Osteoarthritis is the most common chronic condition of the joints, it degenerates your joint caused by wear and tears over time. “Some people never get arthritis, but most people usually do, especially older people,? says Dr. Manuel Sanchez of Knee Pain Clinic. “The knees are particularly susceptible. You see it a lot in construction workers and athletes.”
The overuse of the knees, result in chronic injuries such as Knee Osteoarthritis, as it causes the deterioration of cartilage, which is the cushion between the joints. This leads to unbearable knee pain, stiffness, and swelling. Nearly 30 million Americans suffer from Knee Pain. Signs that you may be suffering from knee osteoarthritis include stiffness in the morning, as well as pain when kneeling, climbing the stairs or getting up from a chair or couch.
“Of course, there are several treatments that a patient can go through,” Dr. Sanchez says. “However, there are things we can do as well to treat symptoms at home or with your doctor and slow down the progression of the disease.”
These are 6 Ways to Ease Knee Pain:
1. Over-the-counter medicines
Medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, Daytril, etc.) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) are helpful for short-term pain relief in mild cases. Studies have found ibuprofen is generally the more effective of the two because it is an anti-inflammatory.
Cortisone shots target inflammation in more severe cases. The injections are synthetic corticosteroids, hormones that the body’s adrenal gland produces naturally. Cortisone shots are extremely effective and reduce pain gradually. But, the results are temporary, lasting anywhere from days to months only. Also, relying on them too heavily can lead to such side effects ad infection, nerve damage and thinning of the skin and soft tissue at the injection site.
3. Alpha 2 Macroglobulin Injections
Alpha 2 Macroglobulin (A2M) injection therapy is a fairly new treatment and not yet widely available. It prevents cartilage breakdown and promotes tissue growth by rendering impotent three chemicals that damage cartilage and joints.
4. Physical therapy
Physical Therapy helps strengthen muscles surrounding the knee, which can become weak in osteoarthritis patients. A physical therapist can help supervise treatment to ensure joints are not further damaged by overuse. They can also apply heat therapy, which increases blood flow and decreases joint stiffness.
Braces are another useful strategy to correct “knock-knee” (legs angled in) and “bow-leg” (legs rounded out) because both conditions exert too much pressure on a vulnerable portion of the joint.
5. Weight Loss
Obesity is the number one cause of osteoarthritis because carrying too much weight puts excessive strain on the knees. Losing weight not only reduces that strain but has the added bonus of reducing the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
An FDA-approved treatment that relieves knee osteoarthritis
When the knee cartilage wears down, your bones start to rub together causing unbearable pain, swelling, stiffness and limiting the range of motion in affected joints. Have you tried our previously mentioned methods and nothing has worked? Dr. Sanchez also offers a less painful and effective alternative.
“Osteoarthritis is one of the most common disability causes in the United States,” he says. “Many patients believe that after being diagnosed with chronic knee pain that the only solution can be knee surgery, however, is not the only option. Many can be treated with a less invasive approach to relieve knee pain and avoid painful and long-recovery surgery.”
Knee pain can interfere with your activities like walking getting up from a chair or couch, going up and down stairs, or simple lifestyle activities like trying to pick up your grandchildren who are enthusiastic to hug you, enjoying a round of golf on Saturday morning, dancing in a special event or even tying your shoes.
If you live in the Rio Grande Valley and want to know more about how to proactively prevent osteoarthritis, Dr. Manuel Sanchez has 3 clinics across the Valley for your convenience. Visit any of our clinics in McAllen, Weslaco or Brownsville by scheduling a Free Pre-Consultation today (956) 225-2683.