Platelet Rich Plasma Injection
Recently, platelet-rich plasma injections have emerged as a potential treatment option for knee arthritis. This treatment involves a healthcare provider:
- suck your blood
- Use a centrifuge to separate out a component called platelets
- reinjecting these substances into the affected knee
injections to relieve knee pain
Platelets contain proteins called growth factors that play an important role in tissue healing. Therefore, injecting growth factor plasma concentrate into the arthritic area may help reduce the pain and soreness associated with osteoarthritis.
However, research on this treatment is still mixed, and it appears that PRP injections are most beneficial after 6 to 12 months of intra-knee injection.
Where Can Arthritis Occur In The Knee
Cartilage loss can occur between the thighbone and the shinbone in the medial portion , lateral portion and under the kneecap.
- Thinning of the cartilage under the kneecap is called patellofemoral arthritis .
- Some patients have cartilage loss in one, two or all of these areas. When all three areas are affected, this is called tricompartmental arthritis.
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Osteoarthritis Of The Knee
Knee OA is a very common source of pain that can limit your mobility.
Causes of Knee OA
The cause of OA is unknown. These risk factors make it more likely you will develop knee OA:
- Age: OA can occur at any time of life, but it is most common in older adults.
- Sex: Women are more likely to have knee OA than men.
- Obesity: Being overweight adds stress to your knees. Fat cells also make proteins that can cause inflammation in and around your joints.
- Injuries: Any knee injury, even old ones, can lead to knee OA.
- Repeated stress: Frequent stress on your knee from your job or playing sports can increase risk for OA.
- Genetics: You can inherit a tendency to develop OA.
- Bone deformities: If you have crooked bones or joints, you are at higher risk.
- Some metabolic diseases: Diabetes and hemochromatosis, a condition in which your blood has too much iron, have been linked to OA
Symptoms of knee OA develop slowly and worsen over time.
- Pain: Movement causes pain. Sometimes your knee will ache while sitting still.
- Stiffness: Your knees may be stiff first thing in the morning or after sitting for a long time.
- Loss of motion: Over time, you may lose the ability to bend and straighten your knee all the way.
- Creaking and grating : You may hear crackling noises or feel a grating sensation.
- Instability: Your knee may give out or buckle, or feel like it could.
- Locking: The knee may lock or stick.
- Swelling: Your knee may get puffy all around or on one side.
Your doctor will check for:
Knee Exercise: Slow March
Strengthens stabilizing muscles of your foot, knee, and hip
- Stand next to a wall or door frame for support.
- Balance on right foot hold on to wall or door frame to stay steady, if needed.
- Keep your knee straight over your ankle, with a slight bend.
- Slowly lift your left foot until your knee is level with your hip, or as close to that position as you can get without pain.
- Slowly lower it back to the floor then repeat with the other foot .
- Repeat the sequence as many times as you can, while holding the correct position.
Tip: Pay attention to any loss of stability, advises Shroyer. For example, if your right foot is on the floor and your right knee wants to bow in when you lift your left, dont raise your left foot so high. Focus your attention on keeping your right foot stable, making sure both the ball and heel of the foot have equal and balanced pressure on the floor.
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Are Certain Exercises Easier On The Knees
Water aerobics are often suggested when recuperating from sore joints.
Although the water can have a soothing, buoyant effect on your knees, Bell says its unlikely to produce enough resistance to strengthen the surrounding muscles.
If you really want to create enough resistance to make a difference, land-based exercises ultimately are what you need, she says.
Some of her favorites include cycling, at moderate or high intensity, and strengthening exercises like Pilates.
You may be able to get more out of a low-impact workout by incorporating weighted elastic bands or free weights into your routine.
You may also find it beneficial to wear a knee brace while exercising.
If you havent already, talk with your doctor about whether this is a good option for you. They can make specific recommendations and advise you on best practices.
Youll likely experience mild soreness when exercising, especially if you havent exercised for a while.
When planning your routine, be sure to keep the level of intensity reasonable.
Your doctor or physical therapist can provide a personalized recommendation suited to your needs.
The dose of exercise should be enough to produce a difference, but not so much that you become injured or discouraged.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, stop exercising until you can see your doctor:
If the pain persists, resist the temptation to mask it with pain medication, Bell says. You want to find out the underlying cause of the problem and fix it.
