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Posts Tagged ‘knee pain’


Walking is Good Exercise

                    Walking is Good Exercise


It may seem counterintuitive.  If your knee hurts as a result of osteoarthritis, walking may help your knee feel better.  My grandmother used to tell me, “if you don’t use it, you lose it”.  I still believe her, more so now that whenever I wake up something hurts.

Walking helps stretch your muscles, lubricate your knee joint, and helps you lose weight.  All three of these benefits help control knee pain.  Tight muscles put undue stress on your knee joint.  Keeping the fluids moving in and out of your knee helps keep your anatomy healthy, and losing weight decreases the pressure on your knee joint.

So don’t give up.  One step at a time.  Make yourself better.


Global Knee Brace

November 1, 2015

Global Knee

Global Knee

Hely & Weber just released a new knee brace for bi and tri-compartmental osteoarthritis.  There is often a significant amount of time that passes between when a patient is told they need have their knee replaced and when the surgery actually takes place.  This knee brace is designed to help patients during the delay.

There are several reasons for the delay.  Sometimes there are necessary medical needs that must be addressed, or a patient may need to lose weight.  Sometimes patients just aren’t ready for the surgery, whether it be logistical or emotional readiness.  And many times its conservative care guidelines dictated by health insurance providers.

The struts on this knee brace can apply a varus or valgus force when molded with bending irons as well as accommodate a bulbous or knee deformed by arthritis.

Global Knee II

From EurekAlert!

“A new study reports that patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA) who have poor sleep habits display greater central sensitization–an amplification of clinical pain. Findings published in Arthritis Care & Research, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), further show OA patients who catastrophize–consumed by thoughts of pain–had increased central sensitization that was associated with greater clinical pain.

OA–a degenerative joint disease that causes pain and swelling of joints in the hand, hips, or knee–affects nearly 27 million Americans 25 years of age and older according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Further evidence suggests that roughly one third of older adults have knee OA, a leading cause of pain and disability worldwide. Researchers believe that central sensitization, which is a hypersensitivity to pain, may contribute to the clinical pain amplification in OA.

“Our study is the largest and most comprehensive examination of the relationship between sleep disturbance, catastrophizing and central sensitization in knee OA,” said lead author Claudia Campbell, Ph.D. from the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.

The current case-controlled study included 208 participants who were categorized into four groups: OA patients with insomnia, OA patients with normal sleep habits, healthy controls with insomnia, and healthy controls without a pain syndrome and normal sleep. Seventy-two percent of the participants were female. Participants completed sleep assessments, psychological and pain evaluations, and sensory testing.

Results show that the subjects with knee OA and insomnia had the greatest degree of central sensitization compared to the controls. The team found patients with poor sleep and high catastrophizing scores reported increased levels of central sensitization. In turn, central sensitization was significantly associated with increased clinical pain.

Dr. Campbell concludes, “While no causal processes may be determined from this study, our data suggest that those with low sleep efficiency and higher catastrophizing have the greatest central sensitization. Understanding the intricate relationship between sleep, central sensitization, and catastrophizing has important clinical implications for treating those with chronic pain conditions such as knee OA.”

This study was supported by grants from National Institutes of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease (R01 AR05487 & AR059410 [Smith]) and the National Institutes of Health (K23 NS070933, CMC).

This study is published in Arthritis Care & Research. Media wishing to receive a PDF of this article may contact

Full citation: “Sleep, pain catastrophizing and central sensitization in knee osteoarthritis patients with and without insomnia.” Claudia M. Campbell, Luis F. Buenaver, Patrick Finan, Sara C. Bounds, Mary Redding, Lea McCauley, Mercedes Robinson, Robert R. Edwards and Michael T. Smith. Arthritis Care and Research; Published Online: June 4, 2015 (DOI: 10.1002/acr.22609).

URL Upon Publication:

Author Contact: To arrange an interview with Dr. Campbell please contact Vanessa McMains with Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine at

About the Journal

Arthritis Care & Research is an official journal of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), and the Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ARHP), a division of the College.Arthritis Care & Research is a peer-reviewed journal that publishes both original research and review articles that promote excellence in the clinical practice of rheumatology. Relevant to the care of individuals with arthritis and related disorders, major topics are evidence-based practice studies, clinical problems, practice guidelines, health care economics, health care policy, educational, social, and public health issues, and future trends in rheumatology practice. The journal is published by Wiley on behalf of the ACR. For more information, please visit the journal home page at

About Wiley

Wiley is a global provider of knowledge and knowledge-enabled services that improve outcomes in areas of research, professional practice and education. Through the Research segment, the Company provides digital and print scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, reference works, books, database services, and advertising. The Professional Development segment provides digital and print books, online assessment and training services, and test prep and certification. In Education, Wiley provides education solutions including online program management services for higher education institutions and course management tools for instructors and students, as well as print and digital content.”

Arthritis Knee Brace

February 24, 2014
Arthritis Knee Brace

Arthritis Knee Brace

An arthritis knee brace needs to be easy to put on and take off.  If you have arthritis in your knees chances are you’re feeling it in your fingers.  What good is a knee brace if you can’t get it in position because you’re hands won’t let you pull the wetsuit-like neoprene up your leg?  An easy arthritis knee brace like the one pictured above is designed for patients with arthritic hands or poor finger dexterity.  The entire top half of the brace opens and closes with Velcro.  This makes the brace easy to put on and take off.  The neoprene still provides warmth and compression, but the open top half of the brace makes wearing this brace much easier than other treatment options.  The hinges provide protection and stability, and the straps ensure the brace stays in place during activities of daily living.


