Most people experience knee pain at some point in their lives.
Sports, exercise, even everyday activities can cause muscle strains, tendinitis, and more serious injuries to ligaments and cartilage.
The severity of knee pain can vary widely and depends on factors such as the cause and your age. For some, knee pain can be so severe that it limits daily activities. For others, mild knee pain may be a chronic hindrance to the active lifestyle they desire. The location of knee pain can also vary.
Here are the different knee arthritis and pain treatments available at Ohio Therapy Centers.
When joint pain does not resolve in a reasonable amount of time with OTC medication and/or physical therapy, an injection of medication directly into the joint is a frequently performed procedure.
What is in a joint injection?
A joint injection typically contains a local anesthetic and a corticosteroid; other joint injections can include hyaluronic acid or biologics, like Platelet-Rich Plasma. The local anesthetic, similar to what you might receive at the dentist, provides early pain relief, while the steroid suppresses inflammation and decreases swelling for long-term pain relief.
In addition to treating joint pain, the injections are used as a diagnostic tool. The local anesthetic has a numbing effect on the joint, and the amount of immediate pain relief experienced will help confirm or rule out the joint as a source of pain.
How are joint injections administered?
A joint injection is used to treat inflammatory joint conditions such as arthritis, gout, bursitis, tendonitis, and osteoarthritis.
The injection is performed by using ultrasound to guide exactly where the needle needs to go into the affected joint and distributing an anti-inflammatory agent. The most common of these is a corticosteroid.
What can be expected after a joint injection?
After the injection, you may experience immediate but temporary pain relief from the local anesthetic.
Because steroids need a few days to deliver noticeable benefits, there is a chance of the pain returning or even worsening. If the pain worsens, it usually subsides within a day or two. Generally, it’s recommended that you take it easy the day of the procedure, but return to your usual activities the following day. You can ice down the injection site and take an over-the-counter NSAID, like ibuprofen, for pain relief.
Although joint injections do not change the underlying condition, they can break the cycle of pain and inflammation and allow time for exercise or physical therapy to strengthen muscles and get the joints moving again in order to decrease ongoing problems.
For even longer-lasting benefits, Platelet-Rich Plasma treatments may be recommended depending on your condition.
Joint Injections for Knee Pain available at Ohio Therapy Centers include the following:
Hyaluronic Acid Knee Injections
Hyaluronic Acid Injections are a joint fluid therapy that uses a solution consisting of all-natural, highly-purified sodium hyaluronan. This fluid is already found in the body and is a common component of connective tissues and fluids found in the joints of the knee.
Hyaluronic Acid Injections have been around since 1987 and is the most commonly used joint fluid therapy in the world. It has been used millions of times since its introduction and is very effective.
There are only a handful of minimal side effects that have been reported. These include joint pain, back pain, injection site pain, and headaches. No anaphylactic reactions have been observed in any patients.
Hyaluronic Acid joint therapy is injected once a week into the knee for three to five injections. After each injection, the patient should avoid vigorous activities such as jogging, tennis, heaving lifting, or standing for extended periods of time. After the injections have been completed, the patient should feel relief from the pain and discomfort caused by osteoarthritis.
Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections/PRFM
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has been used since the 1970s in medicine for multiple purposes. The last decade has seen a tremendous focus on PRP applications in musculoskeletal medicine. The potential for PRP to promote tissue healing following injury or disease is attractive to many physicians, researchers, and patients alike.
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections administer concentrated platelets from the patient’s own blood into damaged cartilage and tendons to reduce pain and to aid in the healing process.
- PRP rebuilds these tissues and can be used for common tendon injuries, such as tennis elbow, and to repair cartilage due to osteoarthritis or other damage.
- PRP injections consist of extracting a blood sample, concentrating the platelets, and injecting them into injured areas of the body.
- PRP injections are sometimes performed in a series, but many patients only require one injection to see results.
We combine all of our knee therapy treatment plans with a combination of comprehensive exercises, chiropractic care, massage, and CORRECT knee bracing to achieve maximum results with our program!
Knee Pain and Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and affects millions of people each year. It is the gradual wear and tear of the cartilage at the end of a person’s bones. Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition that can get worse over time.
Many patients who experience this pain try OTC painkillers, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, and physical therapy to get relief. However, sometimes that is not enough.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis in the knee include:
- stiffness and swelling in the knee
- difficulty bending the knee fully
- knee pain
Knee pain that is caused by osteoarthritis can now be treated at Ohio Therapy Centers with many non-surgical options!
The meniscus is a piece of cartilage that provides a cushion between your femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone). Both the lateral and medial meniscus acts as a natural cushion between the thigh bone (femur) and the shin bone (tibia). The two cushions prevent excess wear and tear inside the knee joint by keeping the ends of the two bones from rubbing together.
Symptoms of a meniscus tear
When a meniscus tear occurs, you may hear a popping sound around your knee joint. Afterward, you may experience any or all of the following:
- pain, especially when the area is touched
- swelling around the knee joint
- difficulty moving your knee or inability to move it in a full range of motion
- feeling as if your knee is locking or catching
- feeling as if your knee is giving way or unable to support you
You may also experience a slipping or popping sensation, which is usually an indication that a piece of cartilage has become loose and is blocking the knee joint.
Contact Ohio Therapy Centers right away if you experience any of these symptoms and if they persist for more than a few days or occur after your knee has been injured.
Ohio Therapy Centers treat partial meniscus tears in our offices. Depending on the severity of your injury, treatment options can vary.
Read more about meniscus tears here
ACL and MCL Injuries
The medial collateral ligament (MCL) and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) are the most commonly injured ligaments in the knee. You may have heard of these terms before, as common knee injuries tend to involve one of these ligaments.
The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is located on the inner part of your knee, but it’s outside the joint itself. The MCL typically is injured by a hit to the knee from the side.
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) stabilizes your knee, a tear of the ACL is one of the most commonly occurring injuries in sports.
ACL Injury Symptoms
- A popping sound as soon as the tear occurs
- Swelling of the knee (generally happens within six hours of injury and could be quite severe)
- Pain, especially when walking, twisting, or turning on your injured leg
- Feeling that your knee is unstable as if it’s going to give out from underneath you
MCL Injury Symptoms
The symptoms of an MCL injury are similar to symptoms of other knee problems. Our Orthopedic Specialist can examine your knee to determine the problem.
The symptoms of an MCL injury may include:
- a popping sound upon injury
- pain and tenderness along the inner part of your knee
- swelling of the knee joint
- a feeling that your knee is going to give out when you put weight on it
- locking or catching in the knee joint
Read more about ACL and MCL Injuries here