Knee pain is something that affects around one in four Americans. Whether you have experienced an acute injury or find yourself with chronic pain, your quality of life can be seriously altered. The knee is a complicated joint with several muscles and ligaments throughout it, and therefore it can be hard to pinpoint the reason behind your pain. We have gathered three of the most common reasons that Americans experience knee pain and some helpful tips on how to find relief from your discomfort.
There are hundreds of different types of arthritis, but Osteoarthritis is one of the most common to affect the knee. Found mostly in those 50 years of age and older, this is seen as a degenerative arthritis due to wear-and-tear. When you have Osteoarthritis, the cartilage in the knee joint wears away, painfully exposing the bones to one another.
Unfortunately, Osteoarthritis cannot be reversed, but there are various treatment methods to reduce your pain. There are conservative methods such as implementing physical therapy to strengthen your muscles, increase flexibility and manage pain. If the conservative route isn’t working, viscosupplementation injections are an option that aids in pain relief by supplementing your joints with necessary cushion.
Having extra weight on your body adds unnecessary stress to your knee joints and is a major cause for pain in the joints. Being just 10 pounds overweight increases the force on your knees by 30 to 40 pounds with each step you take. Although losing weight and keeping it off is not an easy feat, any little bit helps when it comes to reducing your discomfort in your knees.
If you find yourself to be carrying excess weight, set realistic goals for yourself in lowering your weight by 5% at first. Eating healthy and exercising are the obvious ways to cut pounds, but sometimes exercising with knee pain seems impossible. Whereas running can add strain to your knee joints; swimming, walking and light resistance exercises are much more suitable.
A knee injury can affect the ligaments, tendons, bones or cartilage of the joint. The types of injuries that you can sustain to the knee seem endless. Some of the more common knee injuries are ACL tears, knee fractures, meniscus tears, knee bursitis and patellar tendinitis.
The solutions for each knee injury vary depending on the severity, your age, general health and activity level, but your physician can offer you the most practical non-surgical or surgical options for your unique injury. When you are initially injured, the RICE method (rest, ice, compression and elevation) can assist you until you are able to get professional advice.
There is a treatment plan available for all types of knee pain, and Dr. Bourck Cashmore at Northern Arizona Orthopaedics is dedicated to finding the right solution for you. With offices in Flagstaff, Prescott Valley, and Lakeside, the residents of Northern Arizona have access to premier destinations to alleviate their knee discomfort. Please call 928.226.2900 or request an appointment online today!