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Knee Pain Treatment
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Meniscus refers to the soft ligament in your knee joint, which cushions your bones and protects it from wear and tear. It is vital for the fulfilment of regular activities and the health of your bones. Thus, a damage to the meniscus can be extremely painful. Meniscuses are exposed to injuries and shocks in case of rigorous activities and this is a fairly common syndrome faced by athletes and sports persons. It can cause a substantial amount of hurt and generally impairs movement to a large extent. It potentially gets worse as the inflammation sets in and the swelling grows. The risk of a meniscus tear increases with age. The treatment for a torn meniscus depends upon the degree of tear. While minor tears repair on their own, for graver injuries, the following therapies may prove effective.
Symptoms of a torn meniscus
- You might be able to experience a popping sensation in your knee joint
- Stiffness and swelling
- You will experience pain, especially while you are trying to twist your knee
- You might not be able to straighten your knee completely
- Locking of the joint
The treatment for a torn meniscus depends upon the degree of tear. While minor tears repair on their own, for graver injuries, the following therapies may prove effective:
1. Light exercises: For slightly serious meniscus tears, there are certain knee exercises which are recommended to abort any further damage as well as to repair the wound. Limiting the activities which might exert pressure on the knees, getting adequate rest, using ice packs and wearing neoprene sleeves always aid in recovery.
2. Anti-inflammatory medications: Often, meniscus tears are cured with the help of anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen. They not only reduce pain but also enable the mending of the injured tissue. However, one needs to be aware of a few side effects which often become natural repercussions of such drugs. Possibility of ulcers and bleeding get increased by leaps and bounds on the intake of such drugs.
3. Surgery: For all other forms of meniscus tears, if healing is not obtained through non-surgical methods, the only option available is that of surgery. Such a situation arises when the pain becomes unbearable and the meniscus tear does not respond favorably to superficial treatments. These surgeries are less complicated than replacement surgeries. They usually do not involve any life threatening hazard and cautious and efficiently conducted surgeries release all pains and handicaps.
Muscle strain or muscle pull is a condition, which is characterized by damage to the muscles or its adjoining tendons. Undue pressure can be exerted on the muscle when you are carrying out routine activities such as sudden lifting of heavy things or playing contact sports. The damage to the muscle is usually in the form of partial or complete tearing of the tendons and fibres attached to the muscles. The small blood vessels in the muscles can also be damaged by the tearing of the muscles, leading to local bleeding and bruising.
The symptoms of muscle pain are:
1. You will experience pain even while resting
2. There will be bruising, swelling and redness around the affected area
3. You will experience weakness of the muscles and tendons
4. The movement and mobility of the muscle will be impaired
5. You will experience pain when you use the affected muscles
The causes of a muscle strain are:
1. Playing contact sports can lead to injuries
2. Lifting heavy things
3. Exercising without a proper warm up routine
4. Lifting extremely heavy weights during exercise without proper acclimatization
5. Sleeping on one side only for a long period of time
6. Not stretching properly
7. Falling from a height
The treatments for muscle strains are:
1. Pain medications: You can opt for pain relieving medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications to help combat the associated pain of a muscle strain.
2. Rice: Rice stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation. This treatment is usually the first step after suffering a strain, before opting for medications. This treatment prevents further aggravation of the problem.
3. Compress: You can alternate between hot and cold compress to reduce the swelling and pain.
4. Stretches: Once the affected area has healed, it is important for you stretch the muscles to improve their mobility and strength.
Every day we use our hands the most to get everything done. From drinking water to typing on the keyboard (and today on mobile phones); from holding the newspaper still when reading it to taking down academic notes- we use our hands for everything. But our hands like all other parts of the body have the capacity to carry out their functions. At times, we unknowingly put a lot of strain on our hands and they start to pain. Hand pains are quite common in everyone and it is equally common to practice certain exercises to control them quickly.
If you experience frequent pains in the hands, these are some of the exercises you can resort to.
Fist: You do not always make a fist while punching people. Sometimes you make a fist to tighten your hand muscles and nerves and smoothen the blood flow in your hands. This helps in reducing the pain in your hands to a great extent. In fact, folding your hand to a fist can also help in preventing hand pain.
Finger Bends: Bend each finger tightly towards your palm for at least a minute and then release it. Do it separately for each of the five fingers on your hand. This would ease out the tension in each of the fingers and normalize blood flow. This helps in curing any finger pain that you might be experiencing. It is especially a great exercise to prevent pain from developing in your thumb and index finger.
Thumbs Up: Usually, we show the thumbs up sign to signal all is well and best wishes to people. But it is also an exercise if continued for some time. All you have to do is place your palm on a table and curl all your fingers except the thumb inwards. Stretch the thumb outwards and hold it in this position counting up to ten. Then curl your thumb towards the palm. This exercise too helps in stretching the muscles.
