Knee pain: one symptom, a thousand causes

23 July 2019 - Therapies -
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The young and the old, sportsmen and women as well as sedentary people, whether 20 year or 60 years old, suffer from this: knee pain is an across-the-board disorder which affects 70% of people at least once in a lifetime (as confirmed by a study carried out on a test sample of 120 respondents) causing not only suffering but also difficulties in the normal management of everyday life.

The causes

There are many reasons that can trigger it, but they primarily concern inflammation of the nerves affecting the back, the knee, the hip, the ankles and the thighs, whose task is to confer sensitivity to the limb. They can also cause knee pain, in addition to its fracture or dislocation, distortion of ligaments, injury to the meniscus, tendinitis, bursitis, arthrosis, rheumatoid and septic arthritis. Among the causes of the disorder there are also Baker's cysts, patellar chondropathy and an excessive effort due to sports overtraining. Malformations and incorrect posture may also have an impact on the joint, causing suffering.

Symptoms

Pain - "acute" when there is a lesion or infection and "chronic" if the injury is severe - accompanied by swelling and the formation of haematomas due to the accumulation of fluid in the knee are the main signs of the disease. Further indications are widespread weakness, difficulty in moving and in supporting the body weight, creaking joints up to a complete blockage, where stretching and bending are impossible. Fever can also be a warning.

Diagnosis

After an overall examination of the patient, in particular by referring to his/her medical history, a physical examination, the site and activity associated with the onset of the disorder, an orthopaedic specialist assessment is performed using various means such as radiography, magnetic resonance, ultrasound and computed tomography. In the case of suspected acute or chronic knee pain of uncertain origin, associated with joint effusion, it is necessary to aspirate the liquid and to examine this through Gram staining, cultures, total and differential white cell count and a search for crystal deposits.

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knee pain laser treatment

Therapy

Rest, keeping the knee resting on a pillow, taking analgesics and painkillers (when there is no already diagnosed problem) are the first steps to be taken together with applying ice (inflammation) or a hot water bottle (joint arthritis). In the case of diseases already defined by a specialist visit and by targeted examinations, the therapeutic protocol envisages cortisone and / or hyaluronic acid infiltrations and, should liquid be present, an ad hoc operation. Laser therapy and magnetotherapy sessions have been confirmed as functional to reducing suffering and inflammation, and can also be added to rehabilitation exercises. To avoid recurrences or as a preventive approach, there are a few simple best practices which are recommended, such as maintaining a harmonious body weight, carrying out continuous physical activity but without subjecting the knee to excessive strain, a correct posture and the use of comfortable shoes with orthotics.

And laser therapy?

It is certainly indicated for all those disorders where there is pain, inflammation, oedema affecting the capsuloligamentous and meniscal structures. As it is non-invasive and painless, it also enables an improvement of the joint function and promotes healing processes.

And magnetotherapy?

Based on the application of specific magnetic fields with a proven role in biological processes, it is indicated for treating pain, inflammation and oedema thanks to its effects on the cells of the immune system and on the circulation.  Moreover, in addition to confirming its analgesic, anti-inflammatory and draining effect, targeted clinical studies have also demonstrated a repairing and regenerating action on soft tissues.

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case report kneepain

The study case

Mrs. C.S (72 years old) has to deal with knee arthritis at a very advanced stage. To avoid arthroplasty surgery, she undergoes Hilterapia® sessions, applying the specific protocol provided for the diagnosed disease. After 15 sessions, the patient showed such an obvious improvement that surgery was discarded.
In order to avoid having to turn to an operation as a last resort, it is recommended to repeat the treatment cycle annually.
At a check-up visit several months later, C.S. showed new painful symptoms which the physiatrist attributed to simple knee pain with the involvement of the antero-medial district and of the area around the patella. To solve this, the lady underwent new Hilterapia® sessions which not only treated the knee, but also the surrounding muscles (quadriceps, triceps surae and crucial ischium muscles) in order to obtain a significant vascularization and elasticity of the tissues.
The painful symptoms, clearly reduced right from the very first sessions, completely regressed after 12 applications.
(case reported by Giorgio Dordoni, physiotherapist)

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