Pain Management

Stories of Trigeminal Neuralgia

Trigeminal Neuralgia“When an attack actually happens, it feels like you’ve been placed into an electric chair for about five minutes. It feels like your face is being scraped off, acid being thrown on it, and it’s a burning, searing sensation that will travel on my whole right side,”

These are the words of Tim Haynes – who recently talked to Daily-Journal.com about his struggles with the severe facial pain disease Trigeminal Neuralgia.

“You can’t see it. You can’t tell it’s there until you live with it,” Haynes said. “It’s a life-changing, debilitating disease, and you wouldn’t want your worst of the worst enemies to have it. … And I don’t have it nearly as bad as a lot of people that have it.”

Amy Cook is another young sufferer of the disease. At just 21 she is also plagued by the sharp stabbing pains. She talked to the Daily Mail saying

“It has almost taken over my life in a sense because when it’s really bad I cannot function.”

From Johannesburg in South Africa, Amy said

“I have decided to raise awareness of it. It made me happy to know that I was not alone in this rare condition.”

What is Trigeminal neuralgia?

Trigeminal neuralgia is a disease whereby the trigeminal nerve that supplies the sensation to the face comes into contact with blood vessels in the brain. When this happens, the nerve is stimulated and it shoots signals off to the brain that tell the central nervous system there is severe injury happening to the face. As such patients feel a shooting electric intense pain for just a few seconds. This happens periodically as the blood vessel touches up against the nerve.

How can trigeminal Neuralgia be treated

Is there any hope for Amy, Tim and the others afflicted with this rare disease? In fact, there is. Treatments are currently available and recent reports suggest new drugs are on the horizon. However, people need specialist help to get the treatment they desperately need. Treatments can include:

● Avoiding triggers. This seems simple but specialists can often provide invaluable tips and tricks to avoid the shooting pains. Knowing what triggers the pain, like a scarf touching your chin or the blowing of the wind can help patients avoid these situations
● Epilepsy drugs are the major treatment options. Anticonvulsants, as they are often called, were not originally intended to treat pain but they calm activity in the nerves and as such work well in conditions like trigeminal neuralgia. The most commonly used is Carbamazepine – which is effective in lots of patients. Others, however, are available such as pregabalin and baclofen.

If you or somebody you know are suffering from sharpshooting facial pains then consider getting in contact with a specialist clinic to help relieve their condition. Often family doctors are ill-equipped to deal with this rare and debilitating disorder and specialist help can often make all the difference.

Could Texting Cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Have you ever felt a numbness, tingling or shooting pain in your hands? If so you might be one of millions of people worldwide who suffer with Carpal Tunnel syndrome. The causes of Carpal Tunnel have long been contested, and previously doctors argues that it might be caused by “overuse” of the wrist – ie people sat still at a desk typing all day. New research points the finger at our smartphone addiction, with a possible link between smartphone use and Carpal tunnel recently being reported by the DailyMail and CNN after research in Hong Kong found a link.

 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Due to textingWhat is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

 

The carpal tunnel is a small passageway in your wrist that the median nerve travels through. It is thought that this passageway can become compressed and in turn compress the median nerve. This results in a number of symptoms such as:

 

  • Pins and needles in your hand (known to medical professionals as paresthesia)
  • Thumb Weakness (the median nerve controls your thumb)
  • A dull ache in your hand

 

Could Carpal Tunnel Be Linked with texting?

 

The study, published in the Journal Muscle and Nerve asked a small number of patients (48_ to fill out questionnaires on their wrist pain before taking tests to see whether they has numbness and tingling – the classic symptoms of carpal tunnel. They found that patients who used their devices for 4-5 hours a day or more often had enlarged median nerves (seen in carpal tunnel) and had more pain in their wrists.

 

The director of Arthritis Research UK talked to the DailyMail, and said of the results

 

‘Previously we only saw this type of repetitive strain injury in people using a mouse and keyboard at work.

