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What’s Causing Your Knee Pain?

December 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Newsletters

Do you have knee pain and are not sure of where it might be coming from? Well here are some little pointers that might give you a clue as to what might be causing the problem.

Trauma

Fracture – if there has been trauma and you are having significant pain with all movements, then ruling out a fracture should be your first port of call

Cruciate ligaments – these secure the stability of the knee and stop the shin bone moving too far backwards or forwards on the thigh bone

Was your trauma accompanied by a twisting motion or a popping sensation?

Meniscus tear – these are 2 half mooned shaped pieces of cartilage lying on the shin bone and function as load distributors when we walk or run

Has your trauma resulted in a locking or inability to fully straighten your knee?

No Trauma

Patellofemoral Syndrome – is a very common problem faced by many people, manifesting usually as pain in the front of the knee. It results from poor tracking of the patella (knee cap) in its groove. It comes on, typically, with running, climbing stairs, and is made worse with prolonged sitting. Physiotherapy has a very good successes rate in improving and treating this condition.

Bakers Cyst - is an accumulation of synovial fluid (a jelly like lubricant in the knee) that stretches the lining of the joint behind the knee causing a bulge, usually as a result of some arthritis or damage to the knee. This results in pain coming on at the back of the knee without any signs of trauma.

Arthritis – which literally means inflammation, could be the cause of ongoing night pain and stiffness in the morning in the absence of any trauma.

Noises

A loud pop or cracking noise at the time of injury could suggest a ligament or meniscal tear. There is often swelling later, which is the body’s way of healing the tear.

A loud crack with severe and immediate swelling might indicate a fracture.

With normal activity if there is crunching or grinding at the knee bend then this might be related to poor knee cap tracking or patellofemoral syndrome.

If there is catching or locking in certain angles or positions then it may be an old meniscus tear or discoid meniscus

Instability

With injury – If you get immediate pain and are unable to continue activity, it might be a ligament tear- collateral/cruciate

No injury – If there is brief catching, it could be a kneecap subluxation where the knee cap dislocates slightly or fully out of the groove, causing pain around the sides of the knee cap.

Treatment

As physiotherapists we examine and treat a great many people who have knee problems. It is important to make an accurate diagnosis so that the correct treatment modality is used. These are varied and our aim is to encourage the healing process to take place, strengthen the muscles around the knee so that the knee and knee cap move correctly and prevent a reoccurrence of the problem.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms then please give us a call to have a chat about your knees so that we can keep you moving and painfree this summer

Natural Remedies

Pain can seriously affect your enjoyment of life, even low levels of it can be like a drip feed and wear you down. Anti-inflammatories and pain killers are often prescribed, but these can have unpleasant or even damaging side effects and may only deaden the symptoms but not get to the cause.

The body has its own natural inflammation fighting mechanisms as long as it has the where withal to use them. Our bodies contain 2 types of prostaglandins, one which trigger the inflammation and one which reduce it, and there are some herbs that can be taken to turn on the prostaglandins that reduce the inflammation. These are Turmeric (a spice containing curcumin), Bromelain (an enzyme found in pineapple) and Quercetin which blocks the unstable free radicals.

Eat more oily fish such as mackerel as it has the omega 3 fatty acids which help with pain and inflammation, or if you are not so keen on the actual fish then take a good supplement such as flax seed or evening primrose oil.

Eat cherries and berries which are packed with anti oxidants that reduce inflammation.

Green lipped mussels from New Zealand have a wonderful oil called Lipid oil which is far more potent than flax seed or evening primrose oil and again, you don’t have to eat the actual mussel, you can take it as a supplement.

Boswellia Serrata comes from the serreta tree found in India, Northern Africa and the Middle East and the tree produces a gummy resin that local medical practitioners use to treat joint pain and inflammation. In clinical trials the people taking Boswellia reported a decrease in knee pain, increased flexibility in the knee and an increase in the distance they were able to walk.

Hops and Rosemary leaf are also used for joint health and oleanolic acid is found in many medicinal herbs, for fast acting, long lasting joint support.

Glucosamine sulphate is a type of amino sugar made from crab, lobster or shrimp shells, and plays a part in the formation and repair of joint cartilage. These amino sugars absorb water and provide lubrication and shock absorption for the cartilage and are used by the body as a building block for the synthesis of glycosaminoglycans a critical component of cartilage.

In recent clinical trials, taking glucosamine supplements has been shown to improve the amount of this amino sugar that is taken up into the cartilage to improve the joint pain from arthritis.

Chondroitin sulphate is produced from animal cartilage and is used in conjunction with Glucosamine because they work synergistically in joint health.

Serrapeptase is a wonderful natural anti-inflammatory. It is a protease enzyme that stops inappropriate inflammation in its tracks and it also has the ability to dissolve any non-vital dead or non-living tissue that may be preventing recovery, particularly mucous and inflammation associated with pain.

