Non-Surgical Alternative Knee Pain Solutions
Active lives in modern society have led to more and more knee pain complaints. Knee pain could be caused by injuries, obesity, improper form during physical activities, osteoporosis etc. In many cases, surgery is not the only solution to the injury and pain. There are many other modern, innovative techniques that have been developed to help patients deal with knee pain, reduce inflammation, facilitate healing and normalize life as far as possible without invasive surgery or drugs.
5 Solutions to Knee Pain
1. Hyaluronic Acid (Supartz)
Osteoarthritis of the knee unfortunately doesn't have a cure since it is degenerative. But there are non-surgical ways to relieve pain and carry on living as normal a life as possible; doing the things your condition may have kept you from doing. One of the latest methods available is to inject hyaluronic acid, which is a gel-like, viscous fluid, into your knee joint to lubricate it. There are no drugs or surgery involved in these "viscosupplementation" injections. The injected fluid acts in a very similar way to a lubricant (the viscous synovial fluid) that helps to naturally lubricate the knee joint. The injections may provide enough pain relief to get you started on physical therapy to rehabilitate the facet joints that are affected or to strengthen your muscles.
This therapy of Hyaluronan Joint Fluid (with the brand name Supartz) will usually be administered as a series of five or three injections, one per week. The hyaluronic acid is injected directly into the joint space of a painful, inflamed arthritic joint, as is usually the case with injections for osteoarthritis. There are several studies you can refer to, to see that injections can help to increase joint mobility, decrease pain, and give you back much of your body's functionality that may have been impaired due to your condition. The injections cause very little discomfort, if any at all, and after the treatment, you can go on and live an active, healthy life.
2. PRP Injection
Another modern, non-surgical method of reducing pain and improving knee function that we offer is PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) Injection. This revolutionary therapy aims to give you long term relief from pain by helping to heal injuries. The therapy only mimics the body's natural response to injury by injecting PRP to your joint. The early stages of osteoarthritis in the knees usually lead to degenerative lesions. In the case of such soft tissue injuries in the body, blood platelets are immediately sent to the area to begin repairs and assist stem cells in their self-renewal. With PRP, we help to provide a similar natural therapy by sending higher concentrations of platelets to the area.
During the therapy, your doctor will take some of your blood plasma and enrich it with more platelets than normal. This PRP will then inject into the injured area. While not much is known about how PRP works, preliminary studies have shown that it is a safe method that helps to speed up healing of tears or lesions in the joint. PRP Therapy is currently offering much promise as an alternative to surgery alleviating the inflammation and pain in the knees and other joints of the body.
3. Special Knee Braces
Knee braces can help many people with rehabilitation or improving functionality of the joint. We can diagnose your condition and tell if knee braces will be able to give you back some of your mobility while you heal. Rehabilitative braces, functional braces and unloader braces have generally helped many people enjoy a more normal life. If your knee is healing after an injury or surgery, you should limit knee movements that could interfere with the healing process. In such cases, rehabilitative braces can help to keep your knee movements safe. Functional braces are used to support knees that are injured. Unloader braces or offloader braces offer relief for arthritis of the knee. All of these braces can in turn help to straighten your posture and battle back pain that is often the result of knee pain.
Braces are made of a combination of metal, plastic, foam and elastic, and they are available in a variety of styles, colors and sizes. You should only wear braces after consultation with a doctor, or else it may lead to further injuries. The doctors on our team can help to determine if you need braces, and the best type suitable for you.
4. Cold Laser
Another solution for knee pain is a Cold Laser therapy, also known as Low Level Laser Therapy (or LLLT). This method uses very specific wavelengths of light on tissue to speed up healing. A cold laser can help you to reduce your knee pain and swelling, and increase functionality. This flashlight-like device will be lit and focused on the injured area for 30 seconds to a few minutes, depending on the dosage and the size of the injured area. The cold photons of light during this time will pass through the layers of your skin, and penetrate between two to five centimeters of skin. While it passes through the upper layers and subcutaneous fat layer, it interacts with the cells, which absorb this light and triggers off a series of events in the cells. These events in turn can lead to reduction of inflammation, pain, edema, other damage to tissue and a lowering of healing time.
5. Specific Physical Rehab
Active physical therapy can also help with knee pain. For most types of knee pain, patients can be prescribed physical therapy for at least four weeks before any other treatments like surgery are considered. This may involve specific exercises for the knee as well as stretching. The aim of physical therapy is to reduce flare-ups of pain in the knee joints. It can also reduce the chances of knee pain occurring again in the future. There is a lot of medical evidence on the benefits of exercise before and after a surgery of the knees as well as in non-surgical care programs. Recovery time is reduced by increasing stability and strength gained through exercise. The body can only recover fully when it is optimal condition.
These are some of the top non-invasive, drug-free treatments available to you for knee pain.
© 2015 Juana Aman
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