You took a long walk with a friend or played a round of golf and your knees would object for a few hours afterward. Now, what were once sporadic complaints from your knees have turned into a constant roar, and you just want to find relief.
The good news is that there are several ways in which our team here at Pain Medicine Consultants can help with your knee pain, and we review the three most successful here.
Behind your achy knees
When it comes to chronically aching knees, the lion’s share of the problem is the result of osteoarthritis (OA), which affects about 32.5 million adults in the United States.
With knee OA, the protective cartilage in your knees begin to break down, leaving the bones inside the joint to rub together. This direct friction leads to pain and inflammation, which only gets worse as the cartilage continues to break down.
Other drivers of knee pain include:
- Ligament tears
- Patellofemoral syndrome
- Meniscus tears
Whichever culprit is behind your ongoing knee pain, the odds are good that one or more of the following treatments can help you move more comfortably.
3 ways to remedy your knee pain
There are three main solutions that we recommend for knee pain, and these treatments often complement each other, so we may recommend one, two, or all three.
Our first priority is to relieve your pain, which we can accomplish with joint injections. These injections contain a local anesthetic for the pain and a steroid for the inflammation.
We administer these injections right here in our offices, but it may take a couple of days for them to take full effect. Once they do, you should be able to move far more easily with little or no knee pain.
Once we get you comfortable on your knees, physical therapy should be your next, literal, step. Your knees are large and complex joints that rely on several support systems. So when one goes down, such as your cartilage, we can beef up others to make up for the damage.
Specifically, we’re referring to the incredibly strong muscles on top of and underneath your knees, such as your quads, hamstrings, and calf muscles.
By strengthening these muscles through PT, you can take a great deal of pressure off of your knees. Not to mention, PT also emphasizes flexibility and range of motion, which can help ward off inflammation.
Platelet-rich plasma injections
Our final treatment is one that’s designed for longer-term results — a regenerative practice called platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy.
Your platelets contain powerful growth factors that encourage cell proliferation and healing. With PRP therapy, we inject a concentrate of your own platelets into the damaged tissues inside your knees, where they go to work to rebuild the tissues.
To give you an idea about how successful PRP is, a meta-analysis of 21 studies on the use of PRP for knee osteoarthritis concluded that PRP injections were beneficial for pain relief and improved knee function.
As you can imagine, a combination of these treatments is often your best defense against chronically achy knees.
To figure out which treatments are best for you, please contact one of our offices in Pleasanton, Pleasant Hill, or Corte Madera, California, to schedule an appointment.