Some very surprising results were reported by researcher Bing Lu, MD, DrPh of Harvard Medical School, in a recent study of the relation between sugary soft drinks and osteoarthritis. Continue reading
October 18, 2012 will be the one year anniversary for my total bilateral (both) knee replacement surgery. Time has passed very quickly but the recovery not as quick, unfortunately. I still anticipate some minor adjustments in the years that follow. Re-education is a difficult learning process for us older folks, let alone our muscles, nerves, tendons, and ligaments that have suffered under years of arthritic pain and overuse. I do not have any regrets as to having the surgery. I walk with a normal gait, not limping. My legs are straight, not bowed as they were before surgery. The pain level has been drastically reduced.
The most difficult aspect is the extensive rehab that follows this type of surgery. Intense pain is to be expected in the early days. Bending the knees and straightening them is the basic goal of rehab. Regaining your strength comes with healing and increased mobility. Cycling can begin as soon as your physical therapist permits. Small cycling units can help to strengthen your upper body as well. Going up stairs can be difficult, but is manageable with practice. Steppers can help to regain your confidence before actually climbing the stairs. Working with your team of physical therapists, surgeons and care givers, you will gain the strength and stamina to make a complete recovery. Patience leads to endurance, which spells success. Remember that your knees did not get in that condition overnight; rehabilitation will take time and hard work.
My long term goal is to exercise regularly to keep and strengthen what mobility I have. Managing my weight is another area of concern to consider. Artificial knees will last longer if you take proper care of yourself. Remember your own joints were designed to last a lifetime and are superior to the artificial joint replacements. After knee replacement, navigating through familiar areas takes on an unexpected dimension. Each little imperfection – rough terrain, slight sloping areas become major obstacles to overcome. I certainly appreciate those designated areas for the physically handicapped.
Your knees form the largest and perhaps most important joint in your body. It is composed of three major bones that are divided into the femur (lower end), which revolves on the tibia (upper end) and the patellae (knee cap). Together, these three parts work together as a cohesive unit allowing you to run, walk and sprint freely. With your knees bearing much of your body weight and getting constant abuse, they are susceptible to injuries that lead to chronic or acute pain, and can impede on your ability to move if not properly cared for.
Despite the fact that your knees play a pivotal role any sort of mobility, they are still one of the most abused and injury prone parts of your body. As such, soreness and aches in this specific region demands the expertise of healthcare experts who can accurately assess your condition and prescribe the appropriate treatment plan.
Before delving into how this type of affliction is treated, it is essential that you first educate yourself on the different kinds of injuries that can affect your knees and the best ways to prevent them from happening to you.
Types of Knee Pain
1. Torn Knee Ligaments â€“ accidents such as slips or falls can twist the knee causing the ligaments and cartilage to tear. When this happens, an intense painful throb from the knees can ensue followed by inflammation and bruising. This kind of accident is especially common for individuals who engage in sports and other strenuous activities that require jumping, running, and abrupt movements.
2. Overworked Knees â€“ apart from acute injuries, muscle strains, bursitis, and tendonitis are three of the most common type of problems that are triggered by constantly over-stressing the knees. It is characterized by mild pain at the onset, but when left untreated can result on intense aches that leave the knees incapacitated over a period of time.
3. Knee Osteoarthritis – a prevailing cause of knee pain for older individuals. Knee osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that worsens as one ages. As the articular cartilage on the knees age and degenerates, it becomes weaker and more likely to suffer from stiffness, inflammation, and pain. Those diagnosed with this condition must often turn to a combination of pain reducing medications, physical therapy, and simple stretching exercises to boost the flexibility of the muscles and ligaments that support the knees.
4. Anterior Knee Pain â€“ also referred to as the runnerâ€™s knee, this kind of affliction targets the younger population who are leading highly active and mobile lives. It is caused by a number of factors that include over-stressing the knees, misalignments of the foot and spine, and subjecting the knee caps to unnecessary tension.
Preventing Knee Pain
Limiting your chances of injury is quite easy if you make a conscious effort to warm up, maintain a consistent level of strength through knee focused exercise, and add stretches into your daily routine. When engaging in activities that you know can subject your feet, knees, and spine to extra stress, make sure to begin slowly so that your body has time to adjust to the new activity. Walking briskly before breaking out into a full run, for instance, can help prevent the knees from incurring minor injuries that lead to chronic pain issues over time.
Treating Knee Pain
Treatment for knee pain can run from simple non-invasive procedures such as cold or hot compresses, rest, medications and knee exercises to surgeries for those facing tougher scenarios like a torn ACL or MCL.
As activity prone creatures, the knees perform the key role of keeping us upright and moving. Neglecting to tend to the needs of our knees will not only render us less mobile; it can also adversely affect our entire way of living.
We were recently introduced to the DPL Therapy System. â€œDPLâ€ stands for â€œDeep Penetrating Lightâ€. The DPL is a FDA approved/cleared system with infrared and red LED lights used for pain treatment and skin rejuvenation. This review includes our impressions of the DPL from out of the box to real usage on a variety of skin and pain conditions. I also describe the technology behind the system.
LED Therapy Advances Through NASA Research
LED technology developed by NASA for plant growth experimentation indicated that this technology could be effective in promoting human tissue growth and wound healing. LEDs do not produce significant heat and were selected for their plant growth experiments in space. After the success of this application of LEDs, NASA looked to them for helping astronauts heal from injuries.
While in space, astronauts are subject to muscle and bone atrophy. Also, injures that happen in space will tend not to heal until the astronaut returns to Earth. NASA found that infrared light [Read more…]
The New England Journal of Medicine published a $12.5 million study saying that, for most people, glucosamine and chondroitin do not soothe knee pain much better than a placebo. I know quite a few people who take glucosamine for joint pain.
The supplements are promoted for anyone with joint pain, including people who suffer from the most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis. According to the study, which followed 1,583 osteoarthritis (also known as degenerative arthritis or degenerative joint disease) patients, glucosamine and chondroitin are broken down during digestion and there’s no evidence that they are incorporated into the deteriorating cartilage that is characteristic of the disease. Before embarking on my personal story about joint pain in the knee and its treatment, you can read the entire [Read more…]