How To Treat Your Chronic Knee Pain Or Arthritis
Posted bySpine Correction CenterAugust 9, 2016Comments Off on How to Treat Your Chronic Knee Pain or Arthritis
Are you suffering from chronic knee pain due to arthritis? Youre not alone. Osteoarthritis is a prevalent joint disease affecting the daily lives of millions of middle-aged and elderly Americans. Daily living becomes increasingly difficult when your joints are affected by arthritis. Over time, if left untreated, the bones that make up your joints can lose their normal shape. This deterioration can further impact mobility and cause you even more pain.
While theres currently no cure for arthritis, certain treatments can help slow the diseases progression and lessen painful symptoms. At Spine Correction Center, we help our clients battle the debilitating effects of arthritis without surgery or pharmaceuticals. Instead we rely on Stem Cell Therapy.
Chronic Knee Pain Causes & Treatment
Chronic knee pain can result from a variety of orthopedic injuries, diseases and conditions.
This type of pain is characterized by its enduring nature and the unlikelihood that it will go away without treatment. For many, the chronic aching and discomfort is accompanied by other symptoms, including swelling, weakness and an inability to fully straighten the leg.
Knee pain can affect people of any age, and the extent of the problem can vary, depending upon the cause.
How To Relieve Back Pain
When you watch this video youll find out How To Relieve Back Pain. If you have a soft tissue injury, you would be aware of how tricky it can be to relieve lumbar instability. Manual therapy, massage and pain management can be a daily chore. You will find options for pain relief and active treatment for how to strengthen lower lumber region of spine here. Of course injury prevention is key as is good general health. We hope you find the tips in this video helpful along with looking at alternative treatment ideas to relieve back pain.
For more info on ways to decrease back pain, have a look at: https://bit.ly/3PIRQKi
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The Best Ways To Reduce Discomfortand What You Can Probably Skip
Knee osteoarthritisa progressive loss of cartilage at the ends of knee jointscan cause pain, stiffness, and swelling. And about half the estimated 15 million Americans with knee OA have a severe form of the progressive condition.
In their search for relief, many people may be turning to the wrong treatments, according to a 2017 study published in The Journal of Arthroplasty.
We suspect both patients and providers are trying to exhaust conservative measures in an attempt to avoid surgery, says study leader Nicholas Bedard, M.D., orthopedic surgery resident at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City.
His team looked at the records of more than 86,000 people whod had knee replacements and found that in the year before the surgery, theyd spent nearly $44 millionan average of $506 eachon questionable therapies such as opioid pain medications.
But if opioid drugs are a poor choicetheyre potentially addictive, and a published in JAMA found them of no use for moderate to severe knee OA painwhat are the most effective ways to handle your discomfort? Here, the experts weigh in.
What Procedures And Tests Diagnose Knee Pain
A health care professional will begin by asking questions related to the person’s general health and then specifically to the nature of the knee pain .
Next, an examination of the knee will be performed. This will include bending the knee through the full range of motion, checking for stability of the ligaments, and evaluating for any tenderness and swelling. It is often helpful to compare the results of the examination of the painful knee with the other knee. Frequently, this is all that is required to make a diagnosis and start treatment. In several research studies, it has been found that an experienced examiner is as reliable as X-ray examination.
Sometimes the doctor might want to do further studies such as the following tests.
Plain X-ray can establish fractures and degenerative changes of the knee.
MRI is used to evaluate the soft tissues of the knee for ligament tears or cartilage and muscle injuries.
If gout, arthritis, or other medical conditions are suspected, a health care professional might order blood tests.
Removal of joint fluid
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How Is The Cause Of Knee Pain Diagnosed
A thorough examination is necessary for an accurate determination. The examination should include an assessment of whether the pain actually stems from the knee. Sometimes knee pain can be referred pain from another source, such as a hip injury. Ã¢â¬ÅReferred painÃ¢â¬ï¿½ means that an injury or disease in one part of the body is causing pain in a different location.
When making a diagnosis, your doctor will consider information that includes the following:
- Patient characteristics. Some conditions are more likely to occur in individuals with certain characteristics. For example, osteoarthritis is more frequent in older adults, and conditions associated with overuse are more frequent in people who participate in athletic activities. Obesity can also be a factor in some conditions.
- Patient history. The physician asks questions to determine potential sources of trauma, such as car accidents or sports injuries. The physician will also ask where and when you feel the pain.
