Knee pain can arise for many reasons including a local issue affecting just the knee, a systemic issue affecting other joints or different parts of your body, or even pain that is referred from a pinched nerve in the back or from arthritis in the hip.
It is important to get a proper evaluation of your knee pain to determine the appropriate treatment options. Rheumatologists focus on assessing the entire person to help find the cause and will treat your pain with non-surgical solutions.
Local causes include Osteoarthritis (i.e. “wear and tear’) arthritis, ligament damage, cartilage injury, meniscus tears, cysts, or pain arising from tendinitis or bursitis. Rarely, even tumors may cause knee pain.
Systemic (i.e. whole body) causes include infections, autoimmune conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis or Lupus, crystal arthritis disorders such as Gout, and arthritis related to other autoimmune diseases such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
In addition to the above list, there are many other causes of knee arthritis; therefore making the correct diagnosis can be very difficult.
Signs and symptoms that may accompany knee pain include: stiffness, swelling, warmth to touch, redness over the knee joint, weakness or lack of stability, popping sensations and noises with movement, and difficulty bending or straightening the knee.
Several factors may increase your risk of having knee problems including:
- Excess weight, which increases stress on your knee joint and accelerates the breakdown of cartilage.
- Structural problems such as differences in leg length, knees that are not aligned properly, or foot abnormalities such as flat feet.
- Repetitive stress on your knee from running and jogging and participation in sport activities
- History of prior knee trauma or injury.
- A decrease in knee support from muscles that are weak or tight, which is why exercise rehabilitation is a critical component in treating and preventing knee pain.
To help arrive at a diagnosis, a history and physical exam will be performed. In addition, laboratory and imaging tests may be used. If necessary, an aspiration of the joint will be done in order for the doctor to analyze the joint fluid.
At GCSP we offer multiple options for treatment including alternative therapies to help our patients avoid surgery.
Establishing the correct diagnosis is a critical first step to address knee pain and prevent it from recurring or progressing. Once a diagnosis is established, we use all the available options to create an individualized treatment plan to optimize non-surgical care. If we determine you require surgical evaluation or treatment, we can refer you to a local Orthopedic Physician.
Our goal is to prevent or limit the progression of knee arthritis by combining multiple treatment modalities to do everything possible to help our patients treat their knee pain while avoiding surgery.
Our approach utilizes a combination of treatments which may include oral pain relievers, topical pain therapies, exercise rehabilitation, and corticosteroid injections. In addition, medical grade knee bracing may be used to help provide stability and alleviate pressure on the joint. We can also offer alternative, complementary and natural treatments such as: nutrition and weight loss counseling, nutritional supplements, electrical stimulation, chiropractic therapy, exercise rehabilitation, clinical massage, and acupuncture.
Other successful, non-surgical treatments we offer include Joint Fluid Therapy (otherwise known as Viscosupplementation), regenerative medicine options, and laser therapy.
Our Physicians may also use ultrasound technology to guide injections into the knee for direct “real time’ visualization. Ultrasound guidance decreases the chance of discomfort associated with the procedure and improves efficacy by ensuring the accuracy of the injections.
Our goal at GCSP is to offer multiple options under one roof so you can find the care you want and need. By choosing your care at GCSP, we can take a team approach to ensure you are receiving the best options for you.
Let Us Help You “Get Pain Free, Get Moving, and Get Well” by scheduling an appointment today!