You use your knees every time you walk, run, or move your lower body at all. Knee pain, therefore, dramatically affects the daily life of victims, who must use their knees through the day. Knee pain is the second only to back pain among American adult pain sufferers. Knee trouble is most frequently caused by osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint condition in which the cartilage that surrounds the two bones that contain the knee joint wears away, sometimes causing painful joint-on-joint contact.
There are many treatment options for knee pain. Under the care of a physician, sufferers can pick the most appropriate course of treatment to offer optimum knee pain relief. Over-the-counter and prescription medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and aspirin reduce pain, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) including aspirin, can decrease inflammation as well as knee joint pain. At-home remedies such as ice packs and capsaicin, found in cayenne pepper, frequently have a similar impact.
Natural supplements such as chondroitin and glucosamine have become popular alternatives to traditional medications in recent years because they pose fewer risks of side effects. Both are naturally occurring substances in the body. The prior aids in building joint cartilage, while the latter struggles against degeneration of cartilage. Studies have proven their efficacy in alleviating osteoarthritic joint pain, but have yet to demonstrate that these supplements actually reverse the effects of cartilage degeneration that have already taken place.
Modifying knee activity with physical aids such as padding, crutches, and splints, and even straightforward rest take the pressure from the knee and supply temporary knee pain relief while the joint recovers from injury. Conversely, specific exercises, stretching, and low-impact aerobic activities such as biking, walking and swimming increase joint strength and flexibility, promoting healing and reducing the chance of further injury.
For acute knee injuries that have not responded to the aforementioned treatments, surgery remains an option. There are several common knee surgeries, which range from exploratory arthroscopic surgery, which orthopedic physicians use to diagnose the exact source of knee pain in order that they can determine which behaviors and activities will need to be altered, all of the way to a total knee replacement. Whichever course of treatment a patient decides upon, it’s important to work alongside a physician to ensure appropriate care.