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.
What Are The Complications Of Knee Pain
Frequently, knee pain will disappear without ever finding a specific cause. Depending on the underlying cause of the pain, the condition can progress and lead to more serious injuries or complications. Usually, these complications are long term and result in worsening pain or an increasing difficulty to walk.
Is There A Best Pain Reliever For Osteoarthritis
- By Robert R. Edwards, Ph.D., Contributing Editor
ARCHIVED CONTENT: As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date each article was posted or last reviewed. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
Osteoarthritis affects tens of millions of Americans and is a leading cause of disability and reduced quality of life across the globe. Other than joint replacement surgery, there is no known cure for OA, and most treatments focus on relief of symptoms such as pain. Often, the first step is non-medication-based approaches such as physical therapy, exercise, and weight loss. Most patients, however, will eventually use pain relievers such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . Other kinds of medication, such as opioids, have also been tested as treatments for OA, and there is ongoing debate about what treatments are best.
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How To Identify The Culprit And Which Drugs Injections And Habits Will Bring You The Most Relief
by Alison Gwinn, AARP, September 20, 2019| 0
En español | Oh, my aching knees! If that’s your daily refrain, whether you’re walking the dog, climbing stairs or just sleeping, you’re not alone.
For many, the culprit behind that nagging soreness is osteoarthritis, which affects an estimated 31 million Americans quite often, in this particular joint according to the Arthritis Association.
But there are other common causes of knee pain, stemming from the fact that knees are our largest, most complex joints. Knee joints allow you to stand up straight, walk stairs and get up and down from sitting, says Daniel Saris, an orthopedic surgeon at the Mayo Clinic and professor of orthopedic surgery at the Mayo Medical School. But they are also the most difficult joint because they’re not stable. Hip joints and ankles are both pretty stable by themselves, but the knee is just three bones trying to be good friends, and they need muscles and ligaments for stability.”
Knee pain is not to be taken lightly. A Japanese study, published last year in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, found a link between the onset of knee pain in people 65 or older and depression. And a recent study from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine Thurston Arthritis Research Center and Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that knee pain in men and women over age 45 correlated with higher rates of death.
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.
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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.
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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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.
How Ginger Supplements Reduce Knee Pain
Ginger has a warming, analgesic, anti-inflammatory action, increasing blood flow to the peripheries to boost the delivery of oxygen and nutrients.
The anti-inflammatory action of ginger results from an ability to block the COX-2 enzyme involved in triggering inflammation in a similar way to aspirin .
Ginger also reduces the production of an inflammatory substance, TNF-alpha, in joint lining cells a substance that is also targetted by many powerful drugs prescribed to treat inflammatory arthritis. Ginger is growing in popularity to relieve muscle aches and joint pains.
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When To Contact A Medical Professional
- You cannot bear weight on your knee.
- You have severe pain, even when not bearing weight.
- Your knee buckles, clicks, or locks.
- Your knee is deformed or misshapen.
- You cannot flex your knee or have trouble straightening it all the way out.
- You have a fever, redness or warmth around the knee, or a lot of swelling.
- You have pain, swelling, numbness, tingling, or bluish discoloration in the calf below the sore knee.
- You still have pain after 3 days of home treatment.
How To Get Moving Every Day
In addition to physical therapy, its critical to incorporate regular exercise into your daily routine.
Joints are built to move, says Dr. Day. The evidence shows that people who are least active have more arthritis pain than people who do some form of exercise. Choose lower-impact activities, such as bicycling, swimming or exercising in a pool.
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Hydrolysed And Unhydrolysed Collagen Supplements
The form of collagen found in joints is found in the diet, particularly in meat. The collagen used in supplements is either derived from marine sources , or from animals cartilage . Marine collagen peptides have a higher concentration of the amino acids needed for the production and repair of human cartilage .
Supplements can contain collagen in its original state , or in a hydrolysed or solubilised form.
- Unhydrolysed collagen contains large collagen molecules which must first be digested before they can be absorbed and used in the body.
- Hydrolysed collagen is in a body-ready form as it is pre-digested by protease enzymes to release small fragments that are more easily absorbed and used.
When you take a hydrolysed collagen supplement, it is rapidly absorbed into the circulation from which it is extracted by cells that need these building blocks and cartilage where it acts as a signal to trigger the synthesis of new collagen fibres.
As well as supporting joint health, collagen supplements have benefits on skin suppleness, elasticity and hydration to reduce the formation of skin wrinkles. Collagen also offers benefits for people with thinning bones as it is a bone scaffold protein on which calcium salts are laid down.
Medication That Knocks Out Knee Pain
Medication can deliver strong relief for your knee pain, but you must be mindful of the possible side effects and follow directions.
There is a variety of medication available for knee pain, including both oral and injectable medication, depending on the source of your pain. But most medication used by people with knee pain falls into one of two categories: anti-inflammatories and pain relievers, also known as analgesics.
Over-The-Counter Medication for Knee Pain
Most medication that falls in the anti-inflammatory category also has analgesic effects, says William Bargar, MD, director of the Joint Replacement Center with Sutter General Hospital in Sacramento, Calif., and a spokesman for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Dr. Bargar points out that even though knee pain-relieving medication is available without a prescription, you should use care when taking it. Be sure to follow the instructions for any medication and read the warnings.