So these are just some of the natural remedies that can be taken for inflammation and joint problems. My advice is to try and avoid painkilling drugs where possible and look for a natural alternative that works for you, then any side effects of drugs such as internal bleeding, digestive problems and liver and kidney problems are kept to a minimum.

HOMEOPATHY for pain

July 17, 2009 by  
Filed under pain

There are many types of pain and it is a part of everyday life. Homeopathy can be helpful in reducing and coping with pain. The most common type of pain is caused by trauma and injury. Homeopathy can be very useful in cases of first aid, and the following three remedies are some of the most well known and most often used at home.

 

Arnica – Leopards Bane.  It is a first remedy to think of when you have been through a trauma or shock. Any kind of bruising, muscular strains and overexertion. Also when recovering from an operation.  In sever trauma take a dose of arnica 30C every 15 minutes for the first hour or two, then once or twice daily. If the injury happened in the past use 200C or 1M once per week for 4 weeks.

 

Hypericum – St. John’s Wort.  Is an excellent remedy if there are injuries to nerves or nerve-rich tissues. Neuralgia after injury, wounds, cuts, surgery and dental work. Injuries to the head, spine, tips of fingers and toes. Shooting pains from injury. Take Hypericum 30C once to twice daily. If the injury happened in the past use 200C or 1M strength once per week for 4 weeks.

 

Symphytum - Comfrey.  Where there is pain from injury to bones and bone lining, it speeds up the healing of bone fractures and helps when fractures are slow to heal. Useful when there is blow to the eyeball or socket, to the scull or face.  Take 6C or 12C daily for 4 weeks to help bone healing.

 

There are many other remedies that are helpful for other types of pain, but in cases other then first aid it is always advisable to seek advice from a qualified homeopath. 

 

Jurek Dabrowski

CRANIAL OSTEOPATHY and pain

July 16, 2009 by  
Filed under pain

Cranial osteopathy can be particularly useful in treating the pain of headache, migraine, sinusitis and facial pain. It is extremely gentle, and so can be the technique of choice for those patients whose symptoms may be too acute for conventional osteopathic manipulative treatment, for example in the case of a recent acute back sprain with severe muscle spasm. It can also be an effective method of unravelling the long standing, chronic pain of misalignment, perhaps harking back to an old unresolved trauma such as a whiplash accident.

 

Cranial osteopathy is renowned as the primary method to treat the pain and distress of infantile colic, and also has its place in the treatment of torticollis, glue ear and many other paediatric complaints.

What might be causing your knee pain

June 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Joints, pain, Physiotherapy

Do you have knee pain and are not sure of where it might be coming from? Well here are some little pointers that might give you a clue as to what might be causing the problem.

Trauma
Fracture- If there has been trauma and you are having significant pain with all movements, then ruling out a fracture should be your first port of call.

Cruciate ligaments- these secure the stability of the knee and stop the shin bone moving too far backwards or forwards on the thigh bone.

Was your trauma accompanied by a twisting motion or a popping sensation?

Meniscus tear- these are 2 half mooned shaped pieces of cartilage lying on the shin bone and function as load distributors when we walk or run.

Has your trauma resulted in a locking or inability to fully straighten your knee?

No Trauma

Patellofemoral Syndrome- is a very common problem faced by many people, manifesting usually as pain in the front of the knee. It results from poor tracking of the patella (knee cap) in its groove. It comes on, typically, with running, climbing stairs, and is made worse with prolonged sitting. Physiotherapy has a very good successes rate in improving and treating this condition.

Bakers Cyst- is an accumulation of synovial fluid (a jelly like lubricant in the knee) that stretches the lining of the joint behind the knee causing a bulge, usually as a result of some arthritis or damage to the knee.

This results in pain coming on at the back of the knee without any signs of trauma.

Arthritis- which literally means inflammation, could be the cause of ongoing night pain and stiffness in the morning in the absence of any trauma.

Noises

At the time of the Injury
A loud pop or cracking noise at the time of injury could suggest a ligament or meniscal tear. There is often swelling later, which is the body’s way of healing the tear.

A loud crack with severe and immediate swelling might indicate a fracture.

With normal activity
If there is crunching or grinding at the knee bend then this might be related to poor knee cap tracking or patellofemoral syndrome.

If there is catching or locking in certain angles or positions then it may be an old meniscus tear or discoid meniscus

Instability
With injury
If you get immediate pain and are unable to continue activity- it might be a ligament tear- collateral/cruciate

No Injury
If there is brief catching – it could be a kneecap subluxation where the knee cap dislocates slightly or fully out of the groove, causing pain around the sides of the knee cap.

Treatment
As physiotherapists we examine and treat a great many people who have knee problems. It is important to make an accurate diagnosis so that the correct treatment modality is used. These are varied and our aim is to encourage the healing process to take place, strengthen the muscles around the knee so that the knee and knee cap move correctly and prevent a reoccurrence of the problem.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms then please give us a call to have a chat about your knees so that we can keep you moving and painfree this summer

Natural remedies

Pain can seriously affect your enjoyment of life, even low levels of it can be like a drip feed and wear you down. Anti-inflammatories and pain killers are often prescribed, but these can have unpleasant or even damaging side effects and may only deaden the symptoms but not get to the cause.

