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Posts Tagged ‘knee brace’

Joint Pain

                        Joint Pain

Osteoarthritis of the knee is the mechanical breakdown of knee cartilage.  Where rheumatoid arthritis is the chemical breakdown of cartilage, osteoarthritis is damage caused by long-term wear and tear.

Years of use causes the cartilage in the knee joint to wear away. As the cartilage wears away, the joint space narrows, and eventually the bones begin to rub together.  That’s what causes the knee pain.

Stretching, knee braces, weight loss, and strengthening the muscles around the knee are all effective, conservative treatment options for reducing knee pain associated with knee osteoarthritis.

 

 



Knee Pain Relief

Knee Pain Relief

 

Millions of Americans have high deductibles.  Deductibles on many health insurance policies have become prohibitive.  Reaching a $4500 out-of-pocket deductible isn’t feasible for many of us.  So if you’re prescribed an unloading knee brace for your osteoarthritis, what do you do?  A custom knee brace can cost as much as $1200, an off-the-shelf OA knee brace can easily run $700.  If you haven’t met your deductible payment for this type of durable medical equipment will have to come out of your pocket.

There is a simple way to handle this.  20 years ago, knee braces for osteoarthritis had to be fit by certified medical professionals.  Knee braces were custom built from positive cast molds of individual patient’s legs.  Over the years knee brace manufacturers have improved their techniques of designing effective knee braces that can fit and treat a wide array of patients and conditions.  All you need to know is the circumference of your thigh and which side of your knee the arthritis affects.  Ask your doctor if the arthritis is on the inside (medial) or outside (lateral) of your knee.  You can order an inexpensive, high quality brace over the internet.  If you have questions, email your doctor the product information.  Ask your doctor if the brace is right for you.  You shouldn’t pay more than $175 for an unloading knee brace purchased over the internet.

You can also try a simple neoprene sleeve.   An arthritis knee sleeve will provide warmth and compression to an arthritic knee.  That will make your knee feel better.  A knee sleeve can cost under $20!

Knee Support

Knee Support



Hyperextension helps to stabilize an unstable knee, but can cause pain and disability over time.

Knee instability occurs when the thigh and shin bones are held together too loosely.  It is usually caused by weak muscles and lax ligaments.  In many cases, the ligaments are loosened because of forces that occur when knee musculature is weak.  One common example is the relationship between weak knee extensors (the quadriceps) and hyperextension of the knee.

If the quadriceps are weak, the knee will have a tendency to buckle under body weight.  The body tries to reduce the risk of falling by forcefully hyperextending the knee.  This promotes knee stability, since the knee is very secure in full extension.  However, over a long period of time, this repeated and excessive extension stretches the ligaments and tendons along the back of the knee.  This allows the knee to hyperextend farther and farther over time until the hyperextension may be a more severe problem than the quadriceps weakness that it solved.

Hyperextension can lead to severe knee pain.  It causes stretch injuries to the back of the knee, and compression injuries the front.  The anterior compression can make osteoarthritis of the knee much worse.  It can speed up the breakdown of cartilage, and lead to inflammation and joint pain.

The most direct and least invasive treatment for instability of the knee is with a knee brace.  It can also be treated surgically, and many of the associated symptoms may be treated with drugs like non-steroidal anti-inflammatories like Tylenol.  If you suffer from knee pain caused by hyperextension and instability, talk to your doctor about bracing options that may be right for you.



Knee Brace

April 30, 2012

Where does a knee brace fit into my osteoarthritis treatment program?

Different knee braces should be used throughout your entire treatment regimen.  A neoprene sleeve can be effective during the early stages of osteoarthritis.  The warmth and compression can really help with pain relief and stability.  Also the compression will lead to increased blood flow to the knee joint.  If knee pain can be reduced so you take just one less pill per day, think about the long term effects this could have regarding your overall health.

If your arthritis is moderate to severe an unloading knee brace might be an appropriate treatment option.  These are knee orthotics that require prescriptions.  A knee brace of this type produces a bio-mechanical fulcrum that can open a collapsing joint space.  An unloading knee brace needs to be prescribed by your doctor, and that prescription should be fit by a certified orthotist.

 



Ibuprofen

Ibuprofen

A new study released by the British Journal of Medicine reports that of all the non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs, Ibuprofen carries the highest risk of stroke.