This Easy Arthritis Knee Brace is only $45 on the Heritage Medical Equipment website.  It’s worth taking a look.  You may be living with unnecessary knee pain.

Knee Pain

February 12, 2014
Knee Pain

Knee Pain


If your knee hurts enough that you found this blog post, chances are your arthritis is getting worse.  So what can you do?  You have plenty of options, it’s just a matter of figuring out which one is right for you.

Let’s start with the basics:  Lose weight, eat healthy, stretch, and exercise.  Yes, losing weight and eating healthy can be difficult.  But it’s not impossible.  Stretching and going for a walk is real simple.  Just doing these four simple things can make a big difference.  It’s completely up to you.  You don’t need a prescription, you don’t need to get health insurance involved.

Try this today.  Have a nice salad for lunch, then stretch your legs for five minutes, and then go for a half hour walk.  In just one hour you proactively treated your knee without drugs, without surgery, and without going to see a doctor.  Try doing this a few times a week.  Imagine the results if you stick with this simple plan for a month, or for a year?

Why not?

Knee Pain Relief

Knee Pain Relief


An OA Knee Brace is a proven treatment option for unicompartmental osteoarthritis.  It will relieve (unload) the pressure on an arthritic knee joint.  Pain relief is achieved by dispersing the pressure a person’s body weight puts on their knee every time they take a step.  The knee brace absorbs some of the pressure, and some of the pressure is transferred to the opposite side of the knee.

This unloading will provide knee pain relief.  Many patients can tell if a knee brace is working the moment they put it on.  An instant reduction in pain is common.  An unloading knee brace with a neoprene or elastic sleeve will provide warmth and compression.  Our skin is the largest organ in our body.  The contact of the material alone will make an arthritic knee feel better.  When you add a bit of unloading, a knee brace can reduce pain, and provide protection and stability to an arthritic knee joint.

Does the inside of your knee hurt when you go up and down stairs?  An unloading knee brace can help keep you mobile.  No drugs, no surgery.  Knee braces for osteoarthritis are worth trying.

OA and pain

January 4, 2013

Knee pain is a common symptom of osteoarthritis, and can be debilitating.

Recent research by Dr. Malfait at Rush University has identified a key component of the mechanism of ostoearthritis pain.  Knee pain is felt in the lower extremity and then relayed through the spine up into the brain.  In the brain, pain from osteoarthritis is primarily interpreted by proteins and receptors called MCP-1/CCR2.

Several mice that were genetically altered to have deficiencies of MCP-1 and CCR2 experienced less pain when given osteoarthritis.  This observation is important because it looks into an unexplored area of potential treatment.  Instead of simply addressing the mechanical causes of pain (including inflammation and deterioration), this research offers the potential to directly reduce pain in osteoarthritis.

Any discussion of pain should include the healthy role of pain in the body.   Pain serves to relay information about injury, and so elimination of pain receptors could allow progression of ostoearthritis in joints, further worsening the joints.  The identification of MCP-1 and CCR2 offers the potential for the isolated treatment of osteoarthritis pain without compromising the healthy pain systems of the body.

OA Signs And Symptoms

September 11, 2012

Knee Pain

Osteoarthritis refers to inflammation of a joint and its surrounding bone.  It often results from the accumulation of mechanical stress on the joint.  In most cases, there is degradation of the articular cartilage in the joint.  Articular cartilage is important because it is slick, and lets joints move with very little friction (less than ice rubbing against ice).  Articular cartilage lets a healthy joint move smoothly, and also has a limited role as a shock absorber.  In people with osteoarthritis, swelling in the joint increases pressure on the cartilage and can lead to break down.  Once the surface of the cartilage is broken, friction rapidly increases and the cartilage may wear away.  This is why OA can often be classified as degenerative.

Knee pain can often result from osteoarthritis.  As the osteoarthritis gets worse, the cartilage becomes less effective at reducing friction when the knee bends.  This is particularly problematic when the knee is supporting body weight.  Eventually, all of the cartilage in the knee may rub off, resulting in direct bone on bone contact.  This can significantly increase knee pain.

Knee pain from osteoarthritis is often treated with non-steroidal-anti-inflammatory drugs like Advil or Tylenol.  Knee braces are also an effective treatment option because they can help “unload” the knee joint.  This reduces the stress and pressure on the joint surfaces, and can prevent the bones in the knee joint from rubbing against one another.  Osteoarthritis can also be treated with cortisone injections.  Mild forms of osteoarthritis may be effectively treated with rest, ice, elevation and compression.


September 9, 2012


Aspirin is in a class of drugs called Anti-inflammatory medications.  Other drugs in this class of medicine  can include ibuprofen and acetaminophen.   Anti inflammatory medications like aspirin help reduce swelling.  Over the counter pain relievers like Bayer are commonly used with success to treat the knee pain associated with osteoarthritis. Aspirin has potential side effects and your body can build up a tolerance. It is important to understand that even over-the-counter medications like aspirin can interact with other medications you may be taking.  Make sure you follow the instructions on the bottle and consult with your primary care physician about aspirin use.


Cortisone Injection

Has your doctor recommended a cortisone shot for your knee pain?  The human body produces cortisone naturally when under stress.  Cortisone is a steroid manufactured in the adrenal gland.  It is delivered through the blood stream and its affects can last for minutes.

The cortisone your doctor wants to give you is synthetic.  Though man-made, it closely resembles the steroid made in your body.  The big difference is that the injected version is delivered directly to where the pain is and it lasts a lot longer.  How long the pain relief lasts will vary from person to person.