knee fractures are not only painful but will also interfere with the proper functioning of the knee or make it very painful to bear weight . All fractures need immediate medical attention. Many fractures require significant force, and a thorough examination is performed to detect other injuries.

Ligament injuries: The most common injury is the ACL injury. An ACL injury is often a sports-related injury due to a sudden stop and change in directions. The remaining ligaments are injured less frequently.

Meniscus injuries: The menisci are made of cartilage and act as shock absorbers between bones in the knee. Twisting the knee can injure the meniscus.

Dislocation: The knee joint can be dislocated, which is a medical emergency that requires immediate attention. Knee dislocation can compromise blood flow to the leg and have other related problems. This injury often occurs during a motor-vehicle accident when the knee hits the dashboard.

Switch From The Sidewalk To The Treadmill

3 Step System For Relieving Knee Pain

Walking or jogging on a sidewalk made of concrete can be hard on the knees. A treadmill has a little more spring and decreases the overall compressive load on the knees. When walking on a treadmill, resist the urge to walk at an incline.

Walking on a groomed earthen trail will have a similar positive effect.

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Stand Up Straight To Feel Better

“When you slouch you are leaning forward and walking bent over at the waist and that posture will lead to knee pain,” says Bush-Joseph. “You want your head centered over your shoulders and your shoulders centered over your abdomen and pelvis. The more your body is off-center, the more you have to compensate for that with muscle activity. Those muscles eventually fatigue, causing strain on your joints.”

Having strong core muscles in your abdomen and lower back helps promote good posture and, ultimately, lessens the pressure on your knees. Exercises such as planks, back extensions, yoga and Pilates can help strengthen the core.

Heres how to do these exercises:

  • Planks: Lie face down with your toes pointed to the floor. Put your forearms on the floor with your elbows at 90-degree angles. Tighten your abdominal and gluteal muscles and lift your body off the floor. Keep your back straight and hold for 15 to 45 seconds.
  • Back extensions: Lie face down with elbows bent and hands on the floor. Keeping your hips on the floor, lift your head and shoulders up with your arms. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds and repeat five to 10 times.

What Causes Chronic Knee Pain

Temporary knee pain is different from chronic knee pain. Many people experience temporary knee pain as a result of an injury or accident. Chronic knee pain rarely goes away without treatment, and it isnt always attributable to one incident. Its most often the result of several causes or conditions.

Physical conditions or diseases can cause knee pain. These include:

Factors that may make chronic knee pain worse:

  • injuries to the structure of the knee can cause bleeding and swelling and can create a chronic problem over time if not treated properly
  • injections

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Ways To Avoid Knee Pain And Injuries

Learn what exercises and actions to avoid to prevent knee injuries.

Knee pain is often caused by either a one-time acute injury or repetitive motions that stress the knee over time, particularly as we age. There are some steps you can take to avoid knee pain and injuries.

“One of the most common things that causes knee injuries is the runner’s stretch,” says Robert Gotlin, DO, director of sports rehabilitation at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. “That’s when you grab your foot, bringing heel to butt. We all do it, but it’s one of the things that tends to increase knee pain. By bending the knee all the way, the kneecap gets jammed into the bones below it.”

Dr. Gotlin said the runner’s stretch can set the stage for chondromalacia patella, a condition where the cartilage under your knee cap becomes softened, which is the most common form of knee pain. “By repeatedly jamming your kneecap, you are promoting more chondromalacia,” he says.

Generally, Gotlin says the best knee injury prevention starts with becoming familiar with your own body and learning how to exercise correctly. If your knees are the type that are prone to chronic pain from arthritis, for example, impact-oriented exercise is not a good idea. Opt for an elliptical machine rather than the treadmill at the gym.

Tips for Avoiding Knee Injuries

In addition to Gotlin’s advice, you can avoid knee pain and injuries by doing the following:

Simple Home Exercises And Stretches Can Help Ease Some Common Types Of Knee Pain

Home made solution for knee pains || how to control Knee Pain || PRADEEP VANAPALLI

If youve got sore knees, exercise might seem like the hardest thing you can do but its also one of the best.

“Exercise is one of the most important things you can do for knee pain,” says Dr. Lauren Elson, an instructor in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School.

The right combination of strengthening and stretching exercises can relieve pain by helping to improve the way the joint moves and functions.

“The knee is often an innocent bystander between the hip and the foot. Knee pain is often caused by problems occurring above or below,” says Dr. Elson.

For example, weak hip muscles may cause more strain on the knee, intensifying your pain. Strengthening the muscles around the hip joint can help relieve it, says Dr. Elson.

In addition, knee pain is sometimes caused or aggravated by tight muscles around the knee, a problem that is often successfully addressed by stretching. If the muscles arent flexible, the knee joint sometimes wont move properly, says Dr. Elson.

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Articles On Knee Pain

You can do many things to help knee pain, whether it’s due to a recent injury or arthritis you’ve had for years.

Follow these 11 dos and donâts to help your knees feel their best.

Donât rest too much. Too much rest can weaken your muscles, which can worsen joint pain. Find an exercise program that is safe for your knees and stick with it. If you’re not sure which motions are safe or how much you can do, talk with your doctor or a physical therapist.

Do exercise. Cardio exercises strengthen the muscles that support your knee and increase flexibility. Weight training and stretching do, too. For cardio, some good choices include walking, swimming, water aerobics, stationary cycling, and elliptical machines. Tai chi may also help ease stiffness and improve balance.

Donât risk a fall. A painful or unstable knee can make a fall more likely, which can cause more knee damage. Curb your risk of falling by making sure your home is well lit, using handrails on staircases, and using a sturdy ladder or foot stool if you need to reach something from a high shelf.

Do use “RICE.” Rest, ice, compression, and elevation is good for knee pain caused by a minor injury or an arthritis flare. Give your knee some rest, apply ice to reduce swelling, wear a compressive bandage, and keep your knee elevated.

Don’t overlook your weight. If you’re overweight, losing weight reduces the stress on your knee. You donât even need to get to your “ideal” weight. Smaller changes still make a difference.

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