The body has its own natural inflammation fighting mechanisms as long as it has the where withal to use them. Our bodies contain 2 types of prostaglandins, one which trigger the inflammation and one which reduce it, and there are some herbs that can be taken to turn on the prostaglandins that reduce the inflammation. These are Turmeric (a spice containing curcumin), Bromelain (an enzyme found in pineapple) and Quercetin which blocks the unstable free radicals.

Eat more oily fish such as mackerel as it has the omega 3 fatty acids which help with pain and inflammation, or if you are not so keen on the actual fish then take a good supplement such as flax seed or evening primrose oil.

Eat cherries and berries which are packed with anti oxidants that reduce inflammation.

Green lipped mussels from New Zealand have a wonderful oil called Lipid oil which is far more potent than flax seed or evening primrose oil and again, you don’t have to eat the actual mussel, you can take it as a supplement.

Boswellia Serrata comes from the serreta tree found in India, Northern Africa and the Middle East and the tree produces a gummy resin that local medical practitioners use to treat joint pain and inflammation. In clinical trials the people taking Boswellia reported a decrease in knee pain, increased flexibility in the knee and an increase in the distance they were able to walk.

Hops and Rosemary leaf are also used for joint health and oleanolic acid is found in many medicinal herbs, for fast acting, long lasting joint support.

Glucosamine sulphate is a type of amino sugar made from crab, lobster or shrimp shells, and plays a part in the formation and repair of joint cartilage. These amino sugars absorb water and provide lubrication and shock absorption for the cartilage and are used by the body as a building block for the synthesis of glycosaminoglycans a critical component of cartilage.

In recent clinical trials, taking glucosamine supplements has been shown to improve the amount of this amino sugar that is taken up into the cartilage to improve the joint pain from arthritis.

Chondroitin sulphate is produced from animal cartilage and is used in conjunction with Glucosasmine because they work synergistically in joint health.

Serrapeptase is a wonderful natural anti-inflammatory. It is a protease enzyme that stops inappropriate inflammation in its tracks and it also has the ability to dissolve any non-vital dead or non-living tissue that may be preventing recovery, particularly mucous and inflammation associated with pain.

So these are just some of the natural remedies that can be taken for inflammation and joint problems. My advice is to try and avoid painkilling drugs where possible and look for a natural alternative that works for you, then any side effects of drugs such as internal bleeding, digestive problems and liver and kidney problems are kept to a minimum.

Tennis Elbow – The Facts

March 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Physiotherapy

It’s that time of year again when we all hope to hit sun drenched tennis courts. Unfortunately it also means that it’s the time of year for tennis related injuries.

One of the most common is tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis), a pain on the outside of the elbow, which can radiate down into the forearm. This involves a sprain of the tendons of the forearm where they attach onto the bony ridge on the outside of the elbow. It can cause the local tendon tissue to degenerate and may have an inflammatory reaction. This can be a stubborn problem resulting in long lasting symptoms, which are resistant to treatment and, it can be brought on by any activity involving gripping, digging, hammering or even carrying a heavy case.

New research may have discovered another possible cause, which can improve assessment, treatment and outcome of many tennis elbow sufferers. It suggests that the nerve system can play a major role in this condition.

Often this pain is referred from the neck and upper back and has associated sensory symptoms such as burning, pins and needles and numbness. It can be persistent and unpredictable.

Irritation of this system can be caused by bad postures and unhelpful movement patterns sometimes related to poor ergonomics at work.

Cases of tennis elbow directly related to playing the sport have many possible causes including poor tennis training methods (especially incorrect backhand technique or excess wrist flicking during service), unsuitable rackets (often too heavy), wrong grip sizes (often too small), incorrect string tension and ball weight. Treatment will involve local electrotherapy, massage, acupuncture,stretching, exercising and strapping, which when applied appropriately can reverse the local mechanical degeneration and decrease the inflammatory changes. More importantly, therapists will also assess the patient’s total body posture. This includes both their stationary posture and movement patterns and will also often include an assessment of their nerve system.

From this assessment, treatment will be modified to include nerve mobilisation and often techniques directed to the spine and shoulder. Also, advice will be given to correct bad ergonomics at work and sports specific requirements will be considered. Therefore I hope that with appropriate holistic assessment and treatment we will all enjoy a long, hot, pain free summer playing the game we love.

Simple guidelines for good ergonomics at work:

1. Place your monitor directly in front of you rather than off to one side
2. Position the top of the monitor at eye level
3. Have the keyboard at a comfortable height to reach with bent elbows
4. Then set appropriate chair at correct height
5. Use a foot, hand and mouse rest
6. Learn to be ambidextrous with the mouse
7. Take regular breaks and stretch