What Treatments Can Provide Pain Relief
The nature of your injury will guide the treatment. So will your preferences. It is best to consider the full menu of options available. These include:
Physician anesthesiologists are committed to patient safety and high-quality care, and have the necessary knowledge to understand and treat the entire human body.
What Is Knee Pain
Pain is a common knee problem that can originate in any of the bony structures compromising the knee joint , the kneecap , or the ligaments, tendons, and cartilage of the knee. Knee pain can be aggravated by physical activity, as well as obesity, affected by the surrounding muscles and their movements, and be triggered by other problems . Knee pain can affect people of all ages, and home remedies can be helpful unless it becomes severe.
Why Should I See A Pain Management Specialist
Pain management is an important part of any treatment plan, both for lessening discomfort and aiding in recovery. Pain management specialists understand the full range of pain relief options and how to use these options in combination. Treatments done as part of a comprehensive, multimodal plan may help even if each treatment does not seem to make a difference when used in isolation.
Pain management specialists work with patients to help diagnose pain and treat it safely and effectively with as few side effects as possible. These treatments do not have to involve medication. In fact, pain management is generally more successful when a comprehensive approach is used, with or without medications.
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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.
Whether You’re Active Or Not Stretching Is Good For The Knees
Stretches that focus on the calf, hamstring and quadriceps muscles take pressure off of the knees and kneecaps. “Many people often say there is no aerobic value in stretching, so they see it as a waste of time,” says Bush-Joseph. “But a well-conditioned, flexible body is less likely to develop overuse problems in the knees.”
Some good stretches to protect the knees include step-ups, hamstring curls and straight-leg lifts. Additionally, stretches that focus on building flexibility in the hips, including a butterfly stretch and a standing hip flexor with a resistance band, can help alleviate knee pain.
People who do not like to stretch before a workout can still protect their knees by slowly ramping up to top speed rather than jumping full speed into their workout.
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Joint Or Bursal Aspiration
When a patient has a swollen knee, a doctor may want to verify or rule out certain diagnoses by analyzing the accumulated fluid. To do this, the doctor will remove fluid from the affected knee joint capsule or bursa using a needle and syringe. When performed on a joint capsule, this process is called joint aspiration or arthrocentesis. When performed on a bursa, this process is called bursal aspiration.
The doctor will take note of the aspirated fluid’s color and viscosity and may send it to a lab for further analysis. Determining the contents of the fluid can lead to an accurate diagnosis. For example, uric acid crystals in the joint fluid indicate gout, and bacteria in the fluid indicate infection.
Aspiration and examination of the fluid are important diagnostic steps because the underlying cause of knee swelling will determine the appropriate medical treatment.
Aspirated fluids are not always sent to a lab for analysis. If a diagnosis is already known, a physician may perform an aspiration to improve joint function and patient comfort.
Natural Remedies For Bone And Joint Pain
If youre one of the millions of adults who relies on taking pain-killers such as Aspirin frequently to help manage ongoing joint or bone pains, youve come to the right place to learn about safer alternatives to taking these drugs. Whether you feel it in your low back, shoulder, knees or elsewhere, a number of natural remedies have been shown to help relieve symptoms of joint pain including stiffness, reduced range of motion and difficulty walking.
Some research shows that about one-third of all adults experience some type of joint pain every month. Which areas of the body are joint pains most likely to occur? These include any areas involved in repetitive movements or that take the brunt of the bodys weight, such as the low back, neck, knees, hips, shoulders and ankles.
Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you might choose to leave your joint pain mostly untreated, or on the other hand to resort to daily medications to cope with the aching and throbbing. Some people experience sharp pain with each move, making something as simple as carrying groceries a daunting task, while others only experience symptoms every now and then.
Whatever the cause of your uncomfortable joint pain, its definitely worth giving several natural treatments a shot. These can include a combination of supplements, diet changes, exercises and salt baths to help naturally ease swelling and inflammation.
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What Is The Treatment For Knee Pain
Treatments for knee pain are as varied as the conditions that can cause the pain.
Medications might be prescribed to treat an underlying medical condition or for pain relief.