How Exercise Helps Knee Arthritis
Exercise programs for arthritis that include strength and aerobic exercise can help reduce symptoms, improve joint motion and function, enhance balance, and control body weight. With knee OA, strength training exercises are particularly important, adds Lauren Shroyer, MS, director of product development at the American Council on Exercise.
Thats because as you age, balance can decline for multiple reasons arthritis in your knee can affect balance as well. Strength exercises help stabilize your knee and retain that balance for longer periods of time. Plus, your body relies on muscles to help motor joints, adds Dr. Johnson. For the knee, thats the quadriceps in the front of the thigh and hamstrings in the back.
You cant cure arthritis or make it go away, says Dr. Johnson. But if you strengthen the muscles that support and stabilize the knee, you can take some of the stress load of weight-bearing or walking off a joint thats worn out and weakened from arthritis, and place it on the stronger muscle.
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How Does Physiotherapy Help Knee Arthritis
Like discussed above there is no definite cure for arthritis. However, physiotherapy can help you alleviate symptoms and improve the knee function. It can reduce stiffness, swelling and bring movement back to the knee joint. Physiotherapy can also make it easy to sit, stand, walk, bend, and do other activities that are difficult to perform due to arthritis.
Active and passive physiotherapy treatments can help deal with knee arthritis. Before you seek any form of treatment it is important to get a proper diagnosis from your doctor. Ensure that you seek medical attention when you start experiencing any of the symptoms. The doctor will conduct a medical examination and give you a diagnosis of your condition.
A physiotherapist will also examine your condition before carving out a treatment plan for you. Letâs take a look at some types of physiotherapy treatments that a physiotherapist may use for knee arthritis.
Talk To Your Doctor About A Knee Brace
Often a knee brace can help. Theres evidence to show that even a simple compression sleeve can decrease pain, says Dr. Day. These are a good way to start because you can get one at the drugstore.
You can also talk to your doctor about a more customized unloader brace. These take pressure off a portion of the joint. The brace thats right for you will depend on the severity and location of arthritis, whether primarily in the inner or outer side of the joint or in the kneecap.
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Best Budget: Mueller Sports Medicine Adjustable Hinged Knee Brace
One size fits most
Not only is this brace cost-effective, its super supportive. Its perfect for those who are looking to maintain proper patella alignment during physical activities, as its self-adjusting and durable. It features straps that adhere in a criss-crossing pattern located both above and below the knee, so its sure to stay in place as youre moving around.
Its also made of antimicrobial material that works to eliminate odors, and it has an open back that won’t bunch up. It also has hinges on either side of the knee, which extend and support the knee to prevent hyperextension.
Material: Antimicrobial fiber that helps eliminate odors | Fit: Self-adjustable, open back and front patella hole | Feel: Soft fabric, metal plates on sides covered by fabric
A New Study Finds Pharmaceutical Chondroitin Helps Knee Oa Pain And Function
Chondroitin sulfate improves osteoarthritis knee pain and functional limitations in walking and daily activities as effectively as the anti-inflammatory drug celecoxib , according to a new study published recently in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. But U.S. readers should know, theres a catch: the researchers tested a version of chondroitin sulfate that is not available in this country.
Chondroitin is a naturally occurring component of cartilage, which helps cushion joints. The product is manufactured from animal sources and sold as an over-the-counter, oral dietary supplement in the United States. The highly purified, high-potency pharmaceutical-grade chondroitin sulfate used in the study is available European and other countries, and sold under the brand names Chondrosulf, Condrosulf and Condral. Celecoxib is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug that in studies has been found to help relieve OA pain and is often used in OA drug trials for comparison. This study, conducted in four European countries, was funded by IBSA, the pharmaceutical company that markets Chondrosulf.
Celecoxib and other NSAIDs can cause serious side effects, including stomach bleeding and ulcers, kidney and liver problems, and heart attack and stroke. Chondroitin, which is considered safe, isnt associated with any of these problems. Because this study showed safety and effectiveness, the study authors recommend it as a first-line treatment for knee OA.
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Complementary And Alternative Therapies
Some people with osteoarthritis try complementary or alternative therapies such as acupuncture and aromatherapy and find them helpful.
However, there’s a lack of medical evidence to suggest they’re effective and they generally are not recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence .
What Type Of Doctor Treats Knee Arthritis
Osteoarthritis of the knee may be treated by a sports medicine physician or an orthopedic surgeon, depending on your particular condition. A physical therapist may be able to treat less severe cases to help reduce pain and increase your mobility. If you knee pain is a result of rheumatoid arthritis, gout or other form of inflammatory arthritis, you should consult a rheumatologist.