Wrist: An important part of the hand is the wrist. The wrist joints are a very crucial set of bones and they tend to get injured very fast. They are also delicate enough to be sprained if the hand is turned abruptly. To avoid such injuries, strengthen the wrist and reduce wrist pain, a lot of wrist exercises are also prescribed. The simplest one is to extend your hand and move the wrist in anti-clockwise and clockwise directions.
Thus, these are some of the ways in which you can ease the pain in your hand in no time and go about normally with your daily chores.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a medical condition wherein the bone becomes fragile and breaks easily even with a minor fall. The bones of spine, wrists and hips get affected the most. These fractured bones lead to severe pain and can force a person to become immobile. A spine fracture can even lead to a loss of height.
What is parathyroid hormone?
Parathyroid is a naturally occurring hormone that regulates the amount of calcium present in the body. They mitigate the risk of bone breakage in the body for a patient suffering with osteoporosis. These hormones are injected into the body on a daily basis to maintain the normal flow of calcium in the body.
How does the treatment work?
Treatments are available in the form of drugs and injections. A doctor can prescribe drugs, if the patient is at an increased rate of bone breakage. The parathyroid hormone helps to protect the bone from breaking, but have no role when the bone actually breaks. The body has a natural process of breaking a bone and rebuilding it by itself. Osteoporosis sets in motion when this process of bone formation is disturbed.
When does a doctor prescribe hormonal treatment?
If a patient has undergone a number of vertebral compression fractures and the condition has not improved, a doctor might suggest to undergo parathyroid hormone treatment. The treatment requires nursing support due to a patient’s delicate bone condition. A maximum dosage of 20 micro grams of parathyroid can be injected for a time duration not exceeding 2 years.
Things to know about the treatment:
- Be informed: It is good to be well informed about the course of the treatment, treatment duration, plausible problems etc. This will help a patient to be on top of the decision making process. The helpline of the 'National Osteoporosis Society' can be reached to understand the preparation required for a patient to undergo the treatment.
- Take the right dosage at the right time: Parathyroid injections should be injected on a daily basis for a maximum time period of 2 years. These injections are taken daily at the same time. It should be ensured that none of the injections are skipped without the prior approval of a doctor. The injection, which lasts for 28 days, needs to be stored in a refrigerator. In case a patient is travelling, special bags are available that has space for storing gel packs.
- Side effects: Most patients do not report any side effects, but they do exist. Possible side effects include dizziness, arthralgia, depression and headache. These symptoms often suggest that your body is reacting to the parathyroid hormone treatment. A doctor may or may not prescribe any further drugs to address these symptoms.
Osteopenia is a medical condition that gradually causes thinning of bone mass. While the thinning mass is not considered as severe, the real danger looms when osteopenia aggravates to osteoporosis, resulting in a bone fracture. Osteopenia is mostly witnessed in people above the age of 50. The difference between the diagnosis of osteopenia and osteoporosis lies in the measure of bone density.
Osteoporosis, on the other hand, is the loss of bone mass due to the deficiency of calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and other minerals and vitamins. Osteoporosis can lead to broken bones, height loss, acute pain and humpback. It is estimated that over 54 million people in the US suffer from osteoporosis.
Bone mineral density (BMD):
The calcium deposit in the bone is measured by the bone mineral density (BMD) test. This test rightly estimates the chances of bone fracture in a person. Furthermore, it helps a doctor to distinguish between osteopenia and osteoporosis. Being non-invasive in nature, this test can be performed anytime on areas such as hip, shin bone, spine etc. BMD can either be measured by plain radiographs or DEXA. The latter is a form of X-ray that has lesser exposure to radiation. Post the test, a score is given based on the calcium availability of the bones.
How is a BMD comprehended?
Every BMD result is evaluated in the form of T-score. The T-score is derived by comparing the result of the BMD with a normal person in the 30’s having the same race and sex. The difference of score between a healthy individual and a patient affected with osteoporosis or osteopenia is referred to as Standard Deviation. A patient with a T-score in the range of (-1SD) to (-2.5SD) is considered a prime candidate for osteopenia. A patient having a T-score lesser than -2.5SD is diagnosed with osteoporosis.
Risk factor for osteopenia or osteoporosis:
While not everyone runs the risk of getting either osteopenia or osteoporosis, there are certain risk factors attached to it:
- Gender: Women run a higher risk of getting affected with osteopenia or osteoporosis.
- Race: Women who belong from the Caucasian or Asian origin run a higher risk of getting these diseases.
