How To Identify The Culprit And Which Drugs Injections And Habits Will Bring You The Most Relief
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.
Years Of Wear And Tear Can Take A Toll On Your Knees But There Are Strategies To Relieve Pain
Whether it’s a sharp pain or a dull ache, knee pain is a common problem in women — particularly older women. One study of women ages 50 and older, published in Arthritis & Rheumatism, found that nearly two-thirds had some type of knee pain during the 12-year study period.
Dr. Rebecca Breslow, a sports medicine doctor and an instructor in orthopedic surgery at Harvard Medical School, says many of the active older women and the female athletes she sees in her practice have knee pain. While there are numerous pain-inducing knee conditions, three seem to be the most common culprits in older women:
Below is a guide on how to recognize these conditions and how to treat them.
Sunbeam Flextemp Joint Wrap For Pain Relief Hot & Cold Therapy For Knees
The Sunbeam Flextemp Joint Wrap is targeted on both hot and cold therapy. Its custom-designed shape provides high-level heat and anti-inflammatory cold therapy for joint pain with a removable, freezable gel pack.
The device features 3 heat settings, 2-hour auto-off for peace of mind, and even offers a moist heat option .
A compact controller that’s Sunbeam smallest yet and a long, convenient 9-foot cord.
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How Effective Are Glucosamine And Chondroitin Supplements For Knee Pain
Prevention: Taking glucosamine supplements can preserve joint health by reducing cartilage breakdown, and maintaining the production of collagen in athletes involved in various sports, including soccer and bicycle racing.
Sports injuries: Research involving 106 athletes with an acute knee injury found that taking glucosamine , significantly improve knee bending compared with placebo. These improvements in mobility took 28 days to develop, as it takes time for damaged tissues to use these building blocks, and for them to enhance repair processes, so don’t expect immediate results.
Osteoarthritis: Data from 54 studies, involving 16,427 people with knee pain due to osteoarthritis, found that glucosamine and chondroitin were more effective than placebo in pain relief and improving joint function. Both glucosamine and chondroitin reduced joint space narrowing, as seen on X-rays, to indicate that the progression of osteoarthritis was significantly slowed.
The Best Ways To Reduce Discomfortand What You Can Probably Skip
Knee osteoarthritis—a progressive loss of cartilage at the ends of knee joints—can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling. And about half the estimated 15 million Americans with knee OA have a severe form of the progressive condition.
In their search for relief, many people may be turning to the wrong treatments, according to a 2017 study published in The Journal of Arthroplasty.
“We suspect both patients and providers are trying to exhaust conservative measures in an attempt to avoid surgery,” says study leader Nicholas Bedard, M.D., orthopedic surgery resident at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City.
His team looked at the records of more than 86,000 people who’d had knee replacements and found that in the year before the surgery, they’d spent nearly $44 million—an average of $506 each—on questionable therapies such as opioid pain medications.
But if opioid drugs are a poor choice—they’re potentially addictive, and a March 2018 study published in JAMA found them of no use for moderate to severe knee OA pain—what are the most effective ways to handle your discomfort? Here, the experts weigh in.
Here Are Ways Your Doctor May Treat Your Joint Pain In An Office
- Corticosteroid injections: Armed with the right diagnosis, doctors can administer a corticosteroid injection or a targeted nerve block, which can decrease inflammation and ease the pain. “Our goal is to reduce pain and inflammation, and preserve the joint’s function,” Dr. Parikh says.
- Physical therapy: Patients suffering from joint pain can benefit greatly from physical therapy. A physical therapist will use heat and cold therapy and a wide variety of other modalities to ease the pain, strengthen and stabilize the joint, and improve range of motion.
- Regenerative medicine: There have been many advancements in the field of regenerative medicine to help heal damaged or injured tissue, including the lining of your joints. These therapies include injection of substances found in your blood or other compounds into specific locations to strengthen tissue and decrease the effects of long-term arthritis.
Whatever your treatment plan, if the pain in your joint becomes too intense or it suddenly becomes inflamed or swollen, get medical help right away.
Dr. Parikh is interventional pain medicine specialist who practices in Edison. He is part of the Center for Sports and Spine Medicine located in the JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute. To make an appointment, call .
Preserve Knee Function With Exercise & Changes In Your Lifestyle
Exercise, including water aerobics, strength training, and yoga, can help preserve knee function to ultimately relieve pain and swelling. The same exercises will help you lose weight, lessening the pressure on your knees. Exercise also helps maintain full range of motion in the knee joints, strengthens the muscles supporting the joints, and absorbs shock impacting the joints.