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Visit A Physical Therapist
Physical therapists work with your doctor to design specific exercises for knee rehabilitation. Many of these will focus on lengthening and strengthening the supporting muscles of the upper and lower legs, such as quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves.
Even one visit to learn the proper form for knee arthritis exercises can help support your recovery.
Adding Or Removing Some Bone Around A Joint
If you have osteoarthritis in your knees but you’re not suitable for knee replacement surgery, you may be able to have an operation called an osteotomy. This involves your surgeon adding or removing a small section of bone either above or below your knee joint.
This helps realign your knee so your weight is no longer focused on the damaged part of your knee. An osteotomy can relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis, although you may still need knee replacement surgery eventually.
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How To Treat Knee Arthritis
Knee arthritis is extremely common, especially as you age, and can prevent you from participating in your daily activities. While there are many different types of arthritis, the most common type in the knee is osteoarthritis , which often causes pain and stiffness when you bend or straighten your knee.
Fortunately, there are several treatment options for osteoarthritis, which are detailed below.
What Are The Types Of Arthritis Of The Knee
There are around 100 types of arthritis. The most common types that might affect your knees include:
- Osteoarthritis is the most common of the types on this list. Osteoarthritis wears away your cartilage the cushioning between the three bones of your knee joint. Without that protection, your bones rub against each other. This can cause pain, stiffness and limited movement. It can also lead to the development of bone spurs. Osteoarthritis gets worse as time passes.
- Post-traumatic arthritis is a type of osteoarthritis. The cartilage starts thinning after trauma to your knee . Your bones rub together, and that causes the same symptoms as osteoarthritis: pain, stiffness and limited movement. Your knee arthritis symptoms might not start until years after the trauma.
- Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. A healthy immune system causes inflammation when it’s trying to protect you from an infection, injury, toxin or another foreign invader. The inflammatory response is one way your body protects itself. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you have an unhealthy immune system that triggers inflammation in your joints even though theres no foreign invader. The inflammation causes pain, stiffness and swelling of the synovial membrane, which can also wear away your cartilage.
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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.
Dont: Ignore New Or Worsening Knee Osteoarthritis Symptoms
Knee osteoarthritis is a chronic condition, which means that pain is always possible, Pisetsky says. However, if pain grows more severe and occurs at rest instead of after periods of activity, or if it awakens you from sleep, it could mean that your knee osteoarthritis is progressing, he says. Other symptoms such as swelling, a locked knee, or one that just gives way are concerning, too. Let your doctor know about new or worsening symptoms, as an adjustment to your treatment plan may be necessary.
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Help For Arthritic Knees
Osteoarthritis is the most common cause of pain and disability in knees. In the knee joint, smooth articulate cartilage, called surface cartilage, covers the ends of the femur and tibia . Between the two bones sits a second type of cartilage, called menisci, which acts as a shock absorber. Joint fluid also lubricates the knee joint.
Osteoarthritis starts as the lack or loss of surface cartilage, progressively involving the surrounding bone, tissues and synovial fluid. In OA, your knee cartilage may thin in spots or disappear completely, resulting in areas of exposed bone.
X-rays, MRI and knee arthroscopy can help you and your doctor to determine the right treatment plan, which may include these noninvasive options.
Selective Nsaids Vs Over
- Do not block the production of gastroprotective compounds called prostaglandins. Because of this, these drugs do not have the same adverse gastrointestinal side effects.
- Do not affect the bloods ability to clot, which makes them more attractive for people with bleeding disorders.
Both are problems with over-the-counter NSAIDs.
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How To Use Essential Oils
Donât put essential oil directly on your body. It may sting or irritate your skin. Here are some tips:
- Massage. Put 10-15 drops of an essential oil in 1 ounce of a carrier oil. Those are oils like coconut, almond, olive, avocado, or jojoba. Thatâll help protect your skin and make it easier to absorb. Rub into your skin, wherever you feel joint pain. You can also massage some onto your feet, arms, wrists, neck, or behind your ears.
- Inhaling. You can put a few drops on a cloth or sniff the air as you slowly wave an open bottle of essential oil in front of you. You can also buy a waterless or water-based diffuser. Thatâs a device that sprays essential oil mist into the air. Follow the instructions on how much to use.
Always test a small part of your skin first. Be on the lookout for an allergic reaction. Symptoms may include: