Knee arthritis occurs when the joint is no longer capable of lubricating itself. Discover safe, effective, long-lasting synthetic replacement lubrication. Osteoarthritis (OA), is the most common form of arthritis and occurs when the cartilage or cushion between the joints breaks down and loses the ability to lubricate the surfaces as it once did. This leads to pain, stiffness and swelling. OA can affect any joint, but it often occurs in the knee. Synvisc is a safe and effective option for treating knee osteoarthritis.
By: Dr. Jason Gruss
As we age, the cartilage between our joints tends to wear down. For many people, this “wear and tear” leads to a chronic condition called osteoarthritis (OA). The knee is one of the most common joints effected by OA. In fact, according to the Arthritis Foundation, one in two adults will develop symptoms of knee OA during their lives.
Knee Osteoarthritis Symptoms
When osteoarthritis occurs in the knee, it is marked by a failure to produce normal lubrication called synovial fluid. Due to this lack of normal lubrication, a grating or scraping sensation occurs when moving the knee. As the OA progresses, normal everyday activities like walking or climbing stairs can become very difficult or impossible.
Some people feel that the pain and swelling caused by OA is inevitable and don’t do anything to manage it. Furthermore, the side effects of arthritis drug treatments can prompt people to stop them. Although there is no cure for osteoarthritis, the symptoms can and should be treated for the best health outcomes.
Drug-Free Knee Arthritis Treatment
The goal of treating knee arthritis is to reduce or eliminate the pain so that the limited mobility and other side effects of the condition do not lead to further negative health conditions. Knee pain, if left untreated, can result in a sedentary lifestyle, which in turn can promote weight gain. Being overweight or obese can cause chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Carrying additional weight also results in more load on the knees and additional pain. The cycle progresses and overall health declines.
There are many options for managing the symptoms of OA. Lifestyle and dietary changes are often necessary in order to lose excess weight that can be causing stress to the knee joint. In addition, oral pharmaceuticals or cortisone knee injections can provide short-term pain relief. But the best option with the least side-effects might be replenishing the diminished lubricating fluid.
Synvisc Knee Injection
In some cases, over-the-counter pain medications do not provide adequate relief. In these instances, Synvisc knee injections may be an option. Synvisc is a safe and effective knee injection that supplements the fluid in your knee, lubricating and cushioning the joint. Synvisc is a gel-like mixture of hyaluronan which is a natural substance found in the body. It acts like a shock absorber for the joints.
In conclusion, managing the pain associated with knee osteoarthritis is important for promoting long-term health. Typically, a combination of therapies offers the best lasting solution. Weight management, physical activity, anti-inflammatories and knee injections such as Synvisc can help.
Since 1981, First Health Associates has been providing exceptional health care to residents of Arlington Heights, Mt. Prospect, Schaumburg, Buffalo Grove, Rolling Meadows, Palatine, Elk Grove and Des Plaines. First Health is an integrative medicine practice that offers: Medical Care; Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine; Counseling and Behavioral Therapy; and Chiropractic Care.
Jason Gruss, MD, FAAPM&R, is the director of First Health Associates Physical Medicine Department.
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