Finding Relief For Chronic Knee Pain
Studies have shown that our knees are the number one joints which get replaced and this doesnt really come as a surprise. A persons knees are vulnerable to injuries because of their complex structure of cartilage and joints coupled with a lack of adequate protection. Therefore, chronic knee pain is quite common as well as other conditions which affect the knees. While its not possible to reverse the effects of aging, wear and tear or even knee damage, on can slow them down. In performing certain steps, one can even avoid having surgery just to get rid of the pain or at least alleviate it. Consider these tips:
Visit the Doctor. If a person starts noticing pain in his knees, then he should visit the doctor. This is especially true if the pain doesnt go away for a couple of days. The sooner a doctor can diagnose the cause of the pain, the sooner he can recommend treatment. Sometimes, doctors may refer their patients to physical therapists who, in turn, can teach some specific exercises which may alleviate the chronic knee pain. These are usually strengthening exercises which will make the knees stronger and improve ones range of motion too.
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What Causes Knee Pain
The anatomy of the knee, the bodys largest joint, is especially complex because it merges the thigh bone, kneecap and shin bone. Sometimes the kneecap isnt properly aligned, contributing to some cases of knee pain. But many cases are prompted by overuse.
On top of that, carrying extra weight or neglecting overall body conditioning can set you up for temporary or chronic knee pain, Dr. Kissin says. For every pound of body weight, knees feel the force of six pounds of pressure, even when walking on flat ground, he notes. Genetics also play a role, so look to your family history for clues whether your knee pain may be an inherited trait.
Its OK to run and do more high-impact activities, but you should make sure you also do conditioning exercises such as using a stationary bike or an elliptical trainer, Dr. Kissin advises.
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What Are Some Common Knee Problems
Many knee problems are a result of the aging process and continual wear and stress on the knee joint . Other knee problems are a result of an injury or a sudden movement that strains the knee. Common knee problems include the following:
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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.
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The Most Important Piece Of The Puzzle
If youre overweight or obese, the most effective treatment is weight loss. This isnt surprising. Every extra pound of weight adds two to four pounds of excess pressure on your knees.
Losing weight is probably the most difficult part of the treatment puzzle, but its also the most important, says Dr. Day.
A weight loss program should include both diet and exercise. Some people have difficulty exercising to lose weight because their knees hurt. But any type of exercise can help, even strengthening the upper body.
Protection Rest Ice Compression And Elevation
Rest, ice, compression, and elevation may help treat mild knee pain that results from a soft tissue injury, such as a sprain.
Protection refers to protecting the knee from further injury, for example, by taking a break from the activity that caused it.
Rest can reduce the risk of further injury and give tissues time to heal. However, stopping all movement is not advisable, as this can lead to stiffness and, in time, muscle weakness.
Ice can help reduce swelling and inflammation. It should be wrapped in a cloth and applied for 20 minutes several times on the first day of injury. Never put ice directly the skin, as this can lead to further damage.
Compression with a knee support, for example, can increase comfort levels. The support or bandage should be firm but not tight.
Elevation, or keeping the leg raised, will encourage circulation and reduce swelling. Ideally, the knee should be above the level of the heart.
Ways To Prevent Chronic Knee Pain
If your aching knees prevent you from doing the things you want to do, you arent alone. An estimated 50 million Americans deal with knee pain on a regular basis. Your knees may swell, your kneecaps can shift, or you can feel like your knees are unstable all things that may make it difficult even to walk.
As one of your largest joints, your knees carry a lot of weight. Unfortunately, theyre susceptible to injury and re-injury. If you have an old sports injury, youre likely to find that it flares up again at some point. The providers at Beeson Regenerative Health explain more about four ways you can prevent chronic knee pain.
Ial And Total Knee Replacement Surgery
More severe knee pain may require surgical treatment, either arthroscopic or some type of replacement.
But even if you need a total knee replacement, advances in technology have made it possible for many people to recover with a full range of motion only a couple of months after the Signature total knee replacement. Patients undergoing an Oxford partial knee replacement are treated as an outpatient and do not spend one night in the hospital. Partial replacement patients typically recover very quickly.
For more information, read our dedicated page about recovery timelines for partial and total knee replacements.
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Can Prp Therapy Help With Chronic Knee Pain
If you experience stiffness, swelling, or frequent pain in one or both knees youre not alone. As many as 30% of Americans suffer chronic knee pain at least once a month. Chronic knee pain can limit a persons activity, work, and ability to exercise, and severely affect their overall quality of life. Until fairly recently, treatment options for chronic knee pain were somewhat limited to pain medications, corticosteroid injections, rehabilitation, or surgery.
However, there is another treatment option that can help treat chronic knee pain and knee injuries by accelerating the healing process: PRP therapy. At Southwest Spine & Sports in Scottsdale, AZ, Dr. Michael Wolff or a member of our team has been helping their patients treat chronic knee pain with this revolutionary new therapy that has won praise from pro athletes to people with osteoarthritis.
To learn more about how PRP therapy can help with your chronic knee pain, keep reading.
Will Surgery Treat And Cure Knee Pain
Knee operations range from arthroscopic knee surgery to total knee replacement. Arthroscopic knee surgery is a very common surgical procedure that allows the physician look inside your knee through a few small holes and a fiberoptic camera. The surgeon can repair many of the injuries and remove small pieces of loose bones or cartilage. This is a common outpatient procedure.
Partial knee replacement: The surgeon replaces the damaged portions of the knee with plastic and metal parts. Because only part of the knee joint is replaced, this procedure has a shorter recovery then a total knee replacement.
Total knee replacement: In this procedure, the knee is replaced with an artificial joint.
