by Dr. Michael Baranov, PT, April 13, 2015
Before Expensive Drug Prescriptions, MRI, Injections, or Surgery, Try Something Conservative and Affordable…Physical Therapy Treatment for Knee Pain
Knee Pain Treatment in Fresh Meadows – Osteoarthritis (OA) is a condition caused by the natural aging process and is one of the most common complaints seen by practicing orthopedic professionals everywhere. In layman terms, it is knee pain that arises from a swelling caused by the gradual erosion of the layer of cartilage covering the three major parts of the knee, which includes the thighbone, shinbone, and patella or kneecap.
A study recently conducted by the Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine at the University of Leeds in England revealed that of five activities including walking, using stairs, lying in bed at night, sitting and lying down, and standing for a group with median age of approximately 62 years, stairs is the most likely source of osteoarthritic aggravation.
Many sufferers of OA complain of a variety of sources for their knee pain. Everything from the weather to sitting for prolonged periods of time, but this study proves that it is indeed an activity that forces a lot of mechanical loading on the knee joint that causes discomfort in most respondents. In fact, the numbers from this particular study are actually quite overwhelmingly in favor of that summary.
The questions for the participants were rated on a scale from 0-4, with 0 being no pain at all, 1 being mild pain, 2 being moderate, 3 being severe, and 4 being extremely painful. A total of 550 participants initially reported a 0 and went on to score greater than 0. Of these individuals, the following results were reported:
- Lying in bed at night – 19%
- Sitting/lying down – 21%
- Standing – 27%
- Walking – 40%
- Stairs – 81%
Unfortunately, as we age it appears that this study backs the notion that physical activity becomes more and more difficult. This isn’t to say that a sedentary lifestyle is a good option either because that’s bad for a whole host of other reasons, including cardio well being. It does say that we need to be aware of these possibilities and report the first signs of discomfort to your health professional (which should be a physical therapist for joint problems) that can help you with managing that pain, so that we can continue to do the things we love most.
Considering Arthroscopy to Clean Up the Arthritis? Don’t Make This Your First Choice for Knee Pain
Surgeons can be life savers. They can really help with broken body parts and sometimes pain relief as well. However, when it comes to cleaning up an arthritic knee with arthroscopy, studies conclude, it’s not your best first choice. Consider the results of take-home points of this study. It was published for primary care doctors and the recommendations they should give their patients with possible osteoarthritis knee pain as reported in the Journal of Family Practice1:
- Do not recommend arthroscopic surgery to adults with osteoarthritis of the knee. Treat knee pain with medical and physical therapy instead
- Start by offering adequate analgesia. Acetaminophen (4 g/d) is effective at relieving pain in about 75% of patients with knee arthritis. NSAIDs are slightly more effective, but their gastric toxicity is a disadvantage. Combining NSAIDs with a proton pump inhibitor decreases gastric ulceration.
- Consider the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin. Chondroitin alone is not beneficial; when paired with glucosamine, however, it may provide some pain relief associated with moderate to severe OA.5-7 Patients may also benefit from intra-articular steroid injections, which have been found to be slightly more effective than placebo.
- Suggest nonpharmacological therapy. Physical therapy and regular exercise typically reduce pain and improve the function of an arthritic knee.
- Acupuncture may have a small benefit, as well.
All We are Saying, is See a Physical Therapist First.
Knee pain treatment at MBF Rehabilitation in Fresh Meadows, NY can result in several life-enhancing benefits including:
- Immediate relief,
- reduced pain,
- increased mobility,
- improved stability of the hip and knee,
- and an overall more active lifestyle.
- it’s cheaper
- it’s convenient
- there are little to no side effects
If it doesn’t work, then you can try drugs, injections, and maybe even surgery. It’s common sense but what we have found, is sometimes, common sense, isn’t common knowledge.
Please contact us for more information on how we can help you begin enjoying an improved quality of life today!