Knee pain has many different causes. Accurate diagnosis is important in providing the best treatment. Arthritis is the most common cause of knee pain but pain can be caused by almost any of the structures that comprise the knee joint including ligaments, meniscus, bursitis, or altered biomechanics.
What are Some Important Facts to Know About Knee Pain?
Knee pain CAN be treated! New advances in regenerative medicine (Platelet rich Plasma) combined with traditional treatments prescribed by your doctor can provide significant lasting relief!
Why Should a Patient Treat Knee Pain?
Not treating common causes of knee pain leads to worsening damage of the knee and often other joints such as ankles, hips, or low back pain. Alteration of normal joint function changes how nearby joints work. By treating the cause of knee pain, you can avoid causing damage to other critical joints.
What are the Most Common Symptoms of Knee Pain?
Do you get knee pain with long walks, standing for long periods of time, or exercise?
Pain along the outside or inside of your knee is often caused by arthritis, meniscus tears, or ligament strains.
Knee swelling should be evaluated immediately by your doctor. It could indicate an infection of the joint requiring urgent treatment or can cause persistent inflammation from an arthritic joint.
Locking of the Knee Joint
Locking and popping of the knee joint can be signs of arthritis or meniscus damage. Thorough evaluation and possible radiological imaging can help determine the cause and guide proper treatment.
Increased pain associated with cool or rainy weather
This is a very common complaint with those who suffer from arthritis causing inflammation within the knee joint. Chronic inflammation can cause increased pressure within the joint – and cooler or rainy weather can worsen this pain.
What are the Most Common Causes of Knee Pain?
Arthritis can come in many forms; osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis to list a few. It occurs when the cartilage in your knee degenerates and can lead to chronic inflammation, neuropathy, and pain. This can lead to pain with activities reducing exercise activities and fitness further worsening pain.
Knee meniscus provides a layer of padding within the knee joint that allows for proper knee motion and reduced stress on the articular surfaces. Tears of the meniscus alter normal knee mechanics and cause pain.
Patellofemoral syndrome is caused by weak hip muscles and causing pain from improper motions of the knee cap. Symptoms of patellofemoral syndrome include pain at the front of the knee, popping of the knee cap with knee bending, and pain in the knees with squatting.
Muscle and Ligament Sprains
Ligament sprains of the knee are very common sports or overuse injuries. ACL and MCL tears occur often in soccer, football, and other contact sports. These are typically treated non-operatively unless severe tearing has occurred. At California Pain Medicine Center, we can help diagnose and treat these nagging injuries to get you back to regular activities.
The knee has many different bursa in and around the joint. Swelling and pain over the knee cap is common is those workers who put excessive pressure on their knees.
What are the Top Treatment Options for Knee Pain?
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP)
Platelet rich plasma therapy is considered regenerative medicine and is the treatment of choice for healing painful knee conditions! It has been shown to have improved benefits over other types of injections (steroid, hyaluronic acid, etc) for the treatment of pain from arthritis. Your body’s own platelets are isolated from blood drawn during your visit then injected into the painful area. The naturally occurring enzymes and cytokines present in your platelets enhance the healing process beyond what was previously possible to heal painful conditions such as arthritis, ligament strains, etc.
Hyaluronic acid is a viscous fluid injected into the knee joint every 6 months to help provide increased support in arthritic joints. It has also been shown to help reduce inflammation. Recently, this has been injected in conjunction with platelet rich plasma to increase the healing effect.
Steroid injections are used to reduce inflammation causing pain in the knee joint.
Exercise and Physical Therapy
Exercise and physical therapy is a mainstay in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and joint stability. By strengthening muscles around the joint you can further reduce the pressure on an arthritic knee. Physical therapy can help strengthen hip muscles that are pivotal in reducing pain in patellofemoral syndrome.