Summer is just around the corner! Many of us can’t help but picture ourselves soaking up the sunshine while we fully enjoy our favorite activities in the fresh air. We daydream about swimming and surfing at the beach, running and hiking in the sun, and playing games at backyard barbecues. We look towards the next few months with joy and expectation...
…Well sometimes we do. Other times our knees ache, our backs shoot with pain, and our headaches become overwhelming, and we wonder if this summer will be full of fun or overshadowed by pain.
It is always important to be grateful for where we are and the circumstances we find ourselves in even if we are experiencing pain and discomfort, for challenges are opportunities for growth. However, it is also important for us to seek out solutions for our problems and strive to make things right. As summer comes upon us, we can take a look at the areas in our health that we want to improve and take steps toward the next chapter of our health. It all begins with a choice.
One common discomfort to consider is knee pain. Many people suffer from knee pain whether it be due to an acute injury or a chronic problem. According to the Arthritis foundation, 27 million people suffer from Osteoarthritis (a common form of Arthritis) with the knee being on of the most commonly affected areas. It is estimated that one in two adults will experience osteoarthritis symptoms in their life (Svoboda, 2014). In Addition, there are around 700,000 knee replacement surgeries performed each year in the US due to a variety of reasons. Knee problems affect people far and wide.
On cause of knee pain is acute injury. In this case, there needs to be a diagnosis to determine what went wrong in the knee, what was damaged, and what needs to be done for treatment. Through the needed assessments and possible MRI, a diagnosis can be found and then treatment can begin for recovery. At Health in Balance, we use a host of physiotherapies and homeopathic therapies along with IRT (Injury Recall Technique), nutritional protocols to decrease inflammation, and joint injections containing homeopathic traumeel, lidocaine and sarapin in order to decrease inflammation and encourage healing.
It is commonly found that a deeper issue causes the knee to be prone to injury. The knee is supported by several muscle groups and ligaments surrounding the joint- medial, lateral, anterior, and posterior. When one or several of the muscle groups become weak, the knee will lose stability. When the integrity of the ligaments is compromised, the knee is prone to injury. One study found that out of all the Universities in the U.S, West Point University has one of the highest rates of knee injuries and ACL tears. Seems strange, right? Well, the issue is related to the lifestyle of the students. They had intense military training and high scholastic pressure leading to high levels of stress and a desire to party on the weekends. Through all of this, they were placing a lot of stress on their adrenals. Not surprisingly, the muscles associated with the adrenals glands are the sartorius and gastrocnemius, which connect to the knee. So as these students were overloading their adrenals, the stress weakened these muscles increasing the risk of knee injury. This is often called Executive Syndrome or ligamentous laxity. When stress increases, the body creates mineralocorticoids and secretes cortisol, and the production of these calls for a large amount of minerals. If there is not a plethora of minerals in the body, the minerals will be drawn out of the ligaments diminishing their integrity and weakening stability. At this state, the joint is prone to injury and tearing. With cases like this, adrenal support and recovery is needed. We combine nutritional counseling, supplementation, adrenal support IVs, and lifestyle changes to bring about healing to the adrenals and restore the integrity of the ligaments.
Knee pain can also occur due to improper tracking of the knee joint. This pattern is a result of tight muscles and adhesions, which do not allow the muscle to relax completely causing the knee to track incorrectly. This leads to an initial inflammatory response and over time leads to abnormal wear and tear on the meniscus and ligaments. There are several other structural issues that can affect the knee including a lack of movement in the Sacro Iliac joints, loss of arch in the food, poor posture, loss of neck curvature, etc. Applied Kinesiology can be used to determine which muscles and ligaments are weak, which are tight, what is causing abnormal function, and what other structural issues are involved. Once the diagnosis is made as to what is causing the knee pain, a plan of care will be crafted combining structural treatments, physiotherapies, graston technique, massage therapy, stretching programs and strengthening exercises to correct the problem. Many will also benefit from knee injections of traumeel, sarapin, and lidocaine to promote healing and decrease inflammation.
The most serious form of knee pain occurs when there is degeneration in the joint over time. This is commonly due to Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Post-traumatic Arthritis in the knee. The degeneration causes the cartilage to be worn down causing pain and dysfunction. In the US, there are around 700,000 knee replacement surgeries each year due to these problems. However, there are many non-surgical solutions that can produce transformative and lasting results. We love helping people recover from these conditions without surgery and have witnessed amazing results! With cases like these, we take X-Rays and other needed tests in order to determine the severity of the issue. From there, our doctors will decide the best route for the patient to take. For less serious degeneration, a Supartz injection into the knee can help relieve pain and restore the patient’s ability to perform daily tasks. This injection places hyaluronic acid into the joint, a natural chemical found in the joint tissues and fluids in your body. For more serious cases, we offer Amniotic Membrane Therapy (AMT). AMT is designed for damaged and aging joints, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and other joint related tissues. The injected fluid has regenerative and healing natural factors that can reduce inflammation and pain, promote normal tissue healing, and help restore a more functional joint. We are excited about this new service and we look forward to helping many people recover from joint pain through this new technology.
No matter the severity or cause of knee pain, we offer solutions to help a broad spectrum of cases. Don’t let your pain continue; search out relief and find solutions! We want to see many people recover from pain in order to fully enjoy this beautiful summer ahead.
What is Osteoarthritis?, Arthritis Foundation. Retrieved from http://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/osteoarthritis/what-is-osteoarthritis.php
Robson, S. (2012, Aug 11). Stars and Stripes: Blood Test May Yield Warning of Higher ACL Injury Risk. Retrieved from http://www.stripes.com/news/blood-test-may-yield-warning-of-higher-acl-injury-risk-1.185468
Svoboda, S. J. (2014). ACL Injury and Posttraumatic Osteoarthritis. Clinics in Sports Medicine, 33(4), 633-640. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S027859191400057X
Zhang, Q. S., Eaton, G. J., Diallo, C., & Freeman, T. A. (2016). Stress- Induced Activation of Apoptosis Signal-Regulating Kinase 1 Promotes Osteoarthrits. Journal of Cellular Physiology, 231(4), 944-953. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S027859191400057X