If knee pain is stopping you from exercising, then you can expect your knee pain to get worse, not better. Studies have shown that exercise is crucial for people with arthritis. Prolotherapy can help people with knee pain get back to an exercise routine.
Prolotherapy is safe injection technique that can significantly decrease the pain of knee arthritis.
A study looking into the therapeutic effects of prolotherapy for moderate knee osteoarthritis appeared in the April 2015 issue of Therapeutic Advances in Musculoskeletal Disease. The study found that knee pain, range of motion, and function were all improved after 3 monthly prolotherapy sessions, and the benefit was maintained throughout the 6-month study duration.
Osteoarthritis (OA), the most common form of arthritis, typically onsets after age 40. OA is due to the gradual loss of joint cartilage which can lead to bony endplate changes.
The most important thing we can do to delay or prevent OA is to keep our body mass index (BMI) in the ideal range from 18-25. You can calculate your BMI using your height and weight here: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/BMI/bmicalc.htm
Our body is just a skeleton frame and was not meant to carry lots of extra weight. Imagine if you had to carry 20 lbs of bricks strapped to your back at all times. That is no different than being 20 lbs overweight. Extra weight is going to wear down your knees, hips, and the discs in your lower spine.
Keeping your muscles strong and limber is critical for joint health. Muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and joint-space fluid are the only things standing between bone-on-bone. When you keep the supporting structures in prime health, you protect the intraarticular surface inside the joint. If you cannot pound the pavement due to knee pain, you can use swimming or a recumbent bicycle to achieve optimal muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness.
Other things we can do to prevent osteoarthritis include eating a healthy diet filled with nourishing antioxidants, amino acids, and nutrients. An anti-inflammatory diet with organic vegetables, fruits, beans, herbs, nuts, seeds, and whole grains like quinoa (not flour products) should make up the bulk of your food choices. Healthy sources of fats like avocado, coconut, olive oil, nuts, and wild salmon should replace the unhealthy sources of fats found in processed foods.
Staying hydrated is necessary to avoid drying out the cartilage inside the joints. The synoviocytes (the cells that line the weight-bearing joints) produce a fluid that helps buoy the bones like hydraulic fluid. When this fluid dries out, the joint is more likely to have bone-on-bone friction. The spinal discs contain a gel-like center that tends to desiccate with age, and benefit from daily hydration. Men should drink 3 liters water/day and women should drink 2 liters water/day.
Supplements can be helpful for joint health. Glucosamine sulfate 1500 mg/day with Chondroitin 1200 mg/day has been shown to help reduce cartilage loss in several studies. Resveratrol is an antioxidant derived from the skin of grapes that is associated with longevity and may protect joints. Fish oil (omega 3) has an anti-inflammatory effect. Anti-inflammatory herbal blends like Akasha’s InflaRegulator are a healthy way to decrease your joint swelling. Akasha’s Joint Ease is a selective kinase response modulator that is useful for flares of joint pain.
Treatment focus has shifted away from removing damaged cartilage, to preservation of as much cartilage as possible while enhancing the healing cascade.
Prolotherapy is injections of a proliferative fluid to the intra-articular joint space and the extra-articular supporting structures where tendons and ligaments attach to the bone surrounding the joint. The result is a stimulation of the body’s natural healing cascade and a stabilization of the supportive structures of the joint.
Prolotherapy is available at the Akasha Center for Integrative Medicine in Santa Monica, CA. Call 310-451-8880 to make an appointment with Dr. Boston.