As one of the strongest and most complex joints in your body, your knees can handle a considerable amount of stress, strain, and everyday wear and tear. Not only do they bear your full body weight every time you take a step, but they also support a much greater load every time you run or jump. It’s no coincidence, then, that knee pain is a relatively common problem.
As high-use, load-bearing joints, your knees are more susceptible to injury. The stabilizing ligaments inside your knee are especially prone to developing problems, as anyone who has ever twisted, turned, or pivoted and found themselves with a torn or sprained ACL, MCL, or meniscus can attest. Although these stress-related injuries may be a more common source of knee pain for younger people, older people are typically more affected by injuries brought on by degenerative wear and tear. As you age, you’re more likely to experience knee pain caused by conditions such as osteoarthritis, tendonitis, and bursitis. A few other common causes of knee pain include:
If you don’t exercise regularly, there’s a chance that the muscles around your knees are less able to support the joints. Muscles that lack flexibility are too tight to help your knees effectively absorb stress, while muscles that lack strength are too weak to reinforce and stabilize the mechanics of the joint. Either of these problems can contribute to knee pain. Having a hip or foot problem also exacerbates knee pain, because such issues may cause you to alter your gait and put more stress on your knees. Being overweight has a major effect on load-bearing joints, because it perpetually increases the amount of stress they’re under. This makes normal activities like walking or climbing stairs considerably harder on your knees.
After a comprehensive exam and diagnosis, the team at Ultimate Health Medical Clinic comes up with a treatment plan designed to address the underlying cause of your knee pain. Chiropractic care, massage therapy, and rehabilitative exercises are often helpful in decreasing inflammation, preventing instability around the joint, and restoring strength and range of motion. If you have osteoarthritis in your knees, viscosupplementation or gel based injections may be a good option. This quick, easy treatment involves an injection of hyaluronic acid, a natural joint replacement fluid that acts as a lubricant and shock absorber, to help the joint function properly. It can also help provide pain relief for up to 6 months, so you don’t have to resort to surgery or prescription medications.
Another treatment option is a genicular nerve block. This procedure targets the sensory nerve endings of the knee and if a nerve block provides greater than 50% pain relief then these nerve endings can be targeted by a procedure called Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) which can provide sustained pain relief for up to a year. This procedure can even be performed for those who continue to have knee pain after already having a total knee arthroplasty or for whom more surgery is not an option.