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Tips For Managing Chronic Pain
Get effective chronic pain management strategies for arthritis with valuable tips and personal stories.
Many people who have arthritis or a related disease may be living with chronic pain. Pain is chronic when it lasts three to six months or longer, but arthritis pain can last a lifetime. It may be constant, or it may come and go. Chronic pain can make it hard to perform daily activities like cleaning the house, dressing, or looking after your kids. However, there are ways to effectively manage chronic arthritis pain. Follow these tips to help you feel better and learn from people who have experienced chronic pain from arthritis.
01. Take Your Medications
Prescription and over-the-counter drugs recommended by your doctor can help control inflammation and pain. If you have side effects that keep you from taking your medications, or if you have trouble affording their cost, speak to your doctor. There may be other options.
02. Manage Your Weight
Excess weight can cause more pressure on the weight-bearing joints and increase pain. Plus, adipose tissue sends out chemical signals that increase inflammation. Being overweight is bad for your overall health, as it increases your chances for heart disease, diabetes and even some cancers. Make sure you have a balanced diet with plenty of vegetables, fresh fruit, whole grains and lean protein, such as beans, poultry, and fish. Stay away from processed foods, red meat, and sugary drinks.
03. Stay Active
Tips For Coping And Living With Chronic Knee Pain
Chronic knee pain has been with us since we can remember and it has been a bane, especially for the elderly. In older times, people have just to bear the pain because they didnt know what was causing it. Without treatment, the knee pain will linger on. Fortunately these days, there are available venues of treatment, most of which will involve only a change in lifestyle. Exercise and diets are important too. And there are also medications to bring relief. Here are some tips for coping with chronic knee pain:
Learn Meditation or Deep Breathing Techniques to Help One Relax. These are simple techniques that can help the body relax and ease the pain. Deep breathing and meditations, when done properly, can ease the tightness and tension of the muscles, leading to relaxation.
There are different ways one can meditate but the most important thing about the discipline is the power of repetition thats soothing. Do this as a part of a daily routine. Focus on the breathing, clear ones mind, and repeat a phrase or word. This will cause ones body to relax. One can meditate by himself in the comforts of home but the discipline can yield the best results if taken with a class.
Lessen the Stress in Life Because Stress Makes Chronic Pain Worse. Avoid getting into feelings of negativity. Anxiety, stress, depression, and anger will just aggravate ones pain sensitivity. If a person can find ways to control these negative feelings, he may find relief from chronic knee pain.
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Severe Knee Pain: Common Causes And Treatment Options
If you suffer with bad knee pain, you are not alone. Severe knee pain is a common problem experienced by most people at some point in their lives.
Whether the pain has been developing over time or youre experiencing sudden knee pain, it is not a condition you should ignore or try to endure without at least knowing the cause and your treatment options.
Capsaicin Creams And Rubs
Capsaicin is the active ingredient in chili peppers that, when used in the form of ointments, lotions, and transdermal skin patches, can relieve pain. Capsaicin is the cause of the burning feeling you associate with chili peppers, and some research suggests that it depletes nerve cells of the chemicals that shoot pain messages to your brain.
A 2014 report found consistent evidence that capsaicin treatments are effective for osteoarthritis pain relief. Capsaicin products only offer temporary relief, however. Some doctors recommend that it be applied multiple times per day. You should also test it out first on a small patch of skin to make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction. Also, avoid applying capsaicin products on broken skin or open wounds.
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Chronic Knee Pain: Causes And Treatments
Joint pain is bothersome in any form, but when it becomes chronic, it can be debilitating. Chronic knee pain can make the simplest tasks seem almost impossible. Everything from walking to sitting down can be painful, and coping with chronic knee pain without seeking treatment can make the situation even worse.
The knee joints are two of the strongest and most vulnerable joints in the body. Knowing what could injure them and how to properly treat any knee injury can be the difference between living an active life and living in discomfort.
Common Causes Of Chronic Knee Pain And Treatment Options
The knee is the largest joint in the body, where the thighbone , shinbone , and kneecap connect. It also includes cartilage, ligaments, menisci, and tendons. When everything is working as it should, the knee joint functions properly allowing for free movement without pain. However, if any part of the knee joint is not working well, pain, inflammation, and other symptoms can make it difficult to walk and participate in daily activities.
Chronic knee pain is common. It can be the long-term result of an injury, such as when someone falls or receives a blow to the knee. However, it is most often caused by everyday wear and tear, overuse or by certain medical conditions. Sources of chronic knee pain include:
- Degenerative conditions, such as osteoarthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Infection, such as cellulitis
- Patellofemoral syndrome
Patients who experience knee pain often have other symptoms, such as swelling/stiffness, redness/warmth to the touch, weakness, instability, popping noises when bending, or inability to straighten the knee. If you cannot bear any weight on your knee or are unable to extend/flex your knee, contact your doctor or pain management specialist. Long-term knee pain can lead to permanent damage of the knee and loss of function.
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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.
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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Chronic Versus Acute Pain
Pain is the bodys way of warning you, which is why it usually comes on quickly and eventually fades away. Pain from stubbing your toe or healing from surgery are both examples of acute pain, because they dont last longer than a few months. In many cases, the pain will lessen and disappear as the cause disappears.
Alternatively, chronic pain doesnt go away without medical intervention. However, chronic pain can also occur, even if the initial cause of pain heals or disappears because the pain signals remain active for a long time.
Usually, acute pain is fleeting and often goes away with time. Chronic pain, on the other hand, is the result of a singular significant incident and rarely goes away on its own it requires diagnosing and treatment.