Knee pain can be extremely painful and debilitating. Because the knee is the largest joint in the body, it's also the one that's most prone to experiencing injuries. Let’s face it, knees take a beating. When your knees are healthy, they move easily and they are pain-free. You can walk, run, and perform all your tasks without any trouble. However, if you experience arthritis, injury, or infection, you are likely to develop knee pain.
The expert pain management providers at MidSouth Pain Treatment Center are very familiar with a wide variety of hip and leg pain, including knee pain. Here’s what you should know about this type of pain and the treatment options available.
Causes of Knee Pain
Though people of all ages complain of knee pain, it isn't uncommon for it to occur as a result of bending, lifting, and standing. The cause of knee pain can also be from injuries, including a ruptured ligament or torn cartilage.
Other reasons for knee pain include:
- Arthritis (more than 100 types of arthritis exists)
- Hip and leg pain
- Iliotibial band syndrome
- Kneecap dislocation
- Lack of exercise or loose body
If you're an athlete who runs or plays sports that involve quick pivoting or jumping, you may also be more likely to experience knee pain and issues.
Temporary Solutions for Knee Pain
Temporary management of or the treatment for this pain will vary as much as the causes itself.
According to a study, osteoarthritis is affecting approximately 27 million Americans 25 years or older. This study showed that simulated and traditional acupuncture lessened knee pain for many of its participants. Some patients find that when they use acupuncture, they experience temporary relief from their knee pain. Acupuncture involves controlling inflammation by inserting thin needles underneath the skin.
Diet and Weight Loss
If you have excess weight or suffering from obesity, then you're at a higher risk of experiencing knee pain. The main reason is you're giving your knees and joints more work. Shedding those pounds will help with long-term knee pain and damage.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, a Mediterranean-style diet that's balanced and rich in vegetables is the recommendation. That way, you're eating well and keeping the pounds off.
Ice, Heat and Rest (RICE)
The "RICE" method is typical for providing temporary relief for knee pain. First, find a comfortable position, like placing a pillow between your knees while lying down. Every couple of hours, change positions or go for a leisurely walk. Limit the resting strategy to one or two days. The main reason is that activity is better for strengthening your knee joint.
Then, try alternating ice and heat packs on your knee joint. Avoid using these packs for more than ten to twenty minutes at a time. Otherwise, you'll find you're experiencing more pain if you're icing for too long. Also, it's not a good idea to apply heat when you're asleep.
Under certain circumstances, you'll find that highly targeted and doctor recommended injections can provide the best temporary relief. Injections can help reduce inflammation while simultaneously relieving pain. Here are examples of some of the injection treatments you might be prescribed:
- Corticosteroids: These injections are optimal for arthritis pain in the knee and tend to last for up to three months.
- Hyaluronic acid: This fluid is similar to that which naturally lubricates your joints and is used to help increase mobility.
- PRP (Plant-rich plasma): These injections contain concentrations of a variety of growth factors that help promote healing while reducing inflammation. Those who have injuries, sprains, or tendon tears benefit the most from PRP.
Over-the-Counter or Prescribed Medications
If the pain is temporary, you'll find there's no need to take medication at all. However, many over-the-counter medicines, such as anti-inflammatory and NSAIDs (like ibuprofen), can relieve pain by targeting the inflammation. You could also turn to analgesics, like acetaminophen, for pain relief when you need an alternative because you can't take an NSAID.
Under other circumstances, you can find relief for moderate to severe pain using prescription medications. These medicines soothe this pain or manage underlying conditions, including chronic and inflammatory diseases. Many patients turn to these medications to help lessen the discomfort in their knee.
A variety of knee pain causes ranging from osteoarthritis to strains may benefit from physical therapy. Not only may it help lessen pain, but it could also help improve knee function.
When therapists prescribe exercises, these will also help improve balance, flexibility, and strength. In doing so, those efforts ultimately support your joint and may decrease knee pain.
How Knee Pain Can Hold You Back
Living with pain can hold you back in a variety of ways, physically and emotionally. For example, it's physical effects may include having changes in your appetite, a lack of energy, limited mobility, and tense muscles. Its emotional effects could consist of feeling anger, anxiety, depression, or fear of re-injuring yourself.
Here are other effects of experiencing pain that could hold you back:
Mental Health Conditions
Research indicates that those suffering from chronic pain are four times more likely to experience anxiety or depression compared to those who are pain-free. In 2016, approximately 50 million American adults were suffering from chronic pain.
Quality of Sleep
Some pain worsens at night. For example, if you have osteoarthritis, you'll find this is especially true. You'll notice that, even if your knee has minimal contact with your bed or a pillow, discomfort occurs.
You'll notice, too, that pain in your knee will occur overnight even if you're not making contact with anything. The main reason is that your knee might be swelling or because you're not getting enough sleep, which are both culprits for knee pain worsening.
Finding a Pain Management Doctor Near Me for Knee Pain
- Lumbar Sympathetic Block: If you experience an injury that causes a malfunction in the autonomic system, this nerve block helps treat the pain.
- SJ Joint Injection: These injections contain steroids and numbing agents to help reduce inflammation in your buttocks, groin, hip, and lower back.
- Transforaminal Epidural: This nerve block contains numbing agents and steroids and lasts between six and twelve months.
All nerve blocks are also effective for relieving pain effectively. Contact our Memphis pain treatment center today, and we'll get started. We'll begin by analyzing your condition and creating a treatment plan with customizations according to your needs. Don't let your knee pain keep holding you back. Schedule a consultation today!