The term “knee pain” is too broad to describe the many causes and types of joint discomfort adequately. A minor ligament sprain differs from a torn meniscus, which differs from a dislocation, and arthritis pain feels different than bursitis.
Whatever’s causing your knee pain, we can help.
Dr. Bryan King and our team at Tuscaloosa Orthopedic & Joint Institute in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, specialize in all kinds of joint pain and the treatments that get you back into the swing of life. Here are the four most common approaches to knee pain regardless of the cause.
The severity of your symptoms informs the nature of your treatment plan. For example:
Acute pain usually hits suddenly in response to an injury and lasts about a week. In this case, follow the RICE protocol: rest, ice, compression, and elevation to reduce inflammation and pain.
Sub-acute pain sets in about a month after an injury and can benefit from gentle stretches and modified activities.
Chronic pain lasts three or more months and requires professional medical care to resolve.
The location of your knee pain tells us a lot. Pain in the front of your knee may indicate a problem with your kneecap, and pain felt on the inside or outside regions of your knee may point to tendon or ligament problems.
Dr. King uses state-of-the-art diagnostic tools to pinpoint the source of your knee pain, but your description and symptoms give him valuable information.
When pain grips your knee, no one has to tell you to stay off — your knee makes that decision for you. But after the initial period of rest, you need to reintroduce your knee to modified movements.
This means swapping your running shoes for walking shoes and avoiding high-impact activities like jumping and squatting. Opt for movements that allow your knee joint to glide — think swimming, yoga, and elliptical machines.
Physical therapy goes hand-in-hand with modified activity. Our experts not only advise you about which exercises are most beneficial for your rehabilitation, but we also evaluate your gait, monitor and improve your range of motion, increase your strength, and assess your balance as you recover.
To speed healing and reduce inflammation, we may employ any of several physical therapy modalities, including:
We customize your treatment to meet your unique needs.
Inflammation is your body’s way of sending healing properties to the scene of an injury, but after the initial flood, it’s no longer useful. If the tissues remain inflamed for too long, it exacerbates pain and prolongs healing.
That’s why most knee pain treatments focus on reducing inflammation; medication is one way to do that. Dr. King may recommend a regimen of over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen, or he may prescribe a stronger medication for a short time.
For knee pain that doesn’t respond well to conservative measures, such as modified activity and physical therapy, we may recommend joint injections to deliver quick relief.
One type of knee injection contains two medications: lidocaine, a local anesthetic that numbs pain immediately, and a corticosteroid that reduces inflammation over time.
Another type of knee injection contains a gel-like substance called hyaluronic acid (HA). Your body naturally produces HA, so it’s a familiar substance that lubricates your joint and reduces painful bone-on-bone friction.
Whatever’s bothering your knee, we’ve got you covered. Don’t suffer with knee pain one more day — call our friendly staff today or book an appointment online. Relief from knee pain is close at hand.