Here are 5 Non-Surgical Ways to Treat the Symptoms of Knee Osteoarthritis.
The 5 Non-Surgical ways to treat symptoms of knee Osteoarthritis include:
– Physical Therapy
– Weight Management
– Knee Injections
– PRP Therapy
– Cellular Therapies
Knee osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage in your knee joint breaks down. This causes the bones in your knee to rub together, and the resulting friction is what causes knee pain, stiffness, and sometimes swelling. While knee osteoarthritis does not have a cure, there are many treatments available that slow its progression and can ease the pain that comes with the condition.
The knee joint is the joint that is most likely to develop arthritis in the body. Moreover, it is one of the highest weight-bearing joints. As a result, when the knee becomes afflicted with arthritis, it is sure to have a significant impact on your daily life.
So, if you’re experiencing pain caused by arthritis in your knees, learn about some alternatives to knee replacement surgery below:
1. Physical Therapy for Knee Osteoarthritis
This is often the first option that doctors will recommend to their patients when they first begin experiencing pain from Knee arthritis. Stretching and strengthening the muscles in the quads and hamstrings can take the stress off the knee, help maintain proper alignment of the joint, and decrease the amount of pain you experience. Be sure to ask your doctor before pursuing this method of non-surgical knee pain relief.
2. Weight Management
Excess body weight increases strain on the knees. Seeing as one of the goals in treating knee osteoarthritis is to reduce pressure bearing down on the knee, weight management can be a very effective way to reduce pain. The knees absorb about 1.5x/2x our body weight when walking on a level surface and this increases up to 4x/5x when climbing and descending stairs, or with deep bending. This means that any upwards change in body weight, no matter how small, is magnified by knee arthritis. Fortunately, this also works the other way around and a small amount of weight loss can significantly reduce strain and pain in the knees.
3. Knee Injections for Osteoarthritis
There are 3 kinds of injections available to manage the pain resulting from knee arthritis:
- Steroid injections: These provide fast and effective results. However, they only last 4 weeks on average and you would likely need additional injections each month to keep up constant pain relief.
- Viscosupplementation. A gel-like fluid (hyaluronic acid) is injected into the knee joint. It acts as a lubricant that enables the bones to move smoothly against one another. A series of 3 to 5 injections one week apart is needed to see any results. However, this kind of treatment is only suitable for grade 1 and 2 arthritis. Moreover, viscosupplementation creates poor pain relief outcomes and may not provide you with the results you were aiming to achieve.
- Arthrosamid. This is a non-biodegradable hydrogel that has recently been approved in the EU. Research has shown that a single injection of Arthrosamid may provide up to 2 years of pain relief. However, the cost of injections is €1400 per knee joint. Learn more about this treatment option below: https://arthrosamid.com/history
4. PRP Therapy for Knee Osteoarthritis
PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) refers to plasma that has a high concentration of platelets. PRP therapy, a branch of Regenerative Medicine, involves the injection of Platelet Rich Plasma into the joint. The human blood contains red and white blood cells, platelets, and plasma. Platelets produce the necessary bioactive proteins and growth factors to initiate the healing process of an injured area. PRP injections induce regeneration and repair of damaged tissues. The platelets are extracted from your own blood and made into a concentrated solution by means of centrifuge. This is then injected into the knee.
5. Cellular Therapies for Knee Osteoarthritis
In the context of pain management, Stem cell therapy, or orthobiologic treatment, is a special kind of medical procedure that uses stem cells and growth factors to reduce pain. This kind of treatment also falls under the umbrella of Regenerative Medicine.
Stem cells are found throughout the body and have the base coding necessary to become any type of cell. They help the body regenerate tissue by stimulating healing and reducing the painful effects of osteoarthritis. This significantly prolongs the longevity of the knee joint.
Some of the benefits of stem cell therapy may include:
- Reduced pain from osteoarthritis or past injuries
- Reduced joint stiffness
- Reduced dependency on pain medications
- Improved mobility
What is the next step?
At Regenecare Pain Management Clinics in Cork, Dublin, and Cavan, we aim to improve the quality of life of our patients, freeing them from their pain and preventing future complications. We will review your condition and discuss the best treatment option for your case. We base our treatments on Regenerative Medicine, but we also offer conventional treatments to suit the needs of individual patients.
We seek to avoid or, at the very least, delay the need for knee replacement surgery. Dr Gehad El Bastawisy, our Pain Management Consultant of 30 years, was the first to introduce Regenerative Medicine to Ireland and since then, he has treated many patients and successfully eased their pain. On arriving at your appointment, Dr. Gehad will be the one to propose the most suitable injection for your ailment. He will also be the one to administer your treatment and advise you on post-procedure care.
Regenerative Medicine is a longer lasting alternative treatment option for knee osteoarthritis. It is a minimally invasive office procedure performed under local anaesthesia that promotes healing from within. Furthermore, undergoeing this kind of treatment does not prohibit you from pursuing the surgical route later on, but this is not the case the other way around.