Considering Your Knee Pain Treatment Options
For some people, living with knee pain is simply a part of daily life. However, the simple reality of knee pain doesn't mean that you have to struggle with it all the time. Instead, educate yourself on what knee pain treatments are available for you in order to understand how you can get some much-needed relief.
Causes of Knee Pain
To get the right treatment, you first need to know the cause of the pain. The knee is the largest joint in the body, and you use it almost constantly. When walking, running, or even sitting, you are engaging your knee joint. As a result, a variety of causes could be responsible for the pain.
Some causes of knee pain are more easily diagnosed than others. For example, if you've injured your knee while playing sports, chances are that you understand where your pain is coming from. Other situations, of course, can be difficult to understand.
Knee pain doesn't discriminate between people who lead active lifestyles and those who don't. Instead, it can affect anyone, at any time in their lives. Some causes can be treated all the way to a full recovery, while others are all about pain management and getting to the point that you are able to move around more easily without removing the root cause.
You might experience runners knee, which is caused by an overuse or a trauma of the joint due to activities like running, repetitive bending, over stretching, etc. Or you could be suffering from arthritis or even the wearing down of the joint itself.
At some point, you may be a candidate for a knee replacement, but even then the surgery and recovery can be difficult. No matter the cause, you have to consider your options in order to improve your pain and increase your flexibility and range of motion.
Get The Proper Diagnosis
Anytime you experience knee pain, be sure to get the proper diagnosis. Whether you see your primary care physician or a specialist, you need to understand what is going on with your knee. You may need to have a CT scan or an MRI in order to figure out the root cause of your pain.
No matter the method of diagnosis, you need to find out the cause of your knee pain to guide you to the right treatment method. Although they're all designed to help you achieve life without pain, different causes of knee pain will have different treatment methods.
Medications are ideal for individuals with knee problems stemming from arthritis. Of course, there are many forms of arthritis, so make sure that you are taking medications that will work for your specific situation.
For example, tylenol, ibuprofen, NSAID pain relievers, and corticosteroid injections can reduce pain and in some cases even reduce swelling and inflammation on the joint. You can also find injections that will supplement the fluid in your knee, which helps to provide you with significant relief from your knee pain.
At the same time, you need to make sure that you follow your doctor's recommendations. In many cases, taking a particular medication can also have negative effects. For example, individuals who take high dosage medication for Rheumatoid arthritis to help combat knee pain can actually be putting their kidneys under too much stress. Instead of self medicating, get the best available advice for your pain medication from your doctor.
If you are struggling with knee pain, try to understand whether or not your weight plays a role. If you are overweight while suffering from knee pain, losing excess weight can help out immensely.
Every pound of weight that you lose helps to take four pounds of pressure off your knees. So even if you are only able to lose a small amount of weight like 10 pounds, you have effectively taken 40 pounds of pressure off your knees.
Of course this can be a difficult task, especially because losing weight entails not just a change in diet but physical exercise. Typically, it's this exercise requirement that keeps individuals with knee pain from achieving their goal.
Fortunately, you can find ways to exercise with minimum or low impact on your knees such as walking, biking, swimming, or using an elliptical trainer. Even if you are able to only walk around a little, you can jumpstart your exercise and increase the intensity over time.
Generally speaking, physical therapy is a great way to treat knee pain. That's because not only provides you with medically-guided training, but also strengthens your knee in order to make it more stable. That, in turn, can reduce your pain in the long run.
In physical therapy, you'll engage in exercises and stretches that are specifically designed for individuals with knee pain and knee joint problems. These exercises are designed to help you work the right muscles, providing much-needed stability for your knee. Alternatively, you can work other parts of your knee joint to help compensate for the area that is causing problems and reducing your pain in that way.
Knee pain treatment via physical therapy requires patience. One session won't help your knee pain; instead, it often takes several visits to help you recover. In return, you will learn different stretches that help keep your knees flexible and limber.
Anytime you have pain in your knees, the most important part (other than finding a good treatment) is continuing to move. If you stop moving, you will find that using your knees become worse and more inflexible over time. By learning how to stretch you can help to keep your knee joints as healthy as possible.
At physical therapy, you may also get heat or ice before you begin to exercise. The specialist may use ultrasound massage or even Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). In addition to the stretches and exercise, these treatment methods provide additional pain relief.
Additional Knee Treatment Methods
Of course, a variety of other treatment methods for your knee do exist. You can use either heat or ice to help manage your knee pain. If there is swelling, it's a good idea to use ice; but if it feels tight and stiff, heat is a better choice.
In addition, it makes sense to inform yourself about whether you should wear a knee brace to help provide your joint with additional support. A knee brace can be especially useful if you find that your knees want to go out from under you, because falling on your knees could result in even more pain and discomfort. Especially if you like to exercise, wearing a knee brace is a great way to help provide your knee with the support you need to continue your exercise without the fear of knee buckling.
Lastly, you can undergo there is surgery. However, this treatment method should be your last option if possible because it could put you out of work for a long recovery period and tends to be the most invasive method. But if surgery is the only option for relief of your knee pain, then it is the best treatment for you.
Knee pain is a common problem for millions of people. When it begins to affect your daily life and you are no longer able to do the things you love, you need to get help.
Your first step should always be to consult a medical professional to guide you in the best direction for your knee pain. After the initial diagnosis, treatment methods that range from proper medications and weight loss to physical therapy can help you on the road to more mobility and less painful knees.
To learn more and our knee braces and how they can help to get you moving, please contact us.