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Archive for December, 2011

Knee Taping Helps OA

December 30, 2011

Knee Taping

Knee taping is used by physical therapists in conjunction with exercise programs to treat osteoarthritis.  It is a simple process that most patients can learn for themselves.  It involves grabbing the patella (knee cap) and pulling into a comfortable position.

In a recent study it was shown that patients were likely to experience a reduction in knee pain when their knees were taped as compared to a non-taped group of patients.  Even patients who did not experience knee cap pain reported that their knees felt better when taped.

 



Balance Board

Coordination and balance are important aspects of a physical therapy treatment program for knee pain related to arthritis.

Physical therapists will often work with their patients in practicing their activities of daily living, like how to get in and out of a car, or how to pick something up from the floor.  It is believed that practicing the simple aspects of daily life will build a patient’s confidence so they can accomplish higher degrees of activity and exercise.

Simple balance board exercises can not only make activities of daily living easier, but also help improve muscle strength, physical performance, and knee function.

 



Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

 

Merry Christmas from everyone at Osteoarthritis Blog.  Please have a safe and wonderful holiday season.



Manual Therapy

Manual therapy is often used by physical therapists and physiotherapists as part of their treatment programs to combat knee OA.  It consists of passive leg movements used to increase the knee joint’s range of motion or to reduce knee stiffness.

Simply bending the knee, stretching, and massage are examples of manual therapy.    Just gliding one joint surface over another can be helpful.  Recent studies prove this type of therapy can be beneficial, especially for someone with knee OA because there may be several issues causing the knee pain.

 

 



My knee hurts too much to exercise.  This is a common catch-22 for people suffering with knee osteoarthritis.

Some people with OA in their knees have to deal with a host of painful issues: limited range-of-motion, knee pain, stiffness, functional difficulties, and sensory abnormalities.  These knee problems often prevent people with OA from exercising.

Physical therapists are trained to design treatment programs to overcome these obstacles and help people with osteoarthritis achieve the best results possible from an exercise or physical activity program.



Pain Relief

 

How do magnets provide pain relief?

Strong magnets must be placed directly over the knee pain, or certain acupuncture points.  Pain signals sent by the nerves in your body are blocked or reduced when magnets affect ion channels, some research suggests.  Ions are charged (either positive or negative) electro-chemicals.  Biological processes like pain signals and muscle contractions are controlled by the movement of ions (ion channels).

The great news about using magnets for your knee pain is that they are safe – no side effects.  You don’t have to worry about the gastrointestinal problems associated with drugs, mortality rates associated with surgery, or infections associated with injections.

Magnets should not be used if you are pregnant, if you have an implanted electro-medical device (like a pacemaker), near open wounds, near transdermal drug patches, or over the site of cortisone injection (up to 2 weeks after the injection).



Pain Relief

Pain Relief From Magnets

 

Can magnets provide pain relief for joint pain like osteoarthritis of the knee?  Magnet therapy can work as long as the following requirements are met:

1.  The negative side of the magnet must face the body.

2.  The magnets must penetrate deep enough to reach what hurts.

3.  The strength of the magnetic field must be maintained long enough to affect the target area.

4. Use multiple magnets to fully cover the entire treatment area.

5.  Must be comfortable enough to wear consistently so the magnets are given enough time to work.



Magnetic therapy appears to reduce pain and increase function in painful knee joints.  The results of a study published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine indicated a significant improvement in self-rated pain and physical function in patients wearing static magnets when compared to those who did not wear magnets.

This double-blind, randomized, controlled clinical trial examined 43 patients with chronic joint pain in one or both of their knees.  Subjects wore either pads with magnets or pads with a placebo.  Though more studies on the subject of magnetic energy are needed in regards to pain treatment, this is a step in the right direction for conservative treatments of knee pain.

Hinman MR, Ford J, Heyl H., Effects of Static Magnets on Chronic Knee Pain and Physical Function: a Double-Blind Study.: Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine.  2002 Jul-Aug; 8(4):50-5.