Knee Pain is a common problem that affects people of all ages. Knee is a complicated joint, made up of four main structures – bones, cartilage, ligaments and tendons. The fact that the human body weight is hinged on this joint makes it susceptible to various injuries and wear and tear, thus causing inflammation and pain.
Sudden knee pain may be because of an injury or overuse. Knee pain can get aggravated due to obesity or hyperactivity. It may lead to injury to other parts of the leg and can lead to frequent falls. That is why early diagnosis and treatment is important.
Causes of Knee Pain
Knee pain can be caused by injuries, medical conditions like arthritis or mechanical concerns.
The most common knee injuries are seen in sports and includes fractures, dislocations, sprains and tears of soft tissues etc. The more common knee injuries include, ACL injury (ligament tear), fractures, torn meniscus (cartilage tear), knee bursitis (inflammation), patellar tendinitis (tendon irritation an inflammation) and dislocation of patella.
Loose bodies (broken bone or cartilage interfere with the hinge joint), Iliotibial band syndrome (usually occurs to marathon runners or cyclists), Dislocated knee cap, hip or foot pain are certain mechanical factors which cause knee pain.
There are various types of arthritis that affect the knee. Some of the common arthritis affecting knee joint includes Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Gout and Septic arthritis.
Osteoarthritis of the knee
Osteoarthritis is a major cause of knee pain, particularly in elderly people. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage which acts as a cushioning agent between joints, degenerates. This results in the bones of the joints to rub with each other more closely, resulting in stiffness of the knees, swelling, pain and difficulty in movement.
Depending on the cause, the symptoms and location may vary. Signs and symptoms that are generally seen with knee pain include:
- Swelling and stiffness
- Change in shape of the kneecap
- Redness and warmth on the knee on touch
- Weakness or instability
- Popping or crunching noises
- Inability to fully straighten the knee
- Difficulty walking up and down the stairs
- Shifting weight to the opposite knee and foot
Treatment for Knee Pain
Treatment depends on the cause of the knee pain. Once the diagnosis is complete, the least invasive treatments could be sought and should be followed up with physiotherapy and lifestyle modifications to help the treatment show its effects.
Stem Cell Therapy for knee osteoarthritis
If the cause of knee pain is diagnosed as osteoarthritis, stem cell therapy has shown promising results. In osteoarthritis, there is degeneration of joint cartilages and underlying bones. The regenerative potential of stem cells would help stop the degeneration and help in growth of bone and cartilage tissue. Stem Cells derived from bone marrow are capable enough to differentiate into tissues such as bone and cartilage and mobilise to an injured cartilage site in knee joints and help in cartilage regeneration.
Physiotherapy helps in managing pain and improving joint mobility. It begins with a thorough examination of the patient, which includes evaluation of swelling and tenderness, examination of knee in terms of range of motion, muscle strength of the muscles around the knee joint, evaluation of joint stability, and gait evaluation..
After this thorough evaluation, a customised exercise program is provided to the patient keeping in mind the patient’s weight, age, pain assessment and lifestyle. These exercises will aim at improving the strength and mobility of the knee. Physical exercises may be accompanied by certain other pain relieving treatments like electric stimulation, taping, hot or cold fermentation and soft tissue massages to restore knee functionality.
Lifestyle modification is an important aspect of the treatment of knee pain. If obesity is a concern, weight reduction and diet modification is required. Apart from a healthy lifestyle, certain exercises need to be included in one’s daily life.
At Plexus we use a combination of different therapies to treat knee pain caused due to osteoarthritis. Our patients who have undergone treatment have found 100 percent relief in their condition. The success of the treatment also depends on the severity of the damage present in the knee. Stem cell therapy when combined with physiotherapy and life style modifications has helped to give maximum recovery from knee pain.
To know more about the treatment options for knee osteoarthritis, write to us at [email protected]