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DR. ARNAN SISSON, PT
November 20, 2023
Last week we covered some common knee pain myths, today I’m going to go over a few more that may be getting in the way of you enjoying your life again.
The first myth is this, “common treatments for knee pain such as medications, injections, acupuncture, electrical modalities (ultrasound, e-stim) can provide long term relief.” This is definitely a big-time myth. There are studies that show these things can help short term, but not much research is out to show that these truly bring about long-term reliefs.
Injections and medications for the treatment of knee pain often just deal with inflammation, and this is just a side effect of the actual mechanical problem. So, in this situation often the inflammation just returns sometime after the pills/injections wear off, and the pain becomes recurrent.
Electrical stimulation and ultrasound, which you may have seen with past physical therapy also isn’t the best route. I like to use the story of the nail and the hammer. If you go to hammer a nail, but you miss and hit your thumb. Immediately after you by reflexively grab your finger and put some pressure on it. This tends to relief the pain a bit. E-stim and ultrasound work in a similar way by overriding pain signals. But this is just a temporary effect while these things are running, and often isn’t the long-term solution you’re looking for.
The next myth is, “due to my age I should consider a knee replacement soon than later.” This is something that I commonly hear from folks prior to working with us in the clinic. And what they soon find out is that a knee replacement can often be avoided.
Its always a great idea to try more conservative approaches first before you try more expensive and invasive procedures. Finding a Doctor of Physical Therapy you trust is important, and the best-case scenario is that you avoid the procedure. And the worst is you’ve strengthened the knee to allow yourself to have a much better recovery if you do plan to get surgery.
These myths are important for the reader to know, because if there is a focus on these things to relief you knee pain then there’s often never a full resolution of pain or it just keeps coming back. About a quarter of our new clients have been through this frustrating process, and they finally seek help to not just get rid of the pain but keep it away.
That’s it for today, everyone, remember movement is medicine!
P.S. Want some more help with that knee thats holding you back from curbs, steps, and even driving to work? Then click here to reserve your knee evaluation. We have 1-2 openings weekly for new knee clients, so reach out soon to see if your a good fit for our practice!