‘Now we have these new repetitive movements, swiping and tapping, in our leisure time, as people are barely ever without their smartphones and tablets.

‘This is a real new challenge for the 21st century and I would encourage anyone suffering symptoms of burning and tingling to contact their GP promptly.”

 

He also noted that the sample size of the study was small – and more research is needed.

 

What Can Be Done About Carpal Tunnel?

 

A number of specialist clinics across the united states can provide excellent care if you think you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome. The treatments usually include the following:

 

  • Self Care: Take it easy – rest up! If you are over using a keyboard then stop!
  • Medication: Drugs like Ibuprofen can reduce swelling and inflammation in the nerve and reduce pain
  • A splint or brace: These can be bought cheaply online and keep the wrist in a position that doesn’t hurt.
  • Steroid injection: Corticosteroids can be injected right into the wrist – these are much more powerful than simple painkillers.
  • Surgery: Some clinics will offer a surgery that opens up the roof of the passageway (the carpal tunnel) and reduces pressure on the median nerve.

 

If you or someone you know are suffering from carpal tunnel, contact a specialist clinic today.

What is Tendonitis and How can it Be Managed?

TendonitisThe tendons are thick, fibrous cords that attach muscles to bones and they can become inflamed and cause pain similar to that experienced by muscle injury and inflammation. This is them referred to as tendinitis and the causes of this condition may be due to:

  • Sudden injury sustained to the affected limb or joint.
  • Repetitive movements over a period of time that results in increased stress being placed on the affected tendons.
  • Occupations that involve the individual being placed into awkward positions to perform duties in, frequent overhead reaching, forceful exertion, and being exposed to repetitive vibrations.
  • Using improper techniques to perform certain jobs or sport-related movements.

Types of tendinitis

Some common names of tendonitis pathologies include:

  • Golfer’s elbow – involvement of the medial (inside) tendon of the elbow.
  • Tennis elbow – involvement of the lateral (outside) tendon of the elbow.
  • Swimmer’s shoulder – impingement of the rotator cuff tendon between the acromion of the shoulder blade and the greater tuberosity of the humerus (bone of the upper arm). This is seen in swimmers who specialize in freestyle and front crawling swimming strokes.
  • Pitcher’s shoulder – inflammation of the long head of the biceps muscle that attaches to the shoulder which is called bicep tendonitis and may occur in baseball and softball pitchers. This condition may also occur in swimmers where the bicep muscle is involved as well as in any other sports where throwing activities are performed such as javelin and cricket, and where contact occurs such as in wrestling, gridiron football, and martial arts.
  • Jumper’s knee – inflammation of the tendon of the patella (knee-cap) or even the quadriceps tendons caused by repetitive straining from too much running and/or jumping.

Signs and symptoms

Patients may present with the following clinical signs and symptoms when dealing with tendinitis:

  • Pain that is often described as a dull pain that is felt over the affected area.
  • Increased pain when moving the affected limb or joint.
  • Tenderness and swelling over the affected area.
  • Decreased range of motion of the affected limb which is restricted due to pain.

Management

Tendonitis is managed conservatively with the following therapies:

  • Resting the affected limb and not performing movements that cause pain.
  • Using pain medication such as acetaminophen and anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen.
  • Applying ice packs or cold compresses over the affected areas to help reduce swelling and inflammation.
  • Physical therapy to help incorporate exercises and to learn correct techniques that will help prevent inflammation of the tendons.
  • Steroid and local anesthetic medications can be injected into an affected joint or around an involved tendon to also help reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Regenerative medicine in the form of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) can be administered where the platelet cells help to repair damage to a tendon caused by chronic inflammation.

If these therapies are ineffective, then surgical intervention may be warranted. Procedures may include:

  • Focused aspiration of scar tissue (FAST) which is performed to remove scar tissue on tendons caused by chronic inflammation of the tissue.
  • Arthroscopic tendon repair using small instruments if the inflamed tendon has torn or ruptured.

