Due to the knee's large articulating surface and weight-bearing properties, it is no surprise that it is one of the most commonly injured joints. In fact, in the United States alone, knee pain accounts for over 1 million ER visits and more than 1.9 million primary care outpatient visits each year. The natural aging process causes…
Learning More About Non-Surgical Knee Treatments
Non-surgical knee treatments are available for patients suffering from chronic knee pain. Knee osteoarthritis is one of the most prevalent causes of chronic knee pain, especially among seniors, and could have adverse effects on mobility and quality of life. Although pain form and severity vary with each patient, the typical symptoms include pain that is aggravated with sleeping, resting and intense activity and pain that renders the knee feeble.
If you or someone close to you is dealing with these symptoms, they are probably suffering from knee osteoarthritis. To learn about the non-surgical methods of treating and relieving the pain, read through the following types of non-surgical knee treatment.
Non-operative knee treatment options
For people who lead an active lifestyle, slowing down a bit on some activities may help to alleviate pain and inflammation. Patients who participate in high-impact sports and events (such as gymnastics, tennis and running) may need to lower the rigor or duration of the activity or consider low-impact athletic events such as biking and swimming.
In some situations, lessening vigorous, non-athletic actions such as climbing stairs may provide some relief. For overweight or inactive patients, shedding weight and striving for better general and physical health may be beneficial for relieving stress on your knees and improving symptoms.
Physical therapy is also often recommended, either as a standalone treatment or together with lifestyle adjustments. Performing knee exercises that enhance range of motion, flexibility and build muscles around the knees and leg is a realistic way of alleviating the effects of knee deterioration and reinstating the power and mobility of your knee.
Braces and assistive devices
Knee braces and other assistive devices are available for physical support and aid and help to relieve symptoms and physical stress on the knees. Several assistive devices are available for knee support, including shoe inserts, knee sleeves, knee braces and supportive devices such as canes and crutches.
Patients who desire non-surgical knee treatments can also opt for drugs to treat their symptoms. These include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory meds, non-narcotic pain killers and corticosteroid injections, which are infused directly into the affected joint to relieve inflammation and pain.
Lateral heel wedges
These are insoles that raise the outer corner of the foot to alter the mode of operation of the knee joint. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) does not advise lateral heel wedges for patients with medial compartment knee osteoarthritis.
This is the act of washing out the joint. Although the AAOS does not discourage the practice, it suggests that new research would be necessary to verify the effectiveness of the procedure.
If you are dealing with recurrent knee pain, your first decision should be contacting your primary care doctor. For more specialized assistance, you may be referred to a knee expert. An experienced specialist will be able to provide guidance regarding the best non-surgical knee treatment. You can be assured of getting comprehensive and effective treatment, and the doctor will assist you until you once again have a healthier, less painful knee.