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Natural Awakenings Lowcountry

Knee Pain Treatment Options

Jul 21, 2019 08:36AM

by Adam Hall, DC

There are many treatment options for those suffering with knee pain from osteoarthritis (OA) and other causes. There are oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) that come in over-the-counter and prescription forms, as well as other, more addictive pain medications, steroid injections and surgery. But those options only mask the symptoms, have side effects and aren’t guaranteed to get rid of the pain. There are less invasive, non-addictive and more natural treatment options.

The first and most natural option is daily mild to moderate exercise, like walking or riding a bike for 20 to 30 minutes per day. This is the probably the best option for those that have only recently started having knee pain. Studies have shown that daily, moderate exercise is just as effective and relieving knee pain as NSAIDs. But many have been suffering with knee pain for a long time, and arthritis makes even small amounts of exercise difficult and painful. That’s when we need to look at medical treatment options.

 Joint injections with hyaluronic acid (HA) have been very effective in relieving knee pain from OA. HA is a gel-like substance that lubricates the cartilage surfaces and prevents further joint degeneration. When it’s injected into the knee, it’s called viscosupplementation. This process needs to be repeated every six to 12 months. Think of it as an oil change for the knees.

There is another exciting treatment option that has shown promise called regenerative medicine. This is a process by which the innate healing potential of certain cells is harnessed to encourage the body to heal. This can include platelet-rich plasma (PRP) that comes from the patient’s own blood, and/or stem cell-derived injections that contain certain proteins and growth factors that are only found in amniotic tissue.

If we think of the body like a car with many parts all working together, it’s easy to understand why only focusing on the symptoms gives a partial solution. A car with a bad alignment has one tire under more stress than the others, and over time, that tire goes bald. That’s the symptom. If we only change the tire and don’t fix the alignment, that tire will go bald again. The human body is much like this car. If we have improper biomechanics, poor posture or misalignments, then more stress will be placed on one knee than the other. Over time, that knee will wear out and cause pain. If we only treat the knee pain and don’t fix the underlying cause, the knee will continue to wear out and cause pain. We must address the knee pain and the underlying cause to fully correct the problem.

Adam Hall, DC, is the owner of Back 2 Health Physical Medicine, located at 588 Old Mt. Holly Rd., in Goose Creek. They combine these effective medical treatments with physical therapy and chiropractic care. For appointments or more information, call 843-376-5595 or visit Back2HealthSC.com

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