Conditions That Affect Hand Function

The hands are vital parts of the human body and without them, very little essential and social activities can be performed such as feeding, being productive to be able to make a living and support dependents, and interactions with others. Losing the ability to use one’s hand can be a very emotional and debilitating problem that can lead to increased stress and anxiety that may result in the development of mental health issues such as depression. Therefore, the proper diagnosis and management of conditions affecting hands is extremely important.

The following are conditions that can result in the hands becoming unable to function properly and how they are managed.

Dupuytren’s contracture Hand SurgeryDupuytren’s contracture

  • Progressive thickening of the tissue in the palm of the hand results in shortening of this tissue and causes flexing contractures of the fingers (makes the fingers close).
  • The most commonly affected fingers are the fourth and fifth digits and this can be quite a disabling condition.
  • Management includes physical and occupational therapy and surgical intervention in severe cases.

Trigger finger

  • Referred to in medicine as stenosing tenosynovitis.
  • Trigger finger causes a similar issue to Dupuytren’s contracture. The difference though is that where the latter involves pathology of the tissue covering the palm of the hand, trigger finger is caused by thickening of the tissue that covers the tendons which allow the fingers to close.
  • The condition is characterized by the affected finger seeming like it is stuck in a trigger-pulling position. Since it is difficult for the finger to be straightened, when it becomes unlocked it resembles the pulling of a trigger.
  • Management includes trigger finger surgery and when the thumb is involved is referred to as trigger thumb surgery.
  • These surgeries may be performed through minimally invasive access or open procedures if the cases are severe.

Carpal tunnel syndrome

  • This condition is associated with compression of the median nerve through the carpal bones in the wrist.
  • Compression of the median nerve results in the decreased sensation of the thumb and first two fingers which can complicate and lead to decreased power in the hand with an inability to use the limb.
  • Management of this condition involves initial conservative therapy with pain relieving measure and the use of splints to help take pressure off the median nerve.
  • If these therapies are ineffective, or the case is severe, then carpal release surgery is performed.

Rheumatoid arthritis

  • An autoimmune condition where antibodies are produced by the immune system that attacks and damages the synovial tissue around joints, especially of the wrists and fingers.
  • This process results in damage to the joints leading to deformities of the fingers making them stiff and difficult to use.
  • Management of this condition includes using medications such as steroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen or naproxen. Early therapy may also include medications such as disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) like azathioprine, sulfasalazine, and methotrexate to help reduce disease progression as well as induce more remissions.
  • Surgical interventions may be warranted in cases where the medications are not working and the patient’s use of their hands has becomes severely debilitating.

Quick Recovery with New Carpal Tunnel Treatment Option

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition which causes numbness, weakness, and pain in wrist and hands. It is caused due to the raised pressure on the median nerve. This nerve sends sensations to the index, middle fingers and thumb. The median nerve is responsible for providing strength to the base muscles of the thumb.

Individuals who are most at risk of suffering from the carpal tunnel syndrome are people with activities or jobs involving a repetitive movement of fingers, or high force motion of wrist and hand.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition which causes numbnessOther possible causes can include:

  • Wrist fracture
  • Deformity of hand or wrist
  • Thyroid imbalance
  • Diabetes
  • Tumor
  • Arthritis or gout disease
  • Pregnancy

Treatment options:

  • Non-surgical

The non-surgical treatment involves the use of anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve pain. Cortisone injections may be used to provide temporal relief, however, is not a permanent cure. Physiotherapy and a change in hand motion are recommended to alter the movement of the wrist.

  • Surgical treatments

In case non-surgical treatments do not show the result, surgery is recommended to increase the tunnel size to relieve pressure on the tendons and nerves. Carpal tunnel surgery recovery may range from six months to over a year. Patients who undergo surgical methods will have to restrict movement. The stitches are removed after 2-4 weeks (depending on the size of the incision). The skin may take more than 8 weeks to recover fully.

