By Matthew Enright AP – Parkland, Florida – Knee pain can be excruciating, but there’s good news for you. Your suffering can be effectively alleviated through acupuncture, which serves as a cure for a variety of knee pain caused by different causes. So exactly causes knee pain? Here are some of the commonest culprits and how they’ve conventionally been treated.
Injuries to the meniscus
When the meniscus goes through traumatic injuries, it can tear off and float on your knee. The injury is usually the result of overworking your meniscus, and the pain that follows can be quite severe. Typically, the knee either locks at a certain position or will click as you move it. In other occasions, the injured part swells following the disturbance of tissues that surround the knee’s inner part.
There are two kinds of tendons in your knee that can rupture entirely or partially. The first kind of tendons, known as the patella tendons usually rupture in individuals under 40 years old. Quadriceps tendons ruptures, on the other hand, are common among athletes aged 40 years and above. One of the top symptoms of ruptured tendons is searing pain whenever you try to stretch your leg. If it’s the patella that’s ruptured, then you’ll notice that the part moves upward or downward from its usual position. This is easily notable if you compare the two knees.
Dislocated knee cap
Dislocated kneecaps are a common occurrence among sportsmen. In this injury, the leg is forcefully straightened and traumatized. Dislocated knee caps are especially common among women, people with obesity, and individuals that are knock-kneed. As with other knee injuries, dislocated knee caps can lead to extreme pain and discomfort while stretching your leg.
While this is a rare injury, it is quite dangerous in that it is limb threatening. The injury causes a total separation of a person’s upper and lower limb, rendering the entire leg useless. It’s a serious medical condition in that the individual’s ligaments are torn, besides their veins and arteries being severely affected. The resulting pain is severe, and the person’s knee becomes visibly deformed immediately after the injury.
Knee Ligament Injuries
While your knee ligaments are remarkably strong, they are still vulnerable to injuries such as sprains and ruptures. Depending on the severity of the injury, the rupturing can be partial or complete. Sprains are the commonest knee injuries and heal quickly. However, where you have a ruptured ligament, then it’s advisable to have it treated by a physician.
There’s a variety of knee ligament injuries such as:
Medial collateral ligament (MCL) injury – which happens when you tear or sprain your MCL. The medial collateral ligament refers to a band of tissue that’s found in the inside of the knee connecting the thigh bone and the bone on your lower leg. The tissue prevents the forward bending of your knee.
Lateral collateral ligament (LCL) injury – this kind of injury is rarer as compared to the MCL injury. The injury takes place on the inner side of your knee. The lateral collateral ligament itself is the part connecting the thigh bone to the fibular bone, while the ligament offers stability to the outer side of your knee.
Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury – this injury happens when one lands on the leg, twisting the knee in the opposite direction. The anterior cruciate ligament itself connects the thighbone to the tibia.
Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) injury – Injuries to the PCL are not as common as those to the ACL, but they still happen, especially where one is in a car collision. In this scenario, the person’s bent knees hit the dashboard or the seat in front of them.
Some of the symptoms of knee ligament injuries are:
- Acute pain
- Swollen knees
- Difficulty when moving
- Popping sounds when one tries to move the knee
Western Medical Treatments for knee pain
When you see a doctor after suffering knee pain, they will first administer a medical test to find out what is causing the pain and the state of your injury. Based on their findings, they’ll usually recommend one of the following treatments.
For tendon rupture- the physician may recommend surgery in order to repair your ruptured tendons. Alternatively, they may treat you by splitting, especially if what you have is a partial rupture.
For meniscal injuries –if the cause of your knee pain is injury to the meniscus, then you’ll need to undergo arthroscopic surgical repair.
For kneecap dislocation– as this isn’t really seen as a serious medical issue, your physician will simply pop it to its usual position. The doctor may still need to administer an X-ray to determine whether there’s a fracture. To allow the injured soft parts around your knee to recover, the doctor may splint your knee.
For knee dislocation– This injury is considered one of the most serious knee injuries and will require you to stay in the hospital for a while in order to undergo tests. The aim of the treatment is to lessen the dislocation before you are put under close observation awaiting healing. Unless the proper treatment is administered, you could become permanently disabled.
For knee ligament injuries- depending on the severity of the injury, your physician may recommend that that you undergo surgical treatment to repair torn ligaments. Afterwards, you may need to take pain relieving medication awaiting full recovery.
Acupuncture for Knee Pain
Acupuncture is a method of treatment that dates back about 3 millennia. This ancient Chinese treatment effectively alleviates pain, inflammation and spasm while improving circulation in the injured area. Acupuncture’s effectiveness has long been proven through numerous clinical studies. The technique has now been confirmed to relieve numerous types of pain besides knee pain. People suffering from neck pain and low back pain are some of the beneficiaries of acupuncture too.
A research report published in Archives of Internal Medicine affirms acupuncture as a proven way to treat pain. Dr. Chen, a certified anesthesiologist, supports this claim too. Chen, who also practices acupuncture at Massachusetts General Hospital, says that acupuncture leads medication in terms of safety and effectiveness.
Here at our Parkland Florida location, we administer a thorough initial evaluation so as to determine the accurate diagnosis and treat for your knee pain. We work with you to create an effective plan guaranteed to relieve your pain quickly. Contact us today for free consultation.