In 2005, 10.5 million people in the United States reported severe joint pain, but by 2014, that number jumped to 14.6 million. The knee was the most commonly affected joint. If you are among the millions of people with knee pain, book an appointment today with one of the chiropractors at Apple Wellness Center in Winchester, Virginia, and find out what treatment options are available to you.
Generally, there are two main causes of knee pain: arthritis and injury. There are different types of arthritis and the knee is susceptible many injuries, but most of the time, pain in the knee is a result of one of those two causes.
Knee osteoarthritis (KOA) is the most common form of arthritis in the knee. It is a progressive, degenerative condition, and the goal of treatment is to control pain and slow progression. In KOA, the cartilage in the knee breaks down and osteophytes, called bone spurs, develop. As the cartilage weakens, the bones rub against each other, causing pain.
Falls, accidents, and sports are all common causes of knee injuries. The bones, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons that make up the structure of the knee joint are all susceptible to injury. Some of the more common knee injuries include:
The chiropractors at Winchester Spine & Injury recommend a treatment plan based on what is causing your pain.
Patients with knee osteoarthritis may have less pain with weight loss and strengthening and improving the flexibility of the knee. In addition to specific, carefully designed exercises, the chiropractors at Winchester Spine & Injury may recommend KOA patients modify activities, rest, apply heat or ice, or use orthotics, among other treatment strategies.
Because different injuries affect different parts of the knee, treatment depends entirely on how your knee is injured. Overuse injuries require rest, while tears to ligaments or tendons may require bracing or the use of special devices.
Some of the risk factors for knee osteoarthritis can be controlled, while others can’t. For example, advanced age is a well-documented risk factor; older joints have more wear and tear. Family history is another risk factor that can’t be mediated.
However, risk factors such as obesity and overuse may be modifiable. About two-thirds of obese people develop KOA, so losing weight can lower the risk. The chiropractors at Winchester Spine & Injury provide healthy lifestyle counseling to patients and may be able to help you if losing weight is an option for alleviating your knee pain.
If you are an athlete, be careful of placing stress or strain on your knees. When you are tired, your risk of injury rises significantly. Stretching also helps limit your risk of sports-related injury, as does using proper equipment.