New innovations in treatment

A new innovation in the treatment for carpal tunnel surgery is the SX-One Microknife. It is an innovative surgical device that allows a 4-5mm long single incision and is used with the help of ultrasound-based imagery.

Dr.Cobb, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon explains in simple terms how the TCL blade is activated after positioning to release pressure from the ligament, enabling a pain-free smooth movement. The procedure involves the following steps:

  • The blade remains closed till required with the help of Stealth Microgaurds.
  • These Microgaurds prevent tissue damage and safe positioning of the scalpel around the damaged area.
  • As the procedure ends, the blade closes back up and is released from the same incision.
  • The use of SX-One technology requires no stitches, an adhesive bandage proves sufficient to heal the incision.

Benefits vs traditional surgery

  • Compared to the traditional carpal tunnel surgery which employs more than a half an inch of the incision and requires a longer time to heal, the SX-One Microknife is less invasive.

 

  • Traditional surgical methods put patients at a higher risk of tendon and blood vessel damage. In respect to that specialists believe that this new innovation in technology may be more effective.

 

  • It is cost effective and faster in both the procedure and healing.

 

In conclusion

 

An ultra-low profile device for surgery, SX-One Microknife allows surgeons to release carpal tunnel through a single 4-5mm incision. This new advancement in technology is most definitely more effective than the traditional surgical methods. Not only does it saves cost but also minimizes the period of healing. It is believed that the carpal tunnel syndrome can be effectively catered to millions of people using this less invasive tool.

Is Spinal Stenosis a Serious Condition?

Is Spinal Stenosis a Serious ConditionSpinal stenosis is a condition where the bony vertebral canal that the spinal cord runs through narrows leading to compression of this structure. The result is pain and neurological issues such as numbness reduced reflexes and decreased muscle power at the level of spinal cord compression. Paralysis may occur if the stenosis is severe enough which makes this a very serious condition that needs to be managed adequately and appropriately. Spinal stenosis causes include the following pathologies and scenarios:

Congenital defects

  • The spinal canal develops a narrow structure.
  • There may be deformities of the vertebrae leading to canal stenosis.

Aging

  • The spinal ligaments can become thicker.
  • Intervertebral discs may bulge or herniate into the canal.
  • Bone spurs may form taking up space in the spinal canal.
  • Breakdown of facet joints leading to spinal column collapse.
  • Degenerative disc disease resulting in narrowing of the spaces in the spinal column.
  • Cyst formations on the facet joints resulting in compression of the thecal sac which is the spinal sac of nerves.
  • Osteoporosis (brittle bones) complicating into compression fractures of the vertebral bones.

Trauma

  • Patients with spinal stenosis caused by cervical spine myelopathy are at a higher risk of acute cord injury if they are involved in any accidents.
  • Injuries and accidents may result in dislocation of the spine or spinal canal or lead to burst fractures where fragments of bone may end up in the canal.

Arthritis

  • Osteoarthritis and less commonly rheumatoid arthritis results in narrowing of the canal due to persistent inflammation in or around the bony structure resulting in the formation of space-occupying canal lesions.

Management

Spinal stenosis treatment protocols involve conservative (non-surgical) and surgical therapies.

Conservative treatments may include:

  • Oral medications such as acetaminophen, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, and narcotics.
  • Aerobic exercising to help to achieve or maintain overall satisfactory health.
  • Physical therapy to help perform and learn stretching and to strengthen exercises to build-up muscle mass to help support the back.
  • Weight loss in order to reduce pressure on the back and slow down the progression of the spinal stenosis.
  • Epidural steroid and/or anesthetic injections to help with pain relief.

Surgical interventions may include:

  • Lumbar decompressive laminectomy where the roof of bone overlying the narrowed spinal canal and surrounding thickened ligaments are removed to allow more space for the nerves and spinal cord to displace in. Around 70 to 90 percent of patients have good results after this procedure reporting decreased pain and neurological deficits.1
  • An interlaminar implant is placed in the area where the decompression was done to offer stability to the spine and to allow the nerves to freely run through the device without any compression of the tissue.
  • Patients with cervical myelopathy may have a discectomy and fusion performed where the intervertebral disc where spinal cord compression is located is removed from the cervical spine. The procedure can be done via access to the front or back of the neck.