- Age: Most people tend to get these diseases above the age of 50. Humans have a tendency of losing close to 0.5 percent of bone every year after a certain age.
- Family history: A person with a family history of osteopenia or osteoporosis has more than 50% chance of getting either osteopenia or osteoporosis.
- Lifestyle: Poor diet, excessive smoking, alcohol, lack of exercising etc. goes a long way in contributing towards these diseases.
Rotator cuff is the name given to four muscles and their tendons, which keep your arms in your shoulder sockets, allowing you to lift your arms and do day-to-day stuff like combing your hair, cutting vegetables etc.
The shoulder joint is a very important joint of the body and this is why any tear that happens in the rotator cuff can be devastating.
Tears can happen in rotator cuff due to a number of factors like injury and degeneration due to age. Tears that happen due to an injury to the shoulder are called acute. Degenerative tears are tears that happen due to degeneration of the tendon over time.
Common causes of degeneration are lack of proper blood circulation, which impedes the rotator cuff’s ability to repair itself. Repetitive stress is another cause where we stress the tendon by repeating the same shoulder motions again and again while playing games like tennis, cricket etc. and doing jobs that require us to extend our arms upwards a lot. Lifting heavy objects can also lead to tears.
Chronic shoulder and arm pain are good reasons for you to see your doctor. If you suffer from pain in your shoulder at rest, while sleeping on the affected shoulder or pain while lifting and lowering your arm, then there is no time to wait.
The doctor will do a physical examination by moving your arm in different directions. He may follow it up with X-rays and MRI to check how big the tear is in your rotator cuff.
Once confirmed that you indeed have a rotator cuff tear, your doctor will start the treatment. The goal of any treatment is to reduce pain and make your shoulder joint work properly again.
Nonsurgical treatments include rest, using of a sling to protect the shoulder and modifying your daily activities. This means you may not be able to do activities that cause shoulder pain. Your doctor can also prescribe pain and anti-inflammatory medicines. Strengthening and physical therapy bring up the rear of this type of treatment.
What you must remember is that nonsurgical treatment relieves pain and improves function in the shoulder, but does not improve shoulder strength. The size of your tear may also increase over time.
Surgery, which attaches the rotator cuff to your bone, is done if you suffer from continuous pain and symptoms over a year or so. If you have a large tear, conservative treatments will not work and surgery will have to be resorted to.
If you have been suffering from chronic shoulder or arm pain, waiting and watching is definitely not an option. You must visit an orthopedic surgeon at the earliest. Remember, if treatment is not started soon enough, your rotator cuff tear will get larger and will require only surgery. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
As you age, the cartilage cushioning your joints starts wearing down, causing the bones to rub against each other. This causes osteoarthritis, which is a type of degenerative disease caused. The rubbing of the bones causes inflammation of the joints. The joints of the arms and legs along with the lower back are most commonly affected by this condition.
Here are some common symptoms, which indicate that you are suffering from osteoarthritis:
1. Pain and tenderness: An aching back, knees, neck and hip with severe pain are some of the most common symptoms of osteoarthritis. The pain caused during the early stage of arthritis is classified into tenderness and pain. A sharper pain may be felt while moving the affected joint in a certain way. Tenderness is the discomfort experienced when the joint is pressed along with visible swelling in the affected area.
2. Joint stiffness: Joint stiffness is another early symptom of osteoarthritis. It refers to the wooden feeling, which makes a person feel slow and sluggish. The urge to rest or go to bed should be resisted. Warming up the joints with gentle exercise or moving around cause relief. It also helps in reducing the stiffness and you can continue your regular activities with more ease.
3. Abnormal sensations: When the cartilage wears down, the rubbing of the bones against each other may lead to some abnormal sensations. Grating of the joints is common in people with osteoarthritis. One may feel that their joints are cracking or clicking while moving.
4. Loss of flexibility: People who are in their early stages of osteoarthritis may face difficulty with moving the areas which are affected. This joint stiffness and pain may lead to a loss of flexibility or loss of range of motion. Range of motion refers to the extent up to which one can move his joints normally. In case you are not being able to bend your knee fully or as far as you would have done it normally, you might be experiencing osteoarthritis.
Loss of flexibility occurs slowly and gradually. A person may hurt his back unusually during a football game or may experience a stiff back in the morning after waking up. This gets more intense with time. In the later stages, you may experience joint pain even while resting.
In case you experience any symptoms of osteoarthritis, you must consult a doctor immediately. The doctor will provide you with a plan aimed at managing and getting a quicker relief from the pain caused due to osteoarthritis. Several over-the-counter medicines, braces for supporting affected joints and range of motion exercises are also effective ways of managing osteoarthritis. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!