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Knee Pain

Living with knee pain is difficult. Every movement and shift can re-ignite the pain – walking, standing, sleeping, and even sitting. Not moving can cause stiffness and even more pain.

Knee pain can be acute and chronic. Acute knee pain is usually the result of an injury, over-use, or surgery. Chronic knee pain can develop following an acute pain incident, from arthritis and joint inflammation.

What makes knees susceptible to pain?

Knees are very susceptible to pain mainly because they are the hardest working joint in the body. Knees are intrinsic partners with other joints to help a body move, pivot and turn, remain upright, sit down and lay down, and remain on balance. They carry the majority of the body’s weight at the times a body is most active and has the most stress put on it –

–      Lifting things
–       Lifting heavy things
–       Running, walking exercising
–       Rushing to get somewhere on foot
–       Standing for a long time
–       Jumping, Leaping
–       Hiking, Biking
–       Dancing

Knees are constructed to be sturdy, but their insides can be quite delicate. The biological shock-absorber system – cartilage, menisci (technically also cartilage), muscles and ligaments – can deteriorate if abused, or unused. This is also why knees are so susceptible to pain – being either very active or inactive can harm the delicate balance that keeps knees functioning optimally.

Why are we more likely to experience knee pain as we get older?

The short answer: maturation and lifestyle.

Wear and tear can take a toll on joints. When high-impact activities such as basketball, dancing, jumping, and running are done with bodies that weigh less than 50 pounds, there is a lot less stress on knees. As the body matures and gains weight – those same activities are done with bodies that on average weigh over 170 pounds (in the U.S. – much less in other areas of the world).

A healthy lifestyle can help protect the delicate components of knees

–        Maintain an optimal weight for the body’s height
–        Diet rich in foods that counter inflammation (here’s the list!)
–        Regular, low-impact exercise
–        Proper rest following high-impact activities
–        Pay attention to knee pain, seek treatment sooner rather than later

Treating knee pain with acupuncture and herbal medicine

Most knee pain is caused by inflammation that results from trauma or repeated stress to the joint

–        Sprain, strain
–        Torn ligaments
–        Dislocation
–        Accident or fall
–        Being overweight
–        Physical activity, anything from sports to gardening
–        Arthritis and other auto-immune diseases affecting joints

 Acupuncture and herbal medicine are very effective in treating inflammation and reducing pain – both acute and chronic. Acupuncture aids the release of cortisol in the body – which is the body’s natural anti-inflammatory hormone. Herbal remedies reinforce the acupuncture treatment between appointments to keep inflammation down and relieve pain.

 While there may be no way around knee surgery in some instances, acupuncture and herbal remedies can dramatically reduce pain without the use of opiates and help speed recovery.

References

Health CMI. (2018, January 31) Acupuncture Knee Arthritis Pain Relief Confirmed. Retrieved from  https://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1820-acupuncture-knee-arthritis-pain-relief-confirmed

Connor, John G. M.Ac., L.Ac. and Connor, Barbara M.Ac., L.Ac.. (2018, May 24)  Acupuncture, Herbs, and Nutrients for Knee Pain.  Retrieved from https://www.compassionateacupuncture.com/acupuncture-herbs-and-nutrients-for-knee-pain/

Breeding, Ashley. (2019, January 31). We Asked an Acupuncturist if the Ancient Practice Can Cure Joint Pain.  Retrieved from  https://www.prevention.com/health/a26102700/acupuncture-for-joint-pain/

 Wong, Cathy. (2019, July 8) The Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Retrieved from https://www.verywellhealth.com/anti-inflammatory-diet-88752

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