Knee Pain, Alarmingly Common
Roughly 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, about one-third of the population. Knee pain is the second most common pain behind low back pain with approximately 30% of American adults reporting they dealt with some sort of knee pain during their lives.
Symptoms & Causes
The most common cause of knee pain is osteoarthritis, which is degeneration of the joint. Symptoms include swelling and crackling in the knee. Primary Osteoarthritis is unfortunately a condition that simply develops over time. So, at around 50 years old, Primary Osteoarthritis will start to show itself.
Another major contributor to knee pain is obesity. Not only does obesity add extra weight and stress on the knees but also comes with a number of physiological issues.
Obesity is more than just adding on pounds of fat. Obesity causes the body’s regenerative ability to decrease, changes the hormones in your body, and increases inflammation and insulin resistance. All of these aspects promote knee degeneration and the body’s ability to repair it.
Mechanical issues are also a contributing factor. Mechanical issues could include loss of flexibility resulting in loss of blood supply. Another common mechanical issue is the alignment of your knees. In medical terms, you may have a verus knee that turns outward or a valgus knee that turns inward. The increase of abnormal angle on the knee adds significantly more pressure. However, measuring the angle of the knee can help determine the disability severity of the knee.
Treatment for osteoarthritis is possible, in fact, it’s something that we at Holistic Integration excel at. Treatment includes making sure that your entire body is aligned correctly. Not just your knees. Having the body out of alignment presents physiological issues and could be a source of pain or even promote degeneration of the knee. Other tools we use include botanical medicine, physiotherapy, and acupuncture. All of these tools are used to complement one another to promote not just the body’s regenerative abilities but also full-body health and homeostasis.
What about NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs), are they effective? The short answer is yes they are effective, BUT, they also damage other parts of the body, namely the liver, kidney, and heart. As a result, one of the glaring issues in solely using NSAIDs is that the more you take the more negative effects you may have. That’s not to say NSAIDs aren’t an appropriate tool in some cases. So, they do help manage pain but need to be carefully used.
In 2020 there were about one million knee replacements, and in 5 years the expectation is that there will be a million and a quarter, etc. Osteoarthritis is increasing that’s where the numbers come from. Instead of solely relying on NSAIDs, which result in even more knee replacements, using a structure-function care method will focus more on your longevity as well as repairing and restoring cartilage.
Structure-Function Knee Care
How does structure-function health care improve knee function? The purpose of structure-function is to bring the body back to homeostasis, or equilibrium.
For the knee, this is done structurally by realigning the whole body, not just the knees. While you may have some rotation or misalignment in the knee it’s important to keep in mind that everything in the body is connected. So, having your lower back, hips, feet, etc. out of alignment could also be contributing to your knee pain.
Structure-Function care also provides a variety of modalities and ways to treat the knee.
As mentioned above, chiropractic adjustments are an excellent way to heal not just the knee, but your whole body.
At Holistic Integration, time and time again we have seen patients express that they are dealing with knee pain, and several adjustments later, or even after the first adjustment, they claim to feel little to no pain.
At Holistic Integration, our team of therapists will work with you to make the best plan for your body! There are a number of easy exercises to do that will improve your body’s gait. Improving gait, in turn, will improve knee function by taking unnecessary pressure off of the knee.
Diathermy – Diathermy will assist in providing more blood flow to the affected area, in turn, promoting knee health and regeneration.
Decompression – Decompression is a therapy we use to stimulate the knee, relieve pressure, and promote healing. We have even seen it prevent surgeries!
Acupuncture – Acupuncture produces natural opiates in the body and improves receptor sites for those opiates, i.e. increasing pain relief while stimulating healing. We have even seen, on several patients, the impact of acupuncture almost immediately. Healing scar tissue and allowing blood flow after just one session!
There are a variety of safe and natural ways to promote knee healing. Some other options include:
Liniments – Herbal liniments provide pain relief as well as healing
Botanical Medicines – All sorts of botanical medicines provide anti-inflammatory relief
Diet – Diet plays a major role in knee pain. Diet assists in determining how the body will actually heal. A high sugar diet leads to insulin resistance which negatively impacts the body’s ability to heal and regenerate. Around half of the people that change their diets see a noticeable improvement
Glucosamine – Glucosamine gives the building blocks to cartilage. Studies have shown that taking glucosamine works better than NSAIDs and does not have the negative impact of destroying cartilage and preventing regeneration/healing.
Other Nutrition Supplements – In addition to Glucosamine, Chondroitin, Methionine, Methylsulfulmethane (MSM), Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, or just about anything with sulfur are all safe and natural ways to provide healing to the knee through diet.
Dr. Prather and his team have been incredible. They truly care about their patients and do everything in their power to develop a plan to ensure long-term success. I can ensure you that if you give The Prather Practice a chance no matter your issues you will be satisfied with the end result.