Is your knee pain making your life miserable? Are you considering knee replacement surgery but not completely sure yet? Are you constantly wondering if there is an alternative to knee replacement surgery?
If you screamed YES to all those questions, reading this article will not be a total waste of time. Knee arthritis is a painful condition affecting millions of Americans, and many consider knee replacement as the most effective treatment option to deal with it. While efficient, it should not be the first and the last option for arthritis pain relief, and guess what? It is not. Here are seven alternatives to knee replacement surgery you must consider.
Fluid buildup in the knees can cause swelling, which can cause stiffness and pain. This stiffy and achy sensation in knee joints may tempt you to choose knee replacement, but there is something else as well that you can try.
Moderate exercising and moving the joints can help build more muscles and relax the achy joints. According to a Johns Hopkins Medicine article, regular low-impact exercise, such as riding a bike or walking on a treadmill, strengthens the quadriceps and hamstring muscles and reduces pain in the knee.
Some other low-impact exercises include -
These exercises and other methods can be an effective alternative to knee replacement surgery. However, if you feel intense pain during exercise, stop immediately and rest properly. Weakness in muscles and joints may cause this pain. Resting properly and consulting your doctor can help. Exercising, just like everything else, takes time to show results. It can take a month to build a regular exercise routine.
Weight management does more good to your body than you credit it for. According to the same article by Johns Hopkins Medicine, extra weight puts more pressure on the knees and increases joint stress. This increased stress can lead to knee pain and make exercising difficult.
Research done by the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center also confirms that carrying some extra pounds raises the chances of developing knee arthritis and enhances the speed of cartilage destruction in the joints. You can start by seeking medical advice from your nutritionist for healthy weight management.
Knee arthritis can make you give up on things you love such as dancing or running. It can take control of your life from your hands. Physical therapy can help you regain that control, rebuild strength, and improve joint mobility. It is often considered a rehabilitation method, especially for people who have recently undergone surgery or survived a brain stroke. That being said, it is not just for post-surgical recovery. Physical therapy is widely popular and an effective alternative to knee replacement. It involves a physical therapist who plans a rehab program based on your specific needs and goals. Physical therapy programs include -
Physical therapy helps with long-term pain management and may take several months to show substantial results.
Injections are another common alternative treatment to knee replacement. These injections help with lubricating the knee joint and reduce inflammation. The human body makes hyaluronic acid that helps with joint pain.
Hyaluronic acid injections are also known as Visco supplementation. These injections boost the natural supply of hyaluronic acid, reduce friction and improve joint movement. The effects are usually quick and short lived. To manage knee arthritis without surgery, periodic shots are important.
Stem cell alternative to knee replacement is a much newer strategy for knee repair without surgery. It has garnered attention as a regenerative treatment for knee arthritis. Many researchers have claimed that stem cells can promote tissue repair and reduce inflammation in the knee joint; however, more research is needed.
A research paper titled Regenerative Medicine for Knee Osteoarthritis published by the National Library of Medicine concludes that regenerative medicine has shown promising superior results in both therapeutic effectiveness and safety compared to traditional conservative treatments such as hyaluronic acid injections. If stem cell therapy for knee repair interests you, consult with your doctor to weigh the pros and cons of stem cell treatment for knee repair. They will also determine whether it is suitable for you.
If you have arthritis in only one portion of the knee and are considering partial knee replacement surgery, offloading or unloader knee braces may help delay the surgery or even eliminate the need of a replacement. Unloader knee braces are cost-effective methods for knee repair without surgery. Off-loader braces for knee osteoarthritis help with pain relief and realigning and improving pain joint stability. This type of brace unloads the pressure from one part of the knee joint to another. In a nutshell, an unloader knee brace shifts stress from the painful side of the joint to the healthy part of your knee.
Knee Osteoarthritis can result from the breaking down of the cartilage in the knee joint. Maintaining cartilage health can help with knee arthritis treatment without surgery. Some natural supplements that may help are:
These natural supplements and other alternatives to knee replacement can help treat knee arthritis without surgery. If your diet lacks essential nutrients, consider consulting your nutritionist and supplementing your diet with these natural compounds. Apart from these seven, many other alternatives to knee replacement are also available. You can consult your doctor to find the best route to deal with knee arthritis and live a happy life.
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Shweta Chaubey, has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2021. An advocate-turned-writer, her desire to create meaningful and positive content has brought her to HPFY and what better than writing ...
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