If you are taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain medications regularly for your knee pain, you should see your doctor to be evaluated.
Sometimes physical therapy sessions to strengthen the muscles around the knee will make it more stable and help guarantee the best mechanical movements. Working with a physical therapist can help avoid injuries or further worsening of an injury.
Injecting medications directly into your knee might help in certain situations. The two most common injections are corticosteroids and lubricants. Corticosteroid injections can help arthritis and other inflammations of the knee. They usually need to be repeated every few months. Lubricants that are similar to the fluid already in your knee joint can help with movement and pain.
When Should I See A Pain Management Specialist
You should consult with a pain management specialist if your acute knee pain seems to be transitioning into chronic pain. Generally, this is when the pain lasts longer than 90 days, but it could be sooner. Pain that lasts longer than expected for the condition you have is a warning sign that the pain is becoming chronic.
Pain management specialists can provide diagnosis and treatment on their own or in consultation with other health care providers. These may include your primary care physician, orthopedist, rheumatologist, or physical therapist.
Orthopedists treat problems related to bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Rheumatologists specialize in the nonsurgical treatment of arthritis and other rheumatic diseases. Physical therapists use exercises and stretches, movement training, medical massage, and other hands-on techniques to help patients increase mobility, ease pain, and protect against further injury.
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Excessive External Tibial Rotation
Now, this one is a little more rare. A too outwardly rotated tibia will cause faulty tracking of the patella in the patellar groove, causing it to grind into the lateral aspect of the condyle. This condition is often referred to as chondromalacia patella.
Once again, as seen in the illustration below, we use the center of the patella and tibial tuberosity as landmarks for measurement. If the tibial tuberosity is vertically in line with the lateral edge of the patella, or further than that, this is a positive indication for excessive lateral tibial rotation.
This condition is often caused by a combination of flat feet, and/or weakness of the hip flexors or gluteal complex, causing tibial external rotation or femoral internal rotation to excessive degree. To correct it, its a good and simple start to train the muscles that oppose the dysfunction:
- Psoas External femoral rotation
- Tibialis posterior Internal tibial rotation
- Popliteus Internal tibial rotation
Once again, measure the rehabs progress by using the landmarks of the knee. Youll want the tibial tuberosity in line with the 3:4th lateral aspect of the patella .
Knee Surgeries 51 Y/o Masters Track Athlete
After 3 knee surgeries 51 y/o competitive boxer, Nationally ranked Giant slalom skiier, and college football athlete Rick Pruett had to find a better way to heal his knee pain. Rick sufferes from numerous injuries including 2 ACL reconstructions on his right knee and a meniscus surgery on his left. He
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How To Ease The Pain Now
When your knee starts aching, experts suggest the following steps:
Apply ice or heat. Both can reduce pain ice can also cut swelling, and heat can ease stiffness. For icing, place a towel or cloth on your skin, then top with a small bag of ice at least once a day for 20 minutes, recommends physical therapist Erica Fritz, P.T., D.P.T., manager of the Orthopedic Physical Therapy Center at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.
If your knee feels stiff but isnt swollen, apply a heating pad to the area for 20 minutes twice a day. Place a protective layer, such as a towel, between the heat source and your skin.
Get some low-impact activity. You may not feel much like being active when your knees hurt, but the evidence suggests that it can help. A 2015 review by the independent Cochrane Collaboration found that the short-term pain relief conferred by exercise is comparable to that achieved with use of a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug .
Walking and cycling are good choices. But if land-based exercise is too painful, try an aquatic workout.The buoyancy of water is gentle on joints and may make it easier to work out. Aquatic exercise also provides a small but measurable decrease in pain and disability in people with knee and/or hip OA, according to another Cochrane review, published in 2016.
Ask about physical therapy. If pain and swelling make it very challenging to be active or youre unsure which exercises are best for you, see a physical therapist.
Sharp Knee Pain When Kneeling Down
Do you completely avoid kneeling because of the sharp pain accompanied? This pain most likely occurs because something is being squashed.
This could be an inflamed bursa, known as knee bursitis, or loose tissue in the knee. There is often obvious visual swelling with both of these ailments.