Prescription Medication for Knee Pain
Injectable Medication for Knee Pain
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How Krill Oil Reduces Knee Pain
While plainomega-3 fish oils and cod liver oil are popular for preventing and treating knee pain, krill oil has the advantage of supplying long-chain, omega-3 fatty acids plus antioxidant pigments for an enhanced anti-inflammatory effect.
The long-chain omega-3s, EPA and DHA, are processed in the body to reduce formation of inflammatory substances known as leukotrienes. These omega-3s reduce inflammation, stiffness, swelling and, in people with different types of arthritis can reduce the number of painful joints, and the long-term need for pain killers.
Both the omega 3s and the antioxidants found in krill oil have an anti-inflammatory action which help to reduce joint pain, stiffness and swelling in people with rheumatoid or osteoarthritis. In a trial involving 90 people with inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid or osteoarthritis, levels of inflammation were reduced by 19% within 7 days, in those taking 300mg krill oil a day, and by 30% within 2 weeks. In those taking placebo, levels of inflammation increased.
As well as helping your knee pain, krill oil is beneficial for the heart and circulation, too.
Give Water Workouts A Try
Too achy to exercise? Swimming is ideal for people with OA, because it puts little pressure on joints, Herrera says. And it works: A 2016 study published in the Journal of Rheumatology found that sedentary people with OA who swam for 45 minutes three days a week for 12 weeks reported as much of a reduction in pain and stiffness as those who cycled.
Vary your strokes to exercise all your joints and muscles. And though swimming is a good water workout, you can also opt for an aquatic fitness class. Many aquatic centers and YMCAs offer classes geared to people with arthritis.
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Dont Let Joint Pain Keep You Down And Out
Whether you feel it in your knees, hips, elbows or elsewhere, joint pain can be distracting to the point of dominating your every waking moment. Its normal to want relief and to want it fast.
There are many ways to deal with chronic joint pain and discomfort, including rest, strengthening, exercise and surgery, says Dr. Matthew McElroy, a sports medicine specialist at Geisinger. But over-the-counter medications are among the most common treatments people typically start with.
However, there are many options to choose from. Heres where to start.
Working Toward A Personalized Approach To Pain Management
This meta-analysis cannot tell us which of these types of medication should be prescribed for a particular patient. No study can. The person-to-person variation in the effectiveness of any KOA treatment is huge. One patient may get near-total pain relief while another is not helped at all. These findings do give clinicians a benchmark for the typical amount of pain relief that might be expected from these medications, and suggest that, since they work about equally well, the choice of which one to use will be influenced by considerations other than effectiveness. Providers and those suffering with chronic pain also need to weigh potential side effects. Treatment with oral NSAIDs can result in stomach problems like bleeding, ulcer, and stomach upset, as well as high blood pressure and kidney problems. Opioids can have side effects such as constipation, nausea, and drowsiness. As you are also likely aware, opioids are also associated with a risk of serious overdose and addiction.
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Apple Cider Vinegar And Other Foods
According to some sources, apple cider vinegar has anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve arthritis and other types of pain.
However, there is a lack of scientific evidence to support this. The Arthritis Foundation refers to ACV as a food myth.
Other popular advice for arthritis includes:
- consuming collagen, gelatin, or pectin, and raw foods.
- avoiding dairy, acidic foods, and nightshade vegetables, such as tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant
There is no evidence to suggest that these are helpful or even advisable.
It commonly affects teenagers, especially young female athletes. It is the most common overuse syndrome in sportspeople.
Most cases of front knee pain are injuries from overuse, or from poor preparation for exercise. The problems usually go away on their own, and sporting activities can resume after the pain subsides.
The pain varies but tends to:
- be a dull ache that starts gradually, and is linked to activities
- produce clicking or other sounds
- come on when going upstairs, or when getting up after a long time sitting, squatting down, or kneeling
- produce a weakness in the legs
Recommended treatments for front knee pain include:
The 3 Top Secret Natural Remedies For Knee Pain
The 3 Top Secret Natural Remedies for Knee Pain is the subject well be digging in deeper on today. Many times natural remedies for relieving knee pain are hidden in plain sight. In todays short presentation well be going over the 3 of the most top-secret natural remedies for relieving knee pain.
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Glucosamine And Chondroitin For Knee Pain
Glucosamine and chondroitin are produced naturally in the body as building blocks needed to make cartilage, tendons, ligaments and synovial fluid. Their production declines with age, and it is often in short supply, especially when active joint repair is needed.
Glucosamine and chondroitin regulate the levels of at least 31 different proteins in cartilage cells which are involved in cartilage health, antioxidant stress responses, and the synthesis of new proteins such as collagen. Glucosamine and chondroitin act as biological signals to switch on the repair of damaged joint tissues, and suppress the inflammation and breakdown of cartilage that is a feature of osteoarthritis.
As you get older, your cartilage cells secrete less and less glucosamine and chondroitin. As a result, cartilage becomes more brittle and prone to the degenerative changes seen in ageing joints.