Talk To Your Doctor About Knee Joint Injections
Knee joint injections should only be explored when more conservative treatments for knee pain have proven ineffective. Before the procedure, your doctor will inject a numbing agent to reduce pain, followed by a corticosteroid to decrease inflammation. They may also discuss options like PRP injections.
While injections may work to decrease pain, knee joint injections do not treat any underlying knee pain causes or halt progressive joint deterioration. Still, when combined with a healthy diet, regular exercise, physical therapy, and other lifestyle changes, they can provide profound relief. Learn more about this option in the following video.
How Can Weather Can Affect Arthritis
In 2019, the Cloudy with a Chance of Pain study, led by consultant rheumatologist Professor Will Dixon at the University of Manchester, assessed how weather affected more than 13,000 people in the UK with long-term health conditions, including arthritis and fibromyalgia.
Participants used a smartphone app to record their daily symptoms and thing that affected their pain levels (such as sleep patterns and daily exercise, while GPS on their phone provided accurate weather reporting.
The study, funded by Versus Arthritis, found that damp and windy days with low atmospheric pressure increased the chances of experiencing more pain than normal by around 20 per cent. Barometric pressure may affect your joints more than humidity, rainfall and temperature.
According to the Met Office, high pressure tends to cause fine, warm weather, while low pressure can lead to prolonged rainfall and flooding.
What Is The Knee Joint
Three bones come together to form your knee joint. They include the:
A smooth substance called cartilage covers the ends of each bone. Its a cushion between the bones that keeps them from rubbing together. The synovial membrane, a type of tissue that surrounds the joint, lubricates the cartilage.
Arthritis of the knee causes pain and swelling in the joint
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When Cold Therapy Is Effective
Patients who are unsure of whether to use cold or not should ask their doctor or physiotherapist. Cold therapy can offer benefits in the following scenarios:
- For 24-78 hours following injury or orthopedic surgery
- To decrease swelling in arthritic joints
- To decrease pain in arthritic joints
- To decrease muscle spasm
Hot Therapy For Rheumatoid Arthritis
For someone with an inflammatory disease like RA, applying heat may seem counterintuitive. But since heat works to reduce muscle tension and stimulate blood circulation, many patients find that applying something warm even if it just means warming your clothes in the dryer before dressing, or lying with a heated blanket prior to getting up in the morning simply feels good on the joints.
Gentle heat in the morning can improve your range of motion, explains Katie Palmer, a physical therapist in Newtown, Pennsylvania. It can relieve some of the joint pain and the stiffness and prepare your body for exercise or to get up and get moving and out the door.
One version of hot therapy is the paraffin, or wax, bath, similar to whats used in nail salons to soften the skin and nails. The paraffin is heated to a prescribed temperature and then you dip in your hands, wrists, and fingers, and it forms a coating, Palmer explains. Then you wrap your paraffin-covered hands and wrists in a little towel, and it gives you a nice moist, deep heat that can help eliminate some of the pain and stiffness of RA.
Palmer recommends paraffin therapy for the hands when theyre stiff, like first thing in the morning, but not when the joints are inflamed. When the joints are acutely inflamed, when things are a little bit out of control, its more useful to use a cool temperature to decrease the inflammation and the swelling, she says.
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What Are The Types Of Arthritis Of The Knee
There are around 100 types of arthritis. The most common types that might affect your knees include:
- Osteoarthritis is the most common of the types on this list. Osteoarthritis wears away your cartilage the cushioning between the three bones of your knee joint. Without that protection, your bones rub against each other. This can cause pain, stiffness and limited movement. It can also lead to the development of bone spurs. Osteoarthritis gets worse as time passes.
- Post-traumatic arthritis is a type of osteoarthritis. The cartilage starts thinning after trauma to your knee . Your bones rub together, and that causes the same symptoms as osteoarthritis: pain, stiffness and limited movement. Your knee arthritis symptoms might not start until years after the trauma.
- Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. A healthy immune system causes inflammation when it’s trying to protect you from an infection, injury, toxin or another foreign invader. The inflammatory response is one way your body protects itself. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you have an unhealthy immune system that triggers inflammation in your joints even though theres no foreign invader. The inflammation causes pain, stiffness and swelling of the synovial membrane, which can also wear away your cartilage.
What Does Cortisone Do
Cortisone, also known as a corticosteroid or a steroid, is a hormone your body naturally produces via the adrenal glands. When delivered as a medication, corticosteroids reduce the activity of your immune system, which relieves inflammation and pain for people with different kinds of arthritis .
Corticosteroids comes in many different forms, which vary by how long they stay in your body, how easily they dissolve, and how quickly they take effect. They can either be delivered locally , or systemically . Systemic corticosteroids are usually taken orally or as injections into a vein or muscle. Local corticosteroids for arthritis can be given as an injection into a joint for other types of health issues, they can also be delivered as skin creams, eye drops, or ear drops.
