Knee Pain

Knee Pain

man holding knee

Knee pain is becoming more prevalent in our society due to the rise in obesity and sedentary lifestyle. This pain can be seriously debilitating, as it limits mobility. At Living Health Integrative Medicine we have many ways to treat knee pain to get you back up and moving.

Knee pain can be either acute or chronic. Acute knee pain refers to a sudden injury, usually following exercise, falling, or jumping. These injuries have a sudden onset of intense sharp pain, swelling, occasionally bruising, and a feeling of instability while trying to walk. The first and most important step in treating any condition is a proper diagnosis. For an acute injury a thorough history of the event along with proper orthopedic testing may not be enough. If serious trauma is expected usually an MRI will be ordered to determine the extent of damage to the knee. Based on those results, a course of conservative treatment may be recommended and can usually get the patient back to their feet in 4-8 weeks. More serious cases may need to be referred for surgical consultations.

The more common case of knee pain is chronic, meaning the patient has been dealing with it for months and more likely years. Chronic knee pain is usually the cause of osteoarthritis (OA). OA is described as “wear and tear” on the joint. The joint starts to break down. The best way to diagnosis OA is with an x-ray which we can perform right here in our office. Based on the extent of the OA conservative treatment has been shown to be highly effective in decreasing pain and increasing mobility for these patients without the need for painful joint replacements.

Some common treatments for both acute and chronic knee pain have been shown to be ineffective at treating the root cause of the issue. Mainly prolonged NSAID use (Advil, Motrin, ibuprofen) and cortisone injections. Both of these treatments act as band-aids to mask the symptoms but do not help heal the damaged joint. Cortisone shots over time actually accelerate joint break down by destroying cartilage and increasing OA. That is why these injections are not recommended more than once every 6 weeks and at maximum 3-4 times a year (

At LHIM we have many natural and conservative treatments to help treat the underlying root cause of the condition with minimal risk for further joint destruction. At first, a round of physical therapy may be recommended. This would include electrical muscle stimulation to decrease inflammation inside the joint, range of motion and strengthening exercises to add stability to the joint, and possible Class IV cold laser therapy to help increase healing to any damaged tissue. We may also prescribe supplements like glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and hylauranic acid. These are naturally occurring supplements, which make up the synovial fluid (lubricant) inside our joints to help keep them moving smoothly. We can also inject hylauranic acid directly into the joint to help relieve symptoms of OA.

For more advanced cases of OA we may recommend stem cell injections. Research has shown that injecting a joint with the patient’s own stem cells can actually start to re-grown cartilage in the joint and begin to reverse OA. These are cases where a patient has been told they may need a partial or total knee replacement. We have treated many patients with stem cells in our office and have had about an 80% success rate. Patients report less intense pain and less frequent pain; functionally, our patients report being able to walk longer and farther before needing to rest. The dreaded stairs are no longer a struggle to go up or down.

At LHIM we are constantly updating our treatment protocols to give you the most cutting edge natural treatments to help address the root cause of your condition. If you or someone you know is suffering from debilitating knee pain or has been told they need a replacement, please call to schedule a consultation to see if you would be a good candidate for one of our many treatments for knee pain.

For more information on why you might have knee pain click here