Walking is the most beneficial form of exercise. It’s low-impact, and because it’s a weight-bearing exercise, it helps strengthen muscles and builds bones. Start out slow, gradually increasing your pace and distance for best results. Water exercises or walking in the shallow end of the pool are also great for muscle strength and knee flexibility. Because the body is buoyant in water, it lessens impact to near zero as it makes you work a little harder to move.
Knee Pain Relief 6 Natural Treatments Including Exercises
Reviewed by Ron Torrance, DO, FAOASM
December 18, 2018
Next to back pain, knee pain is one of the most common complaints among both older adults and younger athletes. Knee injuries are one common cause of knee pain, but you don’t have to fall, trip or get into some type of accident to hurt your knees.
What can cause knee pain without injury? Arthritis, overuse, osteoporosis, certain types of exercises like running, and repetitive movements are all potential causes of knee pain.
How do you relieve knee pain? Identifying the underlying cause of your pain is the first step. Treating health conditions that might contribute to inflammation , exercising appropriately, maintaining a healthy weight, stretching and doing certain knee exercises can all greatly help you find relief.
What Other Ways Can Help You With Dealing With Knee Pain
When it comes down to it, finding pain relief will depend on what’s causing your knee pain.
Carrying excess weight will put extra stress on your knees, which can lead to pain and osteoarthritis.
That’s why one of the simplest and most effective ways to ease your knee pain is to lose weight.
It may be the simplest, but that doesn’t mean it’s the easiest.
Your doctor can recommend a combination of diet and exercise that will help reduce weight and strengthen the muscles around your knees.
A study completed in 2013 found that overweight adults with knee osteoarthritis had a reduction in weight and knee pain after 18 months of diet and exercise.
But again, when you exercise, be sure to follow your doctor’s orders and don’t overuse your knee.
If you do overuse your knee, or perform high impact activities and injure your knees, refer back to R.I.C.E. or ask about physical therapy.
Your physical therapist will work with you to develop a program that includes range of motion exercises, stretches, and muscle strengthening movements.
Knee Pain Relief Devices For Seniors That Actually Work
Since I had my now 2-year-old daughter, my almost-80-year-old mother has been helping me a lot with her. This many times implies caring a 15kgs baby all around. The result of all this heavyweight is that my mother, who already has a knee problem, got worse. Because of her age, surgery is not really recommended, and she gets by with injections… each 6 months to ease the pain. It turns out that Knee pain is too common among her friends too. And it’s a very inconvenient pain, one that can be imobilizing. So I got interested on looking for other ways of knee pain relief in between.
Natural Treatments For Knee Pain Relief And Prevention
1. Exercise and Proper Time to Recover
Weak muscles and stiffness are two of the leading problems associated with knee injuries. So while exercise is important for keeping your knees healthy, you also need to rest enough and give your body time to heal. Some people will need to take a break from most exercise or several weeks to heal a damaged knee, or at least limit high-impact activities for a period of time. Before trying more drastic treatments, see if taking a few days off from your usual exercise helps. If you see improvements with rest, then you should plan to decrease your mileage/length of workout when you return.
To protect yourself from injury, always warm up lightly and stretch before exercise. Before engaging in running, biking or another knee-bending exercise, walk a quarter- to a half-mile. After your exercise, be sure to stretch again and then to give yourself enough time to recover properly, at least 1–2 days .
Doing low-impact exercises is best for people with chronic knee pain or conditions that affect the joints. Examples of low impact workouts include:
- Activities that involve repetitive movements of the legs
- High-impact sports
2. Physical Therapy
3. Good Footwear, Insoles and if Needed, a Knee Brace
In general, people with knee pain should try to avoid wearing sandals, flip flops, Crocs™, boat shoes, high heels and boots. These types of shoes are not very supportive and can aggravate back, knee or hip pain.
4. Foam Rolling
- Omega-3 fatty acids
How Effective Are Vitamin C Supplements For Knee Pain
In the Framingham Osteoarthritis Cohort Study, who underwent regular knee x-rays, people with the highest vitamin C intakes were three times less likely to see their knee osteoarthritis progress than those with the lowest vitamin C intake. This protection was mostly related to a reduced risk of cartilage loss. Those with high vitamin C intake also had a 70% reduced risk of developing kneepain.
In the similar Clearwater Osteoarthritis Study, those who took vitamin C supplements were 11% less likely to develop knee osteoarthritis than those who did not take vitamin C supplements.