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Tips For Using Heat Therapy
Heat therapy needs to be warm rather than too hot. The Arthritis Foundation recommends the following tips for using different types of heat therapy:
- Take a hot shower or bath in the morning or before exercising to help reduce stiffness, warm up the body, prepare the joints, and help reduce the likelihood of injury.
- Take a warm bath at the end of the day to ease the joints after a day of activity.
- Avoid using heat on any injury or during a flare-up.
- If any redness, swelling, or bruising is present, use cold therapy instead for a few days until it subsides.
- If people have neuropathy or another condition that makes them less sensitive to temperature changes, they should check their skin every 5 minutes to check that it is not burning or blistering.
People may also be incorporating heat therapy into their day without realizing it. Taking a hot shower in the morning, washing their hands in moderately hot water, or washing up can all be ways to soothe the joints throughout the day.
Instructions To Do Heat Therapy At Home
If youre going to use a heating pad, moist heat pads, or hot water bottles:
- Make sure you dont burn your skin. The heat should feel nice, otherwise, it wont promote relaxation.
- Do it for 15-30 minutes, up to 3 times per day.
Another option is taking a hot shower or a warm bath. I recommend doing this at the end of the day, as it can help you sleep better.
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Heat Therapy Helps Relax Stiff Joints
Learn different ways to ease joint pain using warm water or a hot compress.
Heat Therapy Helps Relax Stiff Joints
Learn different ways to ease joint pain using warm water or a hot compress.
Looking for a natural way to get your joints moving in the morning? Close the medicine cabinet and try an age-old remedy that has stood the test of time: heat.
If you have a chronic condition like fibromyalgia, arthritis, or lower back pain, try heating things up. Soaking in warm water or applying a heated compress is one of the oldest, cheapest, and safest forms of complementary therapy. Research has shown that heat treatments can loosen stiff joints and relieve achy muscles.
Here is how it works. When you warm up a sore joint or tired muscle, your blood vessels get bigger. This allows more blood, oxygen, and nutrients to be delivered to the injured tissues. Better circulation means more relaxation for those stiff muscles and joints.
Stay away from heat if you have an acute injury or are having a flare. If you have a sudden onset of swelling and redness from overdoing it yesterday, you are better off using cold treatments for a few days. Cold has the opposite effect of heat: it reduces blood flow and decreases inflammation.
Here are a few simple ways to heat up your daily routine.
Here are a few simple ways to heat up your daily routine.
Take a Steamy Shower
Apply a Warm Compress
Dip your hands or feet in melted paraffin wax . Wait for it to cool and peel the wax off.
If You Answered With Pain In The Muscles
When we talk about pain in the knee muscles what were referring to are the major muscles around the knee joint.
These are called the quadriceps and the hamstrings. The quads are at the front of your thigh, while the hamstrings are at the back of your thigh.
You can see the knee muscles in the image below:
You might want to try alternating between heat and ice on the knee muscles if your main symptom is muscle pain.
If you applied ice alone to your knee muscles, you might get some effective pain relief, but I found that my clients complained of worsening stiffness when they treat their knee muscles with just ice. For this reason, I would suggest you try for the best of both worlds and get the pain relieving effects of ice AND the mobility improvement that heat brings.
The other advantage of trying both is that you will get the chance to feel which one works best for YOU! As everyone is different, its important to take note of how you feel after each treatment.
To use this method:
- Take a hot water bottle
- Apply it immediately to your knee muscles, where the ice was earlier
- Keep it there for 15 minutes, then remove
- Go back to the peas/ice and repeat the process as many times as you need
- Always look out for any signs of ice or heat burn on your skin and remove immediately if you see or feel anything.
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Who Should Not Use Cryotherapy
While cryotherapy is perfectly safe for the majority of people, some should avoid it. These include people with the following conditions:
- Raynauds syndrome
- Chest pains, recent heart attack, or irregular heart rhythm
- Blood clots or stroke, current or past
- Lung conditions that are aggravated by cold
You should also avoid this treatment if you are or think you might be pregnant, though its safe after giving birth. As always before beginning any new medical treatment, talk with a doctor ahead of time to make sure youre qualified.
Ice Bath Benefits And The Science Behind It
Dr. Rhonda Patrick, a highly respected scientific journal, who I was fortunate to meet while staying at Wim Hofs retreat in Holland, has given a great scientific breakdown of what happens to your body after an ice bath.
An ice bath benefits you in quite a lot of ways that positively impact your body. Weve listed an extensive list below.
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A Summary Of How Ice & Heat Affect Your Blood Flow
Imagine youre standing in your living room at home. When the air in that room is at normal room temperature , your body is in a comfortable state. Your heart rate and blood pressure are normal .