What is Osgood Schlatter Treatment?

Osgood Schlatter is a common cause of knee pain resulting from an inflammation just below the knee. The condition occurs primarily through periods of growth spurts when structures like bones, muscle, and tendons change rapidly. Depending on the severity of the condition, Osgood Schlatter treatment involves taking a few different measures.

Good osgood schlatter treatmentOsgood Schlatter symptoms

The symptoms of Osgood Schlatter typically involve pain at the tibial tuberosity or bony pit at the top of the shin.  When this part becomes inflamed or swollen, the affected area becomes more prominent than usual.

Other symptoms include experiencing tenderness and pain which is worsened during and after exercise. Some children may even experience limping after physical activity.

The severity of the symptoms can easily vary from one person to the next. Some children may only experience mild pain during specific activates while others may suffer from a constant throbbing pain. The duration of the discomfort can also vary, lasting from a few weeks to a couple of years.

Adequate rest, however, can improve these symptoms and symptoms typically disappear once the growth spurt is over.

Osgood Schlatter disease causes

While the condition does occur through an overuse of the tibial tuberosity, there are specific factors that may increase the susceptibility of sustaining this disease. These can include the following causes:

  • Age can be a notable factor in the diagnosis of Osgood Schlatter disease. In many instances, the pain experienced by boys between 13 to 15 years of age and girls between 10 -12 years old is put down as growing pains. However, it may actually be Osgood Schlatter especially if young adolescents are engaged in high impact sports or other such activities.
  • Gender seems to play a part in the occurrence of the disease. That is to say that the condition is diagnosed more in boys than girls. But with more girls getting involved in sporting activities, the gap is becoming narrower between the two.
  • Activity levels can also be a contributing factor. As the bones of young athletes grow, it may take some time for their muscles and tendons to catch up. Regular sports activity can pull on localized tendons which in turn pull on the tibial tubercle. The result of this repetitive traction can lead to inflammation in the area and cause distressing discomfort.

Osgood Schlatter treatment options

Treatment for this disease aims at reducing the associated pain and swelling. Such treatment may also demand to limit exercise and activity until the person starts to feel better.

  • Medications are usually the first line of treatment for this condition. Over the counter pain relievers like acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen are all helpful. They reduce swelling and help subside the associated pain.
  • Physical therapy can be used to stretch the quadriceps which assist in reducing tension in the inflamed area.
  • Surgery may be considered as a last resort in very rare cases. Typically the condition resolves without formal treatment as symptoms usually disappear after the growth spurt is over.

However, in cases where the pain persists and does not subside even after the growth spurt, the doctor may decide to administer surgery. The surgical procedure will likely be done to remove the bony overgrowth in the area.

How to Treat Sharp Pain In Front Right Shoulder?

Having sharp pain in front right shoulderPain experienced at the front of the shoulder may be acute or chronic. Also known as bicep tendonitis, this condition can occur from injury, strain, tear or an inflammatory response. Here is what to do when experiencing sharp pain in front right shoulder:

Reduce inflammation

The first line of treatment is to address the inflammation in the affected area. This can be done by taking adequate rest along with anti-inflammatory medication to start the healing process.

Improve range of motion

When pain starts to subside, individuals can start working on getting their range of motion back. In most cases, the overreach is affected and suffering individuals need to reclaim their overhead full flexion.

One consideration while doing so is that any tightness felt in the back of the shoulder may cause increased stress at the front of the shoulder and trigger more pain.

Build strength

As part of early recovery, individuals can try to strengthen affected muscles in the shoulder along with others in the back which support the shoulders.

