Orthopedic Knee Doctor Pottstown, PA
If you are struggling with knee pain due to arthritis, rest assured that there are ways to help alleviate the severity of your discomfort with help from an orthopedic knee doctor Pottstown, PA patients trust from the Premier Osteoarthritis Centers of Pennsylvania. As an initial response to knee pain, people may begin to decrease or avoid physical activity. While it can help to give your knee rest periods, halting activity altogether isn’t the route to knee wellness. What you can do about knee arthritis pain is seek support, get a medical exam, make lifestyle changes, stay active, and more.
Your knee doctor is likely to suggest following these simple yet very impactful strategies to help with knee arthritis pain:
Stay Active, But Low-Impact
Many people who have knee pain can still be active, but they have to be strategic about what type of physical activity they are engaging in. Being physically active can actually help relieve pain without the need for prescription medication. Other benefits from gentle exercise include improved knee joint function, mood boost, and reduction of risk for developing other health problems. If you want to be more active, it is important that you only do low-impact exercises such as swimming, biking, or walking.
Talk With Your Doctor
If you haven’t already, it’s imperative that you speak with an orthopedic knee doctor Pottstown, PA residents rely on for care about the pain you are experiencing. Your doctor can run diagnostics to give you more information about the severity of your arthritis, and what you can do to help prevent inflammation of the knee joint. Your knee doctor can create a treatment plan with the intention to:
- Reduce the overall severity and frequency of the knee pain
- Minimize knee point damage and inflammation
- Improve your quality of life and enjoyment
Sign Up For a Workshop or Support Group
There is something powerful about attending a workshop or support group for those who are having similar health struggles. It can help to attend a workshop so you can learn the skills needed to manage your knee pain while making positive choices for your health. During a workshop or support group, you are likely to learn:
- How to feel more in control of your wellness
- How to manage the severity of pain and other related symptoms
- How to still participate in hobbies, spend time with loved ones, and go to work while managing knee pain
- How to improve your mood when you feel worn down by arthritis knee pain
- How to communicate with your knee doctor about your healthcare and treatment plan
Lose Excess Weight
Your orthopedic knee doctor Pottstown, PA patients can depend on, understands that you may not want to talk about your weight. It is a delicate issue that can make a patient feel attacked or judged. However, remember that your doctor has only your best interest in mind. In fact, if you lose only a few pounds this alleviates a substantial amount of pressure that is applied to your knees as you move around. Your doctor can talk with you about dietary changes and how low-impact physical activity can help you lose excess weight.
As an orthopedic knee doctor Pottstown, PA families trust, we can treat a broad range of patients. Many come to us because they have the early signs of arthritis. Others suffered an injury and are in pain and there are those who have been suffering from osteoarthritis for many years. Regardless of why they have come to us, it is our objective to treat them with professional care and expertise. If you have knee pain, please call us at the Premier Osteoarthritis Center for Pennsylvania right away.
What Is Causing My Knee Pain?
A Pottstown, PA orthopedic knee doctor understands that chronic knee pain can have a significant impact on a patient’s life. It can interfere with a patient’s ability to participate in sports or other extracurricular activities they may enjoy, interfere with their ability to perform their work duties, and even interfere with their day-to-day life.
Knee pain can be a symptom that occurs suddenly because of an injury, or it can be a symptom that occurs gradually over time, caused by some medical condition. Some of the more common causes of knee pain that we see here at our clinic include the following:
- Arthritis: Arthritis is one of the most common reasons why patients seek out the help of an orthopedic knee doctor in Pottstown, PA, especially for those patients over the age of 50. Our knees have cartilage that provides cushioning and protection. Over time, as we age, wear and tear of the cartilage cause it to lose its effectiveness, leaving the patient with bone to bone contact and painful arthritis. Knee arthritis can also cause swelling, limited mobility, and weakness. Treatment can include gentle exercises, acupuncture, medication, changes in diet, and knee braces.
- Bursitis: The human knee has approximately 15 bursae. A bursa is a small sac that is filled with fluid, placed between muscles and bones in order to prevent irritation. In some situations, especially with excessive physical activity, the bursae can swell and become inflamed around the knee. When this happens, the patient can suffer pain, especially burning pain. Treatment can include avoiding activities that trigger symptoms, as well as stretching and strengthening exercises.
- Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS): When a patient comes to our clinic suffering from pain that runs along the outside of their knee, the diagnosis is often ITBS. The iliotibial band runs down the outer side of the thigh, attaching to the knee. If there is excessive friction on the band – such as from running – the patient can develop ITBS. The pain can become even worse, the more the patient engages in activities. Symptoms can also include swelling and snapping of the band when the patient does any kind of bending. Treatment can include stretching and strengthening exercises and the use of orthotics.
- Runner’s Knee: Anyone, not just patients who run, can suffer from runner’s knee. There are many issues that can trigger painful runner’s knee symptoms, including the angle of the patient’s hip, if they have flat feet, muscle tightness, and weakness. Treatment can include stretching and strengthening exercises, ice therapy, and knee braces.
Why Do My Knees Crack and Pop?
Knees that make sounds like popping, clicking, or crackling may be telling you something important. Research indicates that middle-aged and older adults who said their knees popped and crackled frequently were more likely to develop arthritis symptoms the following year.
It’s typical for the knees to make a little noise now and again, and hearing a loud “crack” during your spin class is probably not something to worry about. But, a new study found that aging knees that “pop,” “click,” or “crackle” may be on the way to having arthritis in the not too distant future.
Of people who complained their knees were “always” noisy, 11 percent developed arthritis symptoms within a year. That’s compared with 4.5 percent of people who said their knees “never” popped or cracked. Of people who said their knees made noise “sometimes” or “often,” roughly 8 percent developed similar knee symptoms in the following year.
An orthopedic knee doctor Pottstown, PA patients turn to for help, as well as other knee doctors, have a medical term for those joint noises: crepitus. The term usually refers to the joints but is also used to describe lung sounds. And although it’s a common patient complaint, it hadn’t been clear until recently that crepitus was a precursor to symptomatic knee arthritis. Radiographs back up these findings, as X-rays reveal new cartilage breakdown in crepitus patients. Also, patients identify numerous symptoms, including frequent pain and stiffness.
Anatomy and Function of the Knee
The knee acts as a hinge. It joins the thigh bone (the femur) to the long bone of the lower leg (the tibia). The other bone in the lower leg (the fibula) connects to the knee joint as well. The kneecap (the patella) is the small, cap-shaped bone that sits at the front of the knee, shielding the knee joint.
There are two thick pads of cartilage (the menisci) that cushion the tibia and femur and reduce friction where they come together. A fluid-filled capsule (the synovium) encloses and lubricates the knee joint. Additionally, four tough, flexible bands of tissue (ligaments) stretch across the surface of the knee joint, connecting the bones.
As time goes by, gas can build up in the areas surrounding the knee joint, forming tiny bubbles in the synovial fluid capsule. When the knee is bent, some of these bubbles burst and ligaments may pop or snap. This is a normal bodily process that happens to everyone from time to time.
Crepitus and Arthritis
Crepitus in the knee joint is typically painless. There’s no need to be too concerned about it. However, when pain accompanies the crackling and popping sounds it could signal a problem. Arthritis is an inflammatory condition that actually damages cartilage and bone. Once damaged by arthritis, the knee joint may crackle and crunch as it moves. Crepitus also results from different types of knee trauma and injuries. An orthopedic knee doctor Pottstown, PA patients trust can evaluate your symptoms and help you to understand your treatment options.
Find the Help You Need From Our Pottstown Orthopedic Knee Doctor!
When you are dealing with knee arthritis, you know it is probably time to call an orthopedic knee doctor Pottstown, PA residents recommend. Dealing with knee pain can be so debilitating that you no longer enjoy your usual activities. In fact, you may have been suffering from knee pain for so long you don’t remember what it is like to not have knee pain. If you have arthritis in your knee, it can cause swelling, stiffness, and pain which makes every step or every knee bend uncomfortable and painful. As your cartilage wears away between your bones, your knees can begin grinding together which causes serious inflammation. If you are suffering from arthritis in your knee and would like to speak with our Pottstown, PA orthopedic knee doctor, please set up an appointment with us now.