Imagine the air has cooled down to freezing
When the room becomes cooler your heart rate begins to slow down and your blood pressure increases. Your body does this automatically to retain heat in your body. At this time your soft tissue will also start to squeeze on and contract all of the veins in your body carrying blood flow. This also helps to decrease the amount of blood flowing throughout your circulatory system and retains the heat.
When cold is applied to a knee injury, all of your soft tissue will squeeze on the veins to slow down your blood flow. This in turn clamps down on the amount of fluid leaking into your injured tissue, decreasing your swelling. This is why cold is used immediately to treat newer knee injuries or re-injuries. The cold slows down your body to stop the amount of damage happening to your tissue and decrease your swelling. This cold also has a nice side benefit of numbing the nerves in and around your knee injury thereby decreasing your pain.
In the medical world this is something called Vasoconstriction.
Now, imagine the air has warmed up enough that you start sweating
When the room becomes warmer your heart rate speeds up and your blood pressure decreases. Your body is trying to increase your blood flow to cool down your body.
Tips For Using Cold Therapy For Ra
- Use a bag of frozen peas, wrap ice in a thin towel, or use commercially available cold gel packs for cold therapy.
- Avoid applying ice or cold packs directly to the skin use a towel or cloth between the cold device and the skin.
- To avoid frostbite, do not apply cold for more than 15 minutes at a time.
- Allow your skin to return to normal temperature and color before using cold again.
- Dont alternate hot and cold without a break. The Arthritis Foundation recommends waiting a couple of hours between sessions before switching to the other.
If you’re using one of these hot or cold methods and it doesn’t bring relief, or it seems to make the rheumatoid arthritis symptoms worse, talk to your doctor.
Additional reporting by Meryl Davids Landau and Jennifer Geddes.
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S Of Using Cold Therapy
Different methods of cold therapy include:
- A bag of frozen vegetables: Wrap a bag of frozen peas or something similar in a thin, damp cloth or towel and apply it to the affected area. A bag of ice cubes can also be effective.
- A frozen towel: Take a damp sponge or dampen and fold a towel and place it in the freezer for around 15 minutes. Remove it from the freezer, place it in a plastic bag or thin cloth and apply it to the affected area.
- Reusable DIY cold packs: Fill a clean, spare sock with rice and place it in the freezer, or fill a resealable plastic bag with liquid washing-up detergent. Take out of the freezer when necessary.
- Ice or gel cold pack: Buy an ice pack or gel pack to freeze. Choose the shape and size suitable for the affected areas.
- Ice massage: Take a paper cup, fill it with water, and place it in the freezer. Once frozen, peel away the top part of the cup, leaving a small section at the bottom to hold onto. Rub the exposed ice in small circles over the sore area, avoiding any part where the bone is close to the skin, such as the elbow point or kneecap.
- Instant ice packs: People can buy single-use ice packs that they snap to activate. These may be useful when other options are unavailable.
Cold therapy will not affect the bodys internal temperature, as it targets the tissues and muscles close to the surface of the skin. Tips for using cold therapy include the following:
Data Collection And Analysis
The above search strategy identified a set of potentially relevant articles which were subsequently retrieved for review. These trials were assessed by two independent reviewers . Studies were selected to include in the review according to the inclusion criteria.
From each included trial, we collected information regarding the trial design, patient characteristics, dosages and treatment periods, baseline and end of study outcomes. Data concerning details of the studied population, intervention and outcomes were extracted using predetermined extraction forms by two independent reviewers . Differences in data extraction were resolved by referring back to the original article and establishing consensus. A third reviewer was consulted to help resolve differences. When necessary, information was sought from the authors of the primary studies.
This review was originally conducted to develop clinical practice guidelines for OA. They were adopted by a Panel of Experts: The Ottawa Panel on March 2003
Statistic analysis Outcomes were continuous in nature . Where pooling of data from different trials was possible, these outcomes were analyzed by a weighted mean difference using a fixed effects model. For dichotomous data, relative risks were used. The effect measured in an individual trial is weighted by the amount of variability about the mean in that study for that outcome. Graphical data were used in cases where table data were not available.
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What Is Knee Pain
Knee pain is a common complaint that can affect people of all ages. The knee is a complex joint that is made up of bone, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons. Any of these structures can be injured or diseased, resulting in knee pain.
Knee pain can range from mild to severe. It may be intermittent or constant. Knee pain can also be accompanied by swelling, bruising, redness, or warmth.
There are many causes of knee pain. The most common include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Treatment for knee pain depends on the underlying cause. Some common treatments include rest, ice, heat, exercises, and over-the-counter medications. In some cases, physical therapy or surgery may be necessary.
If you are experiencing knee pain, it is important to speak with your doctor to determine the underlying cause and get proper treatment. Keep reading to learn more about physical therapy for knee pain.