When doing so, try strengthening the rotator cuff muscles as this muscle group and their tendons provide strength and stability during movement of the shoulder.

Go for functional training

Once the healing process starts and inflammation subsides, the individual can then start functional training. This step focuses on enhancing movement in a coordinated manner.

Functional training promotes proper mobility of shoulder, trunk, and scapula to allow synchronized movement.

There are a number of flexibility exercises that can help with bicep tendonitis treatment and may even help prevent the condition in the first place.

These can include the following:

  • Pec stretch
  • Rhomboid stretch
  • Inverted Rows
  • Side lying external rotation
  • External arm rotation
  • Push up to side plank

Other Bicep Tendonitis Treatment Options

Where exercise alone does not suffice, it may be paired up with other treatment options like the following:

  • Medications such as NSAIDs are typically the first option to treat the discomfort associated with the condition. The drugs can be helpful in alleviating the pain in the initial stages.
  • Icing is an elementary injury management technique and a drug-free method of relieving pain. An application of an icepack to the skin can soothe symptoms from strains, sprains, bruises as well as tendonitis.
  • Stretching on a regular basis may also help prevent tendonitis from occurring in the first place. Gentle stretches before and after workouts are highly recommended.
  • Massage is another effective way to loosen tissue and keep it from clogging muscle fibers. This therapy not only sustains the range of motion but also keeps muscles more supple to minimize the chance of further injury.

Among the different type of massages, deep tissue massage helps reduce inflammation and relieve muscle tightness. Sports massages, on the other hand, target muscle-tendon junctions to improve endurance and flexibility.

  • Surgical intervention is typically considered a last resort for people who do not benefit from other types of treatments.
  • Non-operative management involves the administration of injections to the inflamed area to manage inflammation and pain.

The Continuing Relationship Between Physical Therapy and Regenerative Medicine

In regenerative medicine, stem cells are used to treat damaged or destroyed tissues and organs. These stem cells come from the patient themselves and are a “blank state” which can be turned into several different variations of cells including bone, ligament, tendon or muscle.

Given that the main goal of both regenerative medicine and physical therapy is to restore the normal functioning of a diseased or injured tissue it is only appropriate that the two therapies – physical therapy and regenerative medicine – combine forces.Regenerative medicine aims to help the body heal itself more effectively. The study of using a tissue, cellular, organ and medicine substitutes to restore biological function lost as a result of injury, disease, congenital abnormalities or age has brought together a variety of scientists – many with overlapping backgrounds – in the field of regenerative medicine.

Once the regenerative medicine is administered via injection or other procedure, patients are often encouraged to continue physical therapy – as the strength gained from the stem cell therapy enhances their ability to complete physical therapy.

Furthermore, in cases such as artificial organs and medical devices, the relationship between the two fields is also important. A major problem with organ transplant is that there is no way to know if the body will reject the organ or not, and unfortunately, there is no way to prevent it either. However, the great benefit to regenerative medicine, and specifically stem cell therapy and the like, is that the materials used to aid in the healing process are taken directly from the patient – via their blood, bone marrow, or other appropriate sample collected for the needed materials.

However, following the introduction of a new organ or a medical device – even if the organ is one grown from the own patient – physical therapy is still a vital part of the rehabilitation process. Physical therapy has the strong power to enhance the healing potential. As a result of physical therapy, the body can maximize the functional interaction between the host and the donor object – rather it is an organ or a medical device. Following a form of regenerative medicine treatment, physical therapy should be appropriately positioned so that it can optimize the patient’s post-transplant recovery.

Oftentimes, regenerative medicine treatment options are also used for problems such as back pain, knee pain, and other debilitating chronic pain. Typically, the patient was probably receiving physical therapy prior to regenerative medicine treatment options – or had at least tried it as an option. However, to continue to increase the mobility and give the stem cells the best chance at being successful, physical therapy should continue to be an important part of the patient’s regimen.