Vitamin C may also enhance the effects of glucosamine and chondroitin. A small trial involving 34 males from the U.S. Navy who had degenerative joint disease of the knee or lower back found good results from combing glucosamine HCl , chondroitin sulfate and vitamin C in the form of manganese ascorbate . After 16 weeks, knee pain in those with osteoarthritis was reduced by 26.6% using a pain scale recorded during clinic visits, while their physical examination score improved by 43.3%. The researchers concluded that this combination was effective in relieving symptoms of knee osteoarthritis.
How Effective Are Krill Oil Supplements For Knee Pain
Krill oil supplements can produce a significant improvement in knee pain and knee stiffness within a week. Krill oil supplements have also been shown to reduce the amount of pain-killing ‘rescue’ medication such as paracetamol and ibuprofen needed.
A study involving 50 people with knee joint pain compared the effects of taking either 2g krill oil per day, or an identical placebo, for one month. Those taking krill oil showed more improvements in knee pain and stiffness than those taking placebo and, when other factors such as age, weight and lifestyle were taking into account, krill oil also significantly reduced the effects of knee pain on sleeping, standing and the range of movement in both knees compared to placebo.
As krill are an important food source for marine animals such as baleen whales, Antarctic Fur Seals and Adelie penguins, it’s important to select a supplement derived from sustainable sources that do not impact on these feeding grounds. Sustainably derived krill oil will have an on-pack endorsement from an organisation such as the Marine Stewardship Council is an international, non-profit organisation that works to safeguard seafood supplies for the future.
How Effective Are Boswellia Supplements For Knee Pain
Boswellia improvess pain, stiffnees, flexion, swelling, and increases walking distance in people with osteoarthritis of the knee. Research shows that Boswellia is at least as effective as the prescribed NSAID, valdecoxib for treating osteoarthritis. Improvements in knee pain are usually seen within 7 days, and continue to improve over several months. Benefits can also last for one month after stopping Boswellia. Boswellia and turmeric together have a synergistic effect that is more successful in treating knee pain than the prescribed pain killer, celecoxib.
How Effective Are Collagen Supplements For Knee Pain
Collagen supplements stimulate the synthesis of collagen, to help maintain the structure of the joint and reduce joint discomfort. Collagen supplements also increase blood levels of the amino acids needed to make collagen, and when collagen hydrolysate is ‘labelled’ to show up on x-ray, it is seen to preferentially accumulate in cartilage and to build it up .
Those with the greatest joint degeneration and with the lowest intake of dietary meat protein benefited the most.
Sports injury knee pain: In athletes and weekend warriors who experience knee pain on exercise, taking either 40mg undenatured collagen type 2 supplements per day, or a liquid collagen hydrolysate supplement for 4 to 6 months, provides significant improvements compared with placebo.
How Effective Are Turmeric Supplements For Knee Pain
A study involving 367 people with moderate to severe knee osteoarthritis found that taking turmeric curcumin extracts for 4 weeks was as effective in reducing knee pain, knee stiffness and improving knee joint function as ibuprofen but with fewer gastrointestinal side effects.
Turmeric can be combined with glucosamine and chondroitin to produce a faster onset of action and improved results.
I recommend selecting a turmeric supplement that provides solubilised turmeric, as this is 185 times better absorbed than normal turmeric powder, for a more rapid onset of action.
Comfer Heated Knee Brace Wrap With Vibration Massage
The Comfer Heated Knee Brace Wrap with Vibration Massage combines heat and soothing vibration massage to help relieve muscle soreness and joint pain associated with overwork, strain and sprain, as well as with arthritis, meniscus, bone Arthritis, bursitis and chronic pains, cramps etc.
Heat Treatments-The Knee massager knee pads are built in heat pads with adjustable 2 heat levels that work well for soothing stiff joints and tired muscles and enhances blood circulation, provides nutrients to joints and muscles. The heating pads with 30-minute auto-shut off function and an overheating protection system ensure safe use.
Vibrating Massage-Comfier leg massager with heat has 4 powerful massage motors to deliver soothing massage to tissue muscles . It also has a variable 5 massage modes for individual use.
The adjustable velcro straps secure the knee massager in place, and the massage heat pads can be wrapped around and locked to any knee or extended to the thighs, calves, arms, legs and held in place.
This Knee and Leg massager use soft and smooth fabric materials for close touch in a comfortable way. The Heating pad for knees should be connected with the adapter to work.
