Guest blog: by Reflex Clinic
According to the CDC one out of every two people in the United States will develop symptomatic knee osteoarthritis (OA) by age 85. Factors such as age, weight, gender, activity level and genetics can increase or decrease the likelihood of developing OA in your lifetime. Although there is no cure for osteoarthritis of the knee, there are more treatment options available than ever before, especially if detected in its early stages.
Individuals with OA often have stiff joints – largely because they avoid movements that cause increased knee pain. With limited to no movement arthritic joints can actually worsen, increasing stiffness and pain. A physical therapist can coach an individual on simple techniques to eliminate joint stiffness without causing further damage. The goal of physical therapy is to get a patient back to the point where they can accomplish normal, everyday activities without difficulty. Gaining good range of motion is essential to maintaining one’s ability to perform daily activities such as walking, bathing, and dressing.
Joint Fluid Therapy (Viscosupplementation)
Joint fluid therapy (also known as viscosupplementation) is a treatment that relieves knee pain, reduces joint inflammation, and increases mobility by replacing the Hyaluronan in your knee joint, much like putting oil in your car. This innovative, non-surgical procedure is administered as a series of injections over a 3-4 week period. Patients will typically experience significant pain reduction within 6-8 weeks after the injection series. The results can last for several months to a full year.
Corticosteroid Injections (Cortisone)
Corticosteroid injections are used for flare-ups of OA and swelling with fluid buildup around the knee. These injections can help relieve symptoms by reducing inflammation in the joint. Corticosteroid injections offer very rapid relief usually within 24-48 hours. However, the pain relief is short-term. On average, the pain relief lasts from 4-8 weeks. Physicians recommend patients do not receive more than two or three cortisone shots in a year. Research has shown with a high number of cortisone injections, it can eventually lead to deterioration of the cartilage around the joint space.
Off-loading knee bracing is a non-invasive option that is simple, safe, and clinically proven to help reduce knee pain. It is designed to correct compensation patterns by re-aligning the joint back into proper position, as well as lessen the pressure being placed on the damaged area of the knee joint. This can result in immediate knee pain relief when being active, and prevent additional wear and tear on the joint. Bracing can alleviate progression of OA by improving your body’s alignment and gait.
Proper dietary supplementation and nutrition can help your body make the most of your treatments. Health supplementation is essential to maximize your well-balanced healthy diet, regular exercise, and sufficient hydration efforts.
Fish oil, Glucosamine Chondroitin, and Phyto-4 are known to help support your joints, cartilage, and combat inflammation.
Fish oil supports healthy heart function and healthy inflammation levels. Glucosamine is known to promote healthy cartilage formation and protect against joint cartilage destruction. Phyto-4 is comprised of four powerful botanicals that together help maintain normal inflammatory responses in the body to help prevent connective tissue breakdown.
If you aren’t sure which of these treatments is right for you, speak to your primary care physician, get seen by an orthopedist, or schedule an evaluation with the osteoarthritis experts at Reflex. The sooner you catch your knee OA, the more treatment options are available to you.
Guest Blog: Treatment Options for Knee Osteoarthritis in Portland OR and Vancouver WA
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