Chronic knee pain is pain that you have been experiencing for a long time, and it may be accompanied by swelling or sensitivity. Osteoarthritis is one cause of chronic knee pain because it causes your joints to deteriorate over time. The result is that inflammation and pain are prevalent with this condition, and it cannot improve without osteoarthritis treatment.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) relieve knee pain and reduce inflammation. One example is ibuprofen, and you can purchase it over the counter. This medication does have potential side effects, and they include heartburn, nausea, and upset stomach. If you use this medication for a long period of time, it can damage your stomach lining or kidneys. Advil and Motrin have commonly used medications that contain ibuprofen.
Naproxen is another medication that relieves knee pain. If you are also experiencing swelling and joint stiffness, it will alleviate these symptoms as well. The side effects include dizziness, drowsiness, headache, heartburn, nausea, and upset stomach.
Celecoxib is an NSAID, and you need a prescription for it. This drug also reduces inflammation. The reported side effects have been diarrhea, abnormal liver function tests, high blood pressure, peripheral edema, gastroesophageal reflux disease, dyspepsia, and abdominal pain.
Physical therapy for knee pain is another option that you have. After a full assessment, your physical therapist will develop a treatment plan that may include several exercises. Some examples are balance exercises, lower extremity stretches, and exercises that strengthen your hips since your hips control the position of your knees. Other common treatments include ultrasound, soft tissue massages, applying ice or heat, kinesiology taping and electric stimulation. You will also be given exercises to do at home.
Knee pain can result from overuse or injury, and it can be relieved with exercise if it isn’t too severe. In the beginning, you should start with stretching and low impact exercises, such as walking, yoga, and swimming. These exercises will also strengthen the muscles around the knee that can give your tendons and ligaments additional flexibility.
If the knee pain treatment that you try first fails, you may consider treatments using injections. Two commonly used injection treatments include hyaluronic acid or corticosteroid.
Hyaluronic acid injections provide lubrication benefits so that your joints can slide painlessly against each other. If you have osteoarthritis, naturally occurring synovial fluid is diminished and you experience pain because of the friction between your joints. Hyaluronic acid injections increase lubrication and cushioning in the knee and relieve the pain.
Some doctors may prescribe corticosteroid injections. The physician will inject the corticosteroid directly into your knee. It is commonly used to treat the pain and inflammation of osteoarthritis of the knee. Corticosteroid injections often work well initially, but often lose their effectiveness over time.
New regenerative medicine treatments are available that help stimulates soft-tissue growth and help the body heal itself. This includes treatments like stem cell therapy and platelet-rich plasma. Platelet-rich plasma injections can help reduce pain and inflammation. Platelets are blood cells, and they encourage wounded tissue to heal. Doctors inject platelet-rich plasma into the knee to increase the speed at which the injured knee can heal. The platelets used in this therapy come from the patient, so side effects aren’t likely to occur.
Cartilage restoration is a surgery that your doctor can perform if you have an isolated area that needs to be replaced. This surgery requires that living cartilage cells are implanted into the damaged area. This will allow these cells to grow and regenerate where there used to be damaged cartilage.
Arthroscopic surgery may require the use of local anesthesia, or you may be put to sleep with general anesthesia. The surgeon will need to inflate your knee, so he or she will inject saline directly into the knee. The surgeon makes small incisions so that a tiny camera and the surgical tools can pass through the hole. The camera makes it possible for the surgeon to see inside of your knee. Then, he or she can repair the damaged area.
Partial knee replacement surgery is a surgery that may be done if the damage is confined to one specific area of the knee. This is preferable to total knee replacement because the patient doesn’t experience as much pain, and you can recover at a faster rate. With this surgery, the damaged portion of your knee will be removed, and a prosthesis will replace it.
If you cannot qualify for partial knee replacement surgery, your physician may suggest total knee replacement surgery. It is like the partial knee replacement surgery because the damaged area is removed so that a prosthesis can be put in its place along with an artificial joint. This operation also involves the extra step of attaching the prosthesis to the thigh bone, kneecap, and shin with acrylic cement.
Lifestyle and Home Remedies
Rest is an essential knee pain relief treatment because if you continue to allow your knee to be strained, the inflammation will increase and so will the pain. You might even injure your knee further if you don’t take the time to rest. If you were injured recently, rest for two or three days. If you rest for a longer period of time, you will begin to lose strength, and your joints will grow stiff.
Ice will have the effect of reducing the swelling as well as the pain. Apply ice for 10 to 15 minutes at a time. The ice will slow down the fluids that come rushing in after an injury takes place.
Heat has the effect of relaxing your joints, but it also provides knee pain relief.
Compression will support your knee joint and reduce swelling, and swelling will slow down the flow of blood. If this occurs, your knee will take longer to heal than is necessary. You can compress your knee with an elastic bandage that was made to maintain compression.
Elevation is another important tactic for healing. When you raise your knee, the fluids can move toward other areas of your body. This reduces the swelling. To avoid stiffness, make sure that you place support underneath your knee. You can elevate your knee throughout the night if you need to do so for as many days as you like.
Massage is a common treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee, and it has been working very well. You can have a massage by a professional, but performing a massage on your own knee will be beneficial to you as well. Studies have shown that self-massage reduced pain and stiffness, but it also increased the patient’s ability to function.
Beneficial Activities for an Injured Knee
Weight loss would be very beneficial to you if you have an injured knee or osteoarthritis. Losing weight is difficult for a lot of people, but you wouldn’t have to lose 100 pounds. If you lose just 10 pounds, your knees will be relieved of 40 pounds of force. Without this 40 pounds of force on your knees, you won’t experience as much wear and tear on your joints. In addition to that, fat releases chemicals that cause inflammation. If you have less fat, you will not experience as much inflammation.
Before you engage in physical activity, warm up your legs. It doesn’t matter what you are going to do. If it requires you to exert more energy than you usually do, make sure that you loosen up your ligaments, joints, tendons and muscles first. You only need to do this for about five to 10 minutes.
If you are going to begin a new exercise routine, make sure that you start slowly. Your body needs time to become accustomed to a new sport or exercise routine, so you must take it easy in the beginning, and you will avoid injuries.
Activities to Avoid
If an exercise requires you to bend your knees or kneel, it would be better for you to avoid it. You must also avoid running down any hills because this is known to injure the knees.
If you have been ordered to rest your knee, a good way to injure it again is to refuse to rest as your doctor has ordered.
While your knee is in a delicate condition, it isn’t a good idea to exercise too vigorously.
You must avoid sleeping on your back or stomach. The best position for you is to lie on your side with one pillow behind you and one in front of you to prop you up and ensure that you do not roll over. It’s also a good idea to place a pillow between your knees.
Diagnosing Knee Osteoarthritis
When you visit your doctor, you will have the opportunity to describe your symptoms. Your doctor may ask you when these symptoms started and where the pain is located. Typically they will discuss your medical history, give you an examination and recommend a treatment plan that is customized for you.