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How Effective Are Rosehip Supplements For Knee Pain
The results from three studies, involving 287 people with osteoarthritis found that taking rosehip extracts for an average of 3 months significantly reduced joint pain. Those taking rose hip extracts were twice as likely to respond to treatment than those taking placebo.
Significant improvements in morning pain and stiffness, sleep quality, mood, energy and well-being were also seen, as well as a reduced need for rescue medications such as tramadol, codeine and paracetamol.
Over eighty per cent of people taking rosehip extracts report noticeable benefits in pain and stiffness within three weeks, and the level of pain relief in clinical trials is equivalent to that achieved with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, paracetamol and aspirin .
Great Exercises To Help Relieve Knee Arthritis Pain
Arthritis affects millions of individuals around the world. Two of the most common types of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis . Both types often cause knee pain.
Exercising recommendation for an arthritic patient may seem counterintuitive, but gradual exercise on a regular basis can actually reduce – and even relieve – arthritis pain and other related symptoms, such as swelling and stiffness .
There are several reasons why arthritic patients should exercise:
- Exercise strengthens the musculature that supports the joint.
- Exercise retains the joint’s full range of motion.
- Strong muscles and cartilage help the joint absorb shock.
Exercise doesn’t have to be severe to be effective. In fact, low-impact and gentle exercises are better for arthritic knees. They reduce the stress on the knee joint as they increase its strength and flexibility. The best knee exercise is said to be the one you perform at home or even during a short break at the office. They’re very effective, easy, and convenient, and don’t require any particular equipment. Do them slowly and increase the number of repetitions gradually as your muscles get stronger.
Afterward, make sure to perform a few gentle stretching exercises to prevent tightening of your muscles. Consider exercising your knees with a gap of one day to give sore muscles a rest. Here are some exercises for knee arthritis.
How Effective Are Cherry Supplements For Knee Pain
A group of 58 people with osteoarthritis of the knee were asked to drink either tart cherry juice or placebo juice for 6 weeks. Then, after a week of no treatment, they swapped over to take the other juice for another 6 weeks so acted as their own controls.
Their knee pain, knee stiffness and knee joint function were assessed before and after each treatment, and scores decreased significantly after the cherry juice treatment but not after the placebo treatment.
What To Expect From Physical Therapy For Knee Pain
If you are referred to physical therapy for knee pain, the initial visit is important to ensure correct diagnosis and proper management. During this visit, your physical therapist will interview you to gather information about the history of your problem, about the aggravating and relieving factors, and about any past medical history that may contribute the overall problem. From the information gathered during the history, a focused examination will be conducted. The examination may consist of several sections including, but not limited to:
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.
Top 10 Essential Oils For Knee Pain And Swelling
Below are the top ten essential oils for knee pain and swelling:
- 10 ml roll – on bottle
Fda Approves New Treatment For Chronic Knee Pain
Marketed as “Coolief”, the procedure uses radio frequency to target and mute the nerves responsible for sending pain signals from the arthritic knee to the brain. Coolief doesn’t repair arthritis in the knee, but eases the pain, helping patients go back to activities without discomfort and fewer medications.
“What we’re changing is the wiring of the knee — so we’re taking away the pain signal and interrupting it,” Dr. Amin Sandeep, a pain specialist at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago who performs the procedure, told NBC News.
One 2016 study compared Coolief to popular cortisone injections, with patients reporting greater, longer-lasting pain relief with the new treatment than injections. Coolief reduces pain for about to 6 to 12 months, depending on how fast the nerves in the knee regenerate.
Related: Common Knee Surgery May Not Help You
Osteoarthritis can affect any joint when the cartilage wears off over time, often striking big joints like the knee, causing pain, swelling and stiffness. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, nearly 10 million Americans had osteoarthritis of the knee in 2010.
The three current recommended approaches for knee arthritis pain are physical therapy, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen, or the opioid painkiller tramadol.
Because she wasn’t eligible for a knee replacement she tried cortisone injections, physical therapy, medications — nothing relieved her pain.
Talk To Your Doctor About Knee Joint Injections
Knee joint injections should only be explored when more conservative treatments for knee pain have proven ineffective. Before the procedure, your doctor will inject a numbing agent to reduce pain, followed by a corticosteroid to decrease inflammation. They may also discuss options like PRP injections.
While injections may work to decrease pain, knee joint injections do not treat any underlying knee pain causes or halt progressive joint deterioration. Still, when combined with a healthy diet, regular exercise, physical therapy, and other lifestyle changes, they can provide profound relief. Learn more about this option in the following video.