Get Help For Degenerative Knee Pain Due To Osteoarthritis With Knee Decompression & PEMF Therapy
Degenerative knee pain, also known as osteoarthritis (OA), is known to be the most common joint disorder in the U.S., the most common cause of disability among older adults, and the most common form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative process that occurs when the cartilage, such as in the knee joint, causes “wear and tear” morphing an originally smooth surface into a painful, rough and frayed surface.According to the CDC, osteoarthritis of the knee affects roughly 32.5 million adults in the United States.
How Does Degenerative Knee Pain Occur?
The knee is the largest and strongest joint in the body. It is made up of the upper femur which is also called the thigh, the tibia and fibula make up the lower leg and the patella, also known as the kneecap. The ligaments and tendons surrounding the knee tie the knee together like tight rope and keep it stable.
Two different types of cartilage, such as the meniscus and articular cartilage, help with the shock absorption and creates a smooth gliding surface for the knee to function properly. The knee structures are surrounded by a membrane (synovial) that helps produce fluid to reduce friction.
Degenerative knee joints can be created in two different ways, a trauma/injury that has gotten worse over time or a repetitive stress or overuse that wears out the joint over a period of time. An injury to the joint can break or tear different structures in the knee. Common injuries that can increase the risk of osteoarthritis include: meniscus tear, tendon or ligament tear, or fracture of bone. The fraying and breakdown of the articular cartilage without trauma is due to overuse stress. Articular cartilage is attached to the bottom of the thigh bone and the top of the shinbone. The more it wears out, the quicker it will start to rub bone on bone.
Common Risk Factors Leading To Degenerative Knee Pain
- Age - The older you get, the more likely you are to develop osteoarthritis in the knee. This is due to the fact you have done more activities and had more time to do more damage to your knee joint. This may not always be true as younger adults can also get osteoarthritis.
- Gender - Studies show that women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis over men.
- Obesity - The knee is considered a weight bearing joint. It shouldn’t be hard to imagine that the knees help support the body’s weight. An abnormal amount of weight will only add extra pressure to the joints which will cause them to wear out over time. Obesity not only adds stress to the joint, it also adds extra stress to the ligaments and tendons that stabilize the knee in all directions, increasing the risk of a tear.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Degenerative Knee?
- Pain that increasingly gets worse over time.
- Swelling and tenderness in the joint.
- Grinding, crackling, or popping sensations.
- Buckling, weakness, or locking of the knee joint.
- Pain when going up stairs.
- Pain and stiffness when bending the knee.
- Pain when there is an atmospheric pressure change. (sometimes)
- Pain and stiffness upon waking in the morning.
- Pain with walking or placing pressure on the knee.
How Does Knee Degeneration Get Diagnosed?
A patient’s presentation and history will include any of the risk factors and symptoms listed above. The doctor performing the exam will look for a number of these things among other diagnostic tests to diagnose osteoarthritis, or a degenerative knee.
Imaging studies such as an x-ray, MRI, or CT scan can be beneficial for the diagnosis of OA. The most common and cost effective imaging study to diagnose OA is an x-ray. The presence of osteophytes (also known as bone spurs), narrowing of the joint space, or abnormal changes in the bone make an x-ray a prime choice for the aid in diagnosing OA in the knee. MRIs and CT scans can also show changes to the joint and bone.
Osteoarthritis may be the most common form of arthritis but not the only form. Blood tests may also be beneficial in diagnosing other types of arthritis.
How Do You Treat A Degenerative Knee Condition?
Chiropractic care can help knee pain and other symptoms of degenerative knee pain. There are many different treatments and therapies offered in a chiropractic office that can help mobilize, stabilize, reduce inflammation, and increase joint space . Excluding complete tears of the ligaments or tendons, chiropractic care offers a safe and non-invasive way to decrease pain and help to stabilize an injured knee joint. Treatments used here at CORE to help with osteoarthritis include:
Chiropractic Adjustments - Chiropractic adjustments to the knee will mobilize a stiff knee joint directly. Manipulations to an unbalanced pelvis will help to distribute your weight evenly. This unlevel weight distribution contributes to abnormal wearing of the knee joint.
Knee Decompression Therapy - Knee decompression is a treatment used to help reduce pain, increase joint space, increase function, and promote healing. This treatment mechanically separates the thigh bone and the shinbone taking pressure off structures such as the meniscus.
PEMF Therapy - Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) therapy can help to reduce pain and inflammation, while also accelerate tissue healing and strengthen bone.
Other therapies included in treatment of knee OA include a stretching/strengthening exercise protocol, kinesiotaping to help stabilize the joint, cryotherapy to reduce inflammation, and electrical stimulation and a TENS unit to help reduce pain.
How Do You Help Prevent A Degenerative Knee Condition?
Exercise/Activities - The types of exercises and activities you do can predispose you to overuse stress on the knee. Sports such as jogging/running, basketball, and tennis create a lot of impact to the knee joint. Activities such as cycling or swimming can still give you a great workout and are examples of low impact exercises that can help reduce the risk of degeneration. Stretching and strengthening the knee joints will ultimately add the best benefit to the knee joints to prevent wear and tear or ligamentous injury.
Diet - Consuming sugars and carbohydrates (carbs) will increase in the inflammation in the body causing an increase in pain from osteoarthritis.
Weight loss - Losing weight if you are considered overweight or obese will help take pressure off the knee joint.
Chiropractic - Chiropractic care can not only help you decrease pain, but also help prevent the joint from degenerating by promoting healthy space, mobility and strength.
Supplementation - Dietary supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate can be taken to help decrease pain and help strengthen the cartilage in the knee.
Don't continue to suffer with degenerative knee pain and allow it to affect your daily activities.
Let CORE Chiropractic help you get back on track with personalized chiropractic care, stretching & exercise recommendations, PEMF therapy and a custom treatment plan. Call today for your consultation, or schedule an appointment online.