Knee Pain from Arthritis: What are the options?

Knee pain from arthritis is a very common condition. One type that effects knees is osteoarthritis (OA). This can occur over time from repeated trauma from constant use such as running or jumping. Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition for most as it happens over time and most commonly is found in older folks, but can affect any age or gender.

People who perform certain activities in their jobs for hours at a time may be more likely to develop joint pain and stiffness. This includes:

  • physical labor
  • kneeling
  • squatting
  • climbing stairs

Being overweight also puts you at higher risk of developing knee osteoarthritis due to the increased stress that is placed on your knee joints.

What exactly is osteoarthritis? 

Osteoarthritis is the destruction of cartilage that is on the surfaces of the moving parts of a joint. Cartilage creates a slick surface for a joint to move on. It is known as the wear and tear disease. It is similar to how brakes and tires wear down from use. Once cartilage starts to wear down, you may experience:

  • Joint pain that is worse in the morning
  • Joint pain that gets better with activity
  • Joint stiffness

What can be done about osteoarthritis? 

Osteoarthritis is a chronic and progressive medical condition. Most people find that their symptoms increase over time. Although OA doesn’t have a cure, there are many treatment options. Surgery is often not necessary or can be avoided. 

  • NSAID’s:  OTC medications either oral or topical that can be applied to the joint can help relieve the pain.
  • capsaicin containing creams:  capsaicin is the spicy compound in hot peppers.  Applied to the skin of sore joints, it can relieve pain.  Do not get this stuff in your eyes or nose or private areas.  The cream is available over the counter and with presciption.
  • Heat packs/compress: Heat applied to the knee can loosen stiff joints.
  • Physical therapy: can help strengthen the muscles around the knee and improve your range of motion

Knee joint injections

  • Steroid injections:  can reduce pain by decreasing joint inflammation. We can substitute a homeopathic medication called Zeel for those that cannot have or want steroids.
  • Regenerative options such as amnion or PRP can help decrease knee pain.

Genicular nerve blocks and radio frequency ablation: 

This can treat your joint pain by blocking the pain sensation from your knee. This minimally invasive procedure has no cuts and is done thought 3 small needles. This procedure works even if your knee joint has been replaced!

Surgery to replace the knee joint:

 In many ways this should be the last resort. Artificial knee joints have a life expectancy of about 10 years. Because of this, it is not recommended to young people because the joint will need to replaced several times over the course of a person’s lifetime. 

Call us to discuss any of these options.  Southwest Pain Management  214-560-2000.

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