Different Types of Knee Arthritis
Our Pennsylvania orthopedic knee doctor has seen many clients come into the office with different types of knee problems. Below, you will learn more about some of the most common.
- Post-Traumatic Arthritis. This is one that many people have not heard of but it can happen when someone develops arthritis after they have sustained a knee injury. Even though you may believe that an old injury healed already, it is possible that it never finished healing or that there was still damage after it healed. When you develop arthritis after an injury like this, it can lead to serious damage to your knee.
- Osteoarthritis. Many people have heard of osteoarthritis, a problem that happens when the cartilage begins to wear away around your knee bones. You may feel like your knee bones are rubbing together and that is exactly what is happening.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis. This happens because it is an autoimmune disorder, not necessarily for age, weight, or injury reasons. When you have an autoimmune disorder, your body attacks its own healthy cells because they think they are in danger. Thus, it may attack the cartilage in your knee.
Get the Right Care
You may be thinking that surgery or medication is the only way to help, however, our Pottstown, PA orthopedic knee doctor believes that natural, holistic care should be one of the first options you choose. We believe that many problems in a person’s body stem from misalignment which can cause nerve damage, inflammation, and swelling. If you are interested in seeing how we can help you, call our orthopedic knee doctor in Pottstown, PA know.
Joint-Friendly Exercises for Arthritis
Arthritis Stretches: Improve Flexibility
Gently stretching is a great way to ease the pain and stiffness of rheumatoid arthritis. It also helps increase your range of motion. Start each stretching session with a light three- to five-minute aerobic warm-up.
Hold stretches for 30 seconds without bouncing or jerking. It should feel good. Remember: keep it gentle, not intense.
In the next several slides, we’ll review some useful stretches that can help relieve your rheumatoid arthritis pain and stiffness.
Arthritis Stretches: Stretch Your Fingers
Since rheumatoid arthritis targets small joints such as the ones in your hands, this stretch can really bring some relief. To pull off the finger stretch successfully, follow these steps:
- Make a fist.
- Open and extend your fingers as straight as possible.
- Repeat this exercise, gradually increasing up to 20 times, twice a day.
- To add more challenge to this stretch, squeeze a foam or sponge ball about the size of a tennis ball, then release and extend your fingers.
Arthritis Stretches: Keep Wrists Flexible
Another series of joints often hampered by rheumatoid arthritis are the ones found inside your wrists. To keep your wrists flexible, follow these steps:
- Sit at a table or desk.
- With your left forearm on the table, let your left hand hang over the edge.
- Use your right hand to grab the fingers of your left hand and bend your left hand at the wrist, slowly moving it up and then down as far as possible without pain.
- Repeat with the opposite hand.
- Increase up to 20 repetitions, twice a day.
Arthritis Stretches: Try an Elbow Stretch
Keeping your elbows from getting stiff and sore is useful in all kinds of ways. To improve elbow flexibility, follow these steps:
- With your arm extended parallel to the floor, position your palm face-up.
- Use your opposite hand to grab hold of the fingers, and pull the palm of the extended hand toward the floor.
- Hold for 30 seconds.
- Now, do the same exercise, except this time turn your palm face down.
- Use the opposite hand to push the top of your extended fingers and hand down toward the floor.
- Hold for 30 seconds.
Arthritis Stretches: Hip Rotation
Keep your hips flexible with this simple stretch:
- Sit or lie on your back on the floor or on a bed, feet slightly apart.
- With your legs and knees straight, turn your knees in toward each other and touch the toes of your feet together.
- Hold for five seconds.
- Turn your legs and knees out, and hold for five seconds.
- Repeat this twice a day, gradually increasing up to five, 10, and then 20 repetitions.
Schedule an Appointment with an Orthopedic Knee Doctor in Pottstown, PA
If you have frequent crepitus or arthritis, we encourage you to schedule an exam at our clinic. It may not be likely that immediate intervention is needed, but knowing where you stand gives you options. Your knee professional can keep an eye on your progress and, if the time comes, guide you on treatment options, procedures, and surgical interventions that can restore function and eliminate stiffness and pain. Call Premier Osteoarthritis Centers of Pennsylvania today for more information about what our orthopedic knee doctor Pottstown, PA patients trust can do for you.