TIPS TO AVOID PAIN: first and foremost, find a way to reduce the swelling through rest, ice, compression, or elevation. Once accomplished, begin a strengthening routine, such as using a stationary bike to build the muscle surrounding the knee without inflaming the bursa or knee joint again.
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Wearing The Proper Shoes Is Important For Healthy Knees
Supportive and comfortable shoes help take pressure off the knee joint by promoting proper leg alignment and balance. So it’s no surprise that wearing high heels is a common cause of knee pain.
“When high heels lift your heel up, your weight bearing line tips forward so your quadriceps have to work harder to hold your knee straight, which then leads to knee pain,” says Bush-Joseph. “Whereas, if your heel is closer to the floor in low pumps or flats, your thigh muscles don’t have to work as hard to maintain stability, which is easier on the knees.”
While strength training and stretching can help build up the muscles around the knees to minimize knee damage from heels, it’s best to save the stilettos for special occasions.
Proper shoes are particularly important during exercise. “If you are taking up running as a newbie or starting a new form of aerobic exercise, getting professionally fitted from someone at a running or sporting goods store can help with knee problems and will certainly lower your incidence of having overuse problems due to footwear,” says Bush-Joseph.
Initial Treatment And Self Care
If youve injured your joint and your symptoms are not too severe for example, youre still able to put weight on and move the joint you can often look after yourself using PRICE therapy.
PRICE stands for:
- Protection protect the affected area from further injury by using a support, such as a knee brace
- Rest rest the affected joint as much as possible during the first 2 or 3 days , then try gradually returning to light activity over the next few days and weeks
- Ice apply an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel to the injured area for 15-20 minutes every 2-3 hours during the first 2 or 3 days
- Compression compress or bandage the injured area to limit any swelling and movement that could damage it further you can use a simple elastic bandage or an elasticated tubular bandage available from a pharmacy
- Elevation keep the injured area raised and supported on a pillow whenever you can to help reduce swelling
Visit your GP if your symptoms have not started to improve after a few days of PRICE therapy.
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Fixing Knee Pain At Home
Sharp Knee Pain When Bending Your Back
If your knee pain occurs when reaching down to put your shoes on or any other back-bending activity, it is likely due to a problem in your lower back.
The gradual loss of core muscle tissue impacts your ability to keep the spine supported during these types of movements and compensation can occur.
TIPS TO AVOID PAIN: follow a proper exercise routine, focusing on strengthening the transverse abdominis to mitigate dysfunction. The TVA is considered the cores core and helps to stabilize the entire low back and core muscles. When you have a strong core, it surprisingly can improve many lower body aches and pains.
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Prp And Stem Cell Injections
Platelet-rich plasma injections are created using your own blood centrifuged to concentrate platelets in the plasma while getting rid of white and red blood cells.
The concentrated PRP is injected into your joint to attract growth factors to the area and speed healing. Stem cells perform a similar task, boosting the regenerative power of your system and relieving pain in the process.
How Do You Stop Knee Pain At A Young Age
Very often, knee pain in younger patients can be treated with conservative options, like:
- Resting the knee
- Physical therapy and stretching exercises to rebalance the knee
Depending on your symptoms and your activity level, you might also benefit from:
- Making sure you wear footwear thats designed for your specific sport or activity
- Making sure you warm up thoroughly before any activity
- Sticking to a regular leg exercise routine to keep your knee muscles strong and flexible
- Avoiding activities that cause pain in your knees
- Paying attention to early signs of pain to avoid overdoing it
Although knee pain in adolescents and young adults typically can be treated conservatively, you still need a medical evaluation. Delaying medical treatment can increase your risk of developing arthritis and other serious problems in the future. Dr. Van Thiel is skilled in diagnosing and treating knee problems in patients of all ages, including kids, teens, and patients in their 20s. If youre having knee pain, get the care you need to feel better and to prevent permanent joint damage. Contact the office and schedule a knee evaluation today.
Dr. Van Thiel treats patients from all over Wisconsin and Illinois including Rockford, Elgin, Huntley, Dekalb, Crystal Lake, Barrington, McHenry, Beloit and Algonquin.
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