- Results of a physical examination. The physician moves and probes your knee for signs of damage to the muscle, tendon, or cartilage. This includes exploring the location of the pain, such as behind the knee, in front of the knee, or inside of or on top of the knee.
- Results of imaging and other tests. Sometimes X-rays, MRIs, or other diagnostic tests are needed to identify structural damage or abnormalities.
Find Chronic Knee Pain Treatment Near You
Theres no need to suffer through chronic knee pain, especially when the Orthopedic Institute of Pennsylvanias physicians are here to help. While surgery may end up being the best option, it is never the first one we suggest. We opt instead to work with each patient to find non-invasive ways to treat chronic pain.
With numerous locations across Pennsylvania, were dedicated to helping you live a pain-free life. To request an appointment at one of our locations, simply fill out the form online or call 717-761-5530.
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Home Care For Knee Pain
Inflammation is the body’s physiologic response to an injury. In treating many types of knee pain, a common goal is to break the inflammatory cycle. The inflammatory cycle starts with an injury. After an injury, substances that cause inflammation invade the knee to assist in healing. However, if the injury and subsequent inflammation is not resolved, inflammation can become a chronic issue, leading to further inflammation and additional injury. This cycle of inflammation leads to continued or progressive knee pain. The cycle can be broken by controlling the substances that cause inflammation, and by limiting further injury to tissue.
Some common home care techniques for knee pain that control inflammation and help to break the inflammatory cycle are protection, rest, ice, compression, and elevation. This regimen is summarized by the memory device PRICE.
PROTECT the knee from further trauma.
- This can be done with knee padding or splinting.
- A pad over the kneecap, for example, helps to control the symptoms of some knee injuries by preventing further repetitive injury to the prepatellar bursae.
REST the knee.
- Rest reduces the repetitive strain placed on the knee by activity.
- Rest both gives the knee time to heal and helps to prevent further injury.
ICE the knee.
COMPRESS the knee with a knee brace or wrap.
- Compression reduces swelling.
- In some knee injuries, compression can be used to keep the patella aligned and to keep joint mechanics intact.
ELEVATE the knee.
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.
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What Conditions Can Exercise Help
Knee exercises and stretches can help relieve knee pain caused by many conditions, including these three that commonly affect older women:
Patellofemoral pain. This condition typically causes a dull, aching pain in the front of the knee thats made worse by daily activities, such as squatting, going up or down stairs, or standing up after sitting for a long period of time. The pain is caused by irritation of the cartilage underneath the kneecap when it does not glide or sit properly. Exercise can help to eliminate problems that lead to this irritation. Stretches can loosen tight muscles on the side of the knee that may be pulling the kneecap out of its groove as it moves. Strengthening weak hip muscles or stretching tight muscles in the front or back of the legs can also reduce discomfort.
Chronic degenerative meniscal tears. When one or both pads of cartilage that cushion each of your knee joints deteriorates or tears, you may feel pain and a sticking or locking sensation. While surgery is sometimes necessary, doctors usually first recommend physical therapy to help build up the muscles around the knee to take the pressure off the joint and reduce discomfort.
What Other Symptoms May Be Associated With Knee Pain
If you have knee pain, you may get other symptoms such as:
- swelling, redness or heat in the knee
- bruising around the knee
- locking or clicking
- inability to straighten your knee
See a doctor if the pain doesnt improve in a few weeks, if you cant move your knee or put any weight on it, or if your knee locks or gives way.
Go to an emergency department if your knee is very painful, is badly swollen or has changed shape, or if you have a fever and a red and hot knee.
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Treating Chronic Knee Pain Without Surgery
In my practice I see many patients struggling with chronic knee pain from osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when the knees natural cushion of cartilage wears away due to stress, strain, age, inflammation, or injury. This leads to pain which can make it difficult to enjoy life to the fullest. Fortunately, many non-surgical treatments can help reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Used individually or in combination, these treatments can reduce pain, increase mobility, and improve quality of life.
The treatment options described below are based on guidelines from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons , the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons , and the American College of Rheumatology. For more information about these treatments and other treatment options for knee arthritis, please see the links at the bottom.
Low-Impact Aerobic Exercise ***
When we experience pain, the natural inclination is often to rest or resist moving the painful joint. In cases of knee osteoarthritis, however, exercise can actually make the knee feel better. Many find it surprising that low-impact exercises are part of the first-line treatment for knee arthritis and have some of the best supporting evidence for symptom relief.
