Alternative Therapies For Knee Pain Orlando
Knee pain can be treated in a variety of ways, from over-the-counter remedies to surgery. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is an option, too. More and more people are exploring the alternative approach instead of pain medications or surgery for relief. Realizing there are other options that are available that can be very effective.
“Patients need to realize that some of these therapies are great adjuncts [add-on treatments]. They won’t cure knee pain (depending on the severity of the injury…chronic or acute), but they will control the symptoms,” says Robert Gotlin, DO, director of sports rehabilitation at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City.
Knee Pain: Alternative Therapies
Some of the most popular alternatives therapies for knee pain are:
Acupuncture; This ancient treatment seems to be particularly helpful for knee pain related to osteoarthritis. It typically involves the use of thin metal needles that are inserted into the skin by hand and manipulated into specific points to relieve the pain. “Acupuncture is a great adjunct and it’s been around for thousands of years and has many places in medicine — one is to control pain and swelling in the knee,” Dr. Gotlin says.
According to a recent study at the University of Maryland, patients who received acupuncture for knee pain reported 40 percent less pain than patients who received other treatments or information about knee pain.
The FDA reports that there are very few complications from acupuncture, and there are millions of people who receive this treatment for knee pain and other conditions. The needles used must be sterile (germ-free). If you visit an acupuncturist, the practitioner should use a new set of disposable needles that are opened from a sealed package. And your knee should be swabbed with alcohol before the needles are inserted to ensure a sterile procedure.
Magnets: Use of magnets is also a form of pain relief therapy, but research has been unable to prove whether it’s truly effective. Some magnets, called electromagnets, can generate magnetic fields which can be pulsed, or turned on and off rapidly. Although one small study showed that patients with knee osteoarthritis using this therapy felt improvement in pain, researchers said more studies are needed to really prove the effectiveness.
“Magnetic pulsed therapy is on the downside and not used much anymore,” Gotlin says. “It is supposed to increase blood flow in the knee and help soothe the pain, but it’s not curative.”
Shiatsu massage: Massage is another of the many alternative therapies that some people may consider when seeking to reduce knee pain. One particular type of massage is called shiatsu, during which rhythmic, varying pressure is applied to your body. Other types of massage use different amounts of pressure and different stroke techniques.
“This isn’t a common therapy for knee pain,” Gotlin says. “Shiatsu treatment or any hands-on technique is just an adjunct therapy to help improve the way muscles fire and to reduce pain, but it’s not commonly used.”
Dietary supplements: Alternative therapies in the form of supplements, particularly glucosamine plus chondroitin sulfate, are widely advertised and are supposed to help reduce the pain of knee osteoarthritis. Numerous studies have produced mixed results. One large study of 1,600 people living with knee osteoarthritis pain sponsored by the National Institutes of Health found that, after four years, glucosamine plus chondroitin sulfate did not provide substantial relief for patients who had mild pain. However, it did help the patients with moderate-to-severe pain. But the researchers felt that portion of the group was too small to come to a conclusion, and that an even larger study is necessary to confirm the usefulness of these dietary supplements.
If you are interested in trying alternative therapy for your knee pain call today to schedule an appointment.
Four Seasons Acupuncture services residents of Orlando, Winter Park, Maitland, Longwood, Lake Mary.
Four Seasons Acupuncture
110 N. Orlando Ave Suite 3
Maitland, Florida 32751