30% of all adults suffer from some type of joint pain. Your knees have a natural lubricant in the joint that, along with the meniscus or cartilage, act as a shock absorber to protect the knee. Cartilage can become worn thin, lubricant can dry and wear away with time, knee pain can result. In the past, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and steroid injections were the only option patients and physicians had, but these had lots of side effects. Research is showing certain supplements like glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, turmeric (curcumin) and fish oil show promising results. Other good options may include SAMe, MSM, resveratrol, devil’s claw, vit D, vit C, etc. However too many arthritis products don’t measure up to their claims. All drugs have side effects, and supplements thought to be harmless may have side effects as well. For example, glucosamine is generally considered safe, however it has the potential to raise cholesterol levels which could be bad in a person already with risk factors.
Osteoarthritis of the Knee
22% of US adults suffer from arthritis, and a significantly higher percentage who are overweight or obese develop arthritis. Scientists have discovered that both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can be caused by the body’s autoimmune attack against exposed fragments of collagen it interprets as foreign bodies. Arthritis causes inflammation, stiffness, reduced mobility, abnormal repair response and progressive degeneration of the knee joint. On x-ray this shows as cartilage loss on the ends of the bones, decreased joint space and bone spurs. Viscous injectables can help cushion and protect the knee.
Currently, there are several viscosupplementation products to treat this:
- Hyaluronic acid (hyaluronan or hyaluronate is a major component of synovial fluid)
- Sodium hyaluronate (sodium salt polymer found in cartilage and connective tissue)
These natural gel-like substances found in the fluid of a healthy knee have a positive effect on cartilage integrity, help prevent collagen destruction and cartilage lesions by penetrating diseased joint tissue, reducing cell death and stimulating the synthesis of proteoglycans needed to build cartilage. There is also some evidence that hyaluronate reduces inflammation and cartilage degrading enzymes. Several multicenter double blind studies have shown a clinical reduction in OA knee pain.
Other Treatments for Knee Arthritis
Mechanical, cellular, and biochemical processes associated with OA are interrelated and Epic Healthcare and Physical Medicine addresses all three. Additional treatments performed in our office can be utilized in lieu of or in conjunction with knee injections, depending on the examination findings on each individual patient. Physical medicine therapy may consist of active care and guided exercises to improve strength, range of motion and flexibility. Manual therapy, knee manipulation or chiropractic extremity adjustments can be used to address mechanical dysfunction in the lower kinetic chain. Horizontal therapy is a patented type of bioelectric medical therapy that causes electro-analgesia and a reduction of pain and swelling. There are also specific custom bracing that can be done to significantly reduce pain and stress on the knee joint.
Call (972) 355-0083 NOW for a FREE consultation to see if our doctors can solve your knee pain.