The researchers used a sophisticated system to examine studies and trials that included over 116,000 patients.  Research was examined that compared NSAIDs with other NSAIDs and placebos.

This large meta-analysis discovered compelling cardiovascular problems in patients using prescription-strength NSAIDs.  Dr. Jeffrey Berger of NYU Medical Center in Manhattan said that a patient can take enough pills purchased over the counter to equal a prescription dose, so the findings “most likely” apply to over-the-counter NSAIDs as well as prescription-strength.

So check with your doctor.  Stop looking in your medicine cabinet for pain relief the next time your knee is hurting.  A knee brace is a safe, conservative treatment option for your osteoarthritis.  Nobody has ever died from a knee brace.



Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Everyone at Heritage Medical and Osteoarthritis Blog wants to wish you  a happy and healthy New Year.  If you are looking for a resolution in 2011, how about using more conservative treatments to treat your knee osteoarthritis?

Stop the medications, co-pays, trips to the pharmacy, postpone surgery – maybe even avoid going under the knife altogether.  This blog will provide you with information on diet, exercise, stretching, knee braces, joint health supplements, and other conservative treatment options.  Visit us once in a while to learn how to help your knees without the dangers of medications and without risking surgery.



Buying gifts for friends and family is something we do all year long. If you’re anything like me then you have a long list of people to shop for. Dealing with the traffic and the crowds at the mall probably don’t have you looking forward to it. Luckily, lower shipping costs and faster delivery times have finally made online shopping a reality for people around the world. High quality pain relief products are no exception.

If you have someone in your life who suffers from osteoarthritis in the knees then you know how painful their day to day lives can become. From the simple act of getting out of bed to walking across a room, the simplest tasks take on a new challenge. Arthritis pain can be oppressive, and can cause us to become sedentary or withdrawn. You can help your loved ones escape the cycle of arthritis pain with a supportive knee brace designed to relieve the pain and discomfort associated with knee arthritis. Give a gift that says you really care this holiday season and they’ll thank you for it.



Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic Exercise

Ready to pick up the pace?  There are ways to get more out of your low impact exercise.  If after 30 minutes of walking you feel like you are ready for more, try walking with long strides, while moving your arms and shoulders.  If your stationary bike needs a little spice try adding light weights to your ankles.

Cardiovascular exercise strengthens the heart and lungs.  It is performed at a moderate level of intensity for extended periods of time.  Cardiovascular exercise can definitely be achieved at a low-impact level.  You just need to find what makes you sweat without stressing your knees.

If you want the pounds to melt off your body and make your knees feel better bump up your heart rate.  A cardiovascular component to your exercise program is important if you want to seriously treat the pain associated with your knee OA.  If your knees hurt too much to achieve an elevated heart rate and a good sweat, try a knee brace.  A bio-mechanical knee brace can stop your pain and allow you to exercise.



Couch Potato

                                     Couch Potato

Okay, do you want your arthritic knees to feel better?  Really?  Then it is time to get off the couch.

This series of blog posts is about exercises that will help get you moving.  It is well documented that exercise and weight loss are two of the best conservative treatments to help ease the pain associated with your knee osteoarthritis.

However exercise can be a catch 22.  How do you get up to exercise if your knees hurt?  Try a knee brace.  Use a knee brace for osteoarthritis to relieve your pain so you can get up and start moving.  Then as you exercise, you begin to lose weight.  Once the weight starts coming off, you will not need to take as many drugs, and the prospect of surgery will seem less likely.  Eventually you may not even need the knee brace anymore.  Why not dream big, you may even be able to fit in the jeans you keep in the back of your closet.

The best treatment options for your knee osteoarthritis are exercise and weight loss.  You don’t need pills, surgery, or even health insurance.  Just get moving.



Attention!

Attention!

NSAIDs are commonly prescribed and recommended to treat the pain associated with osteoarthritis of the knee.  This series of posts is about the side effects associated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.  Some of the problems that these medications cause are very serious and can adversely effect your health much worse than the pain in your knee caused by OA.

  • Liver Failure
  • Kidney Failure
  • Heart Attack
  • Stroke
  • Death

NSAID use has been linked to all of the above conditions.  It is important you talk to your doctor and know all of the risks associated with any medication you take.  With NSAIDs, know all of the precautions you must take to safely treat your knee pain.

Think about a conservative treatment option for your knee OA.  Nobody has ever died from wearing a knee brace.