As the two fields continue to work in close contact with one another, it is also imperative that scientists and rehabilitation specialists continue to work to develop clinically relevant protocols.

When combined, physical therapy and regenerative medicine can continue to optimize the quality of life for those patients suffering from chronic pain or other ailments which have previously inhibited them from doing things.

What You Need to Know About Runner’s Knee (Patellofemoral Pain)

Patellofemoral pain (runner’s knee) is often called chondromalacia patellae. This describes knee joint pain that is at the front aspect of the knee and around the kneecap.

What are the symptoms of runner’s knee?

The symptoms of runner’s knee include:

  • Pain at the front of the knee, under and around the patellacanstockphoto8700031
  • Worsening pain with climbing hills or sitting for long periods of time
  • Tenderness along the inside border of the patella
  • Swelling after exercise
  • Cracking or clicking sound when bending the knee
  • Wasting of the quadriceps muscles

Who gets runner’s knee?

Patellofemoral pain is more common in adolescent females who participate in sports. However, anyone who runs a lot can experience runner’s knee.

What causes runner’s knee?

Because it has no blood vessels or nerves, damage to the knee cartilage cannot cause patellofemoral pain. However, damaged cartilage can lead to synovitis, which involves synovial membrane inflammation. Other causes of runner’s knee include soft tissue injury or irritation and erosion of the bone and/or cartilage. The initial reason for patellofemoral pain is overuse, which leads to increased forces on the joint. The pain related to this condition results from a sudden increase in training, performing at a higher intensity, jumping more, and bending the knee more.

What factors contribute to runner’s knee?

  • Changes in load – This is one of the biggest factors contributing to runner’s knee. You should canstockphoto16354147avoid changing both speed and duration in the same training session. In addition, you need to factor in a lighter training week every four weeks to allow for recovery.
  • The way you move – Biomechanics can affect the relative load passing through the knee joint.
  • Footwear – Inappropriate footwear can contribute to knee pain. When the trainers feel as if the spring has gone, it’s time for a change. Shoes need changed when soles are worn, or when they no longer offer adequate support.
  • Changes in training surface – When you change training surface, the risk increases for runner’s knee. Changing surfaces may increase the demand on your legs, and your body does not have time to adapt. If you must change, do so gradually.

What increases the risk for runner’s knee?

Certain situations and things can increase the risk of developing runner’s knee. Risk factors include:

  • A structural defect
  • Kneecap too high in the joint
  • Weak thigh muscles
  • Tight Achilles tendons
  • Tight hamstrings
  • Poor foot support

How is runner’s knee treated?

Treatment is focuses on reducing pain and preventing further problems. The doctor attempts to identify and modify the causes of runner’s knee. Options for treatment include:

  • Knee bracing – This involves wearing a patella-stabilizing knee brace to prevent further injury RxBracingand provide support for the joint.
  • RICE protocol – This includes resting the knee, use of ice packs, wearing a compression wrap, and elevating the affected leg.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – These medicines help decrease swelling and pain. Ibuprofen, ketoprofen, and naproxen are common examples.
  • Physical therapy – The therapist teaches the athlete heel drops and uses sports massage to loosen tight muscles and structures. Gait analysis is done to determine if orthotic inserts are needed for foot biomechanics. In addition, the therapist teaches strengthening and stretching exercises.
  • Surgery – For chronic cases of runner’s knee, surgery is used to release the tight lateral knee structures.

How common is runner’s knee?

In the United States and among physically active people, patellofemoral syndrome is common. The prevalence rate is approximately 20% in student populations, according to a recent study. Runner’s knee is more likely to affect women than men, and it affects the young more than the old.

For the top sports medicine treatment in Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa and Queen Creek, call OSPI today. The practice offers top pain management and orthopedic doctors at the practice, with most insurance being accepted. Call now!

Resources

Kettunen JA, Visuri T, Harilainen A, et al. Primary cartilage lesions and outcome among subjects with patellofemoral pain syndrome. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2005 Mar. 13(2):131-4.

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