Physical Therapy ***
How Knee Pain Can Affect You
Knee pain is more common as you get older, due to years of wear and tear, if you are overweight , or if you play sports. Because your knees are vital to movement, knee pain can stop you from playing sports and make it difficult to carry out simple activities, such as walking and climbing stairs.
*Knee : Images, Function, Ligaments, Muscles. 2016. Knee : Images, Function, Ligaments, Muscles. Available at: http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/knee-pain/picture-of-the-knee. . ** GSK Global Pain Index Research 2014 full report p. 47
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How Is A Torn Meniscus Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and the circumstances of your injury, and conduct a physical examination. Radiological imaging studies will be ordered to confirm a diagnosis: X-rays will help rule out fractures or other bone injuries as the cause of pain, and high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging studies will help reveal the type and location of the tear.
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Simple Home Exercises And Stretches Can Help Ease Some Common Types Of Knee Pain
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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How To Use Pain Medications Properly
There are two types of over-the-counter pain medications that can be used for osteoarthritis. Acetaminophen is a pain reliever but not an anti-inflammatory. It may help with mild knee pain.
NSAIDs can be more effective because they both relieve pain and reduce inflammation. However, they come with potential side effects and risks. NSAIDs can irritate the lining of the stomach, which may lead to an ulcer or other stomach problems. They also can impair kidney function. Some NSAIDs can increase blood pressure. And theyve been linked to an increased risk for heart disease.
Because of the risks, Dr. Day cautions against using NSAIDs regularly over long periods of time. Instead, she uses NSAIDs for her patients in two ways. First, people who have a flare-up of pain can take them regularly for three to five days and then stop. Second, they can be used over the long term, but only occasionally, maybe a couple of times a week as needed.
If youre taking NSAIDs several times a day for long periods of time, Dr. Day advises reducing their use by maximizing the other treatment strategies. She also suggests trying a topical NSAID, such as diclofenac , which has fewer potential side effects.
Opioid pain relievers are discouraged for long-term treatment of chronic knee pain. The milder narcotic tramadol might be appropriate for occasional use in some people, says Dr. Day.
What Are Knee Pain Symptoms And Signs
- Chronic use/overuse conditions: osteoarthritis, chondromalacia, IT band syndrome, patellar syndromes, tendinitis, and bursitis
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.
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What Causes Knee Pain
Your knee joint is made of bone, cartilage, ligaments, and fluid. Muscles and tendons help the knee joint move. When any of these structures is damaged, you have knee problems. These are some of the more common causes of knee pain:
- Osteoarthritis. The cartilage in the knee gradually wears away.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. The knee may become swollen and cartilage may be destroyed.
- Ligament injuries. Anterior cruciate ligament injuries usually result from a sudden twisting motion. Injuries to the posterior cruciate ligament are usually caused by a direct impact, like impact from a car accident or sports activities.
- Tendon injuries. These can range from inflammation to a tear, most likely from overuse in sports or from a fall.
- Cartilage injuries and disorders. Injury, overuse, muscle weakness, or misalignment of the knee can soften the cartilage of the kneecap, or a blow to the knee may tear off a piece of cartilage.
- Broken kneecap. The small, round bone that sits over the front of your knee joint breaks, usually as the result of a fall or a direct blow to the knee.
Chronic Knee Pain Treatment And Prevention
Whenever possible, conservative methods are used to treat painful knee problems. Medication may be prescribed for pain relief or to treat issues resulting from medical conditions. For patients with knee stability problems, physical therapy is often advised.
Injections directly into the joint are also routinely used to treat painful knees. Corticosteroids and hyaluronic acid can provide symptomatic relief and improve joint mobility in some patients.
Surgery may be necessary for some types of injuries and conditions. Arthroscopy, partial knee replacement or total knee replacement can be used to reconstruct the joint. However, whenever possible, both orthopedic specialists and patients try to avoid surgery.
Biologic injections are a minimally invasive and highly effective alternative, restoring function and relieving chronic pain. Platelet-rich plasma and stem-cell injections can help promote healing and aid in the recovery of chronic knee problems.
Knee pain cant always be prevented, but lifestyle changes may help alleviate the symptoms. Losing weight, wearing supportive shoes, choosing low-impact athletic activities and stretching before and after exercise can help patients avoid knee pain.
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