If you experience knee pain, you may assume that you have a knee problem – but that’s not always the case. While knee pain may indeed be caused by a knee condition, it may also be caused by a problem with your back, such as a pinched nerve or a disc protrusion. The lower back contains nerves that transmit sensation to the legs and feet. On occasion, an injury or simply age can cause the discs in this area to press on these nerves. This compression can cause the nerves to send out pain signals, with the result being pain in the lower back itself – or along the nerve pathways in the legs, knees, ankles, and even feet. Your physician can diagnose the cause of your back or knee pain and help determine what treatments will be right for you. Some of the possibilities include:
1. Physical Therapy
Working with a physical therapist includes identifying the cause of your pain and designing treatments to address the underlying cause and provide effective relief. In general, when you arrive for your physical therapy appointment, you can expect a consultation and exam to evaluate your gait, any abnormalities in your bones or joints, your range of motion, your strength, your balance, and any signs of injury. Then, your physical therapist will prescribe a treatment plan tailored to your needs that may include exercises, stretches, and other therapies such as massage or the application of heat or ice.
2. Chiropractic Manipulation
Another possible path to relief is chiropractic care. A chiropractor may be able to help treat the underlying issues that are causing your discomfort using chiropractic techniques designed to alleviate pain and help improve your overall health. Typically, a chiropractor will have a variety of possible angles of approach to treating pain, from applying ice to reduce inflammation to using massage techniques to increase range of motion to using chiropractic manipulation to help mobilize areas of restricted movement.
3. Spinal Cord Stimulators
If you are experiencing back pain or knee pain that originates in the back, then a spinal cord stimulator might be a good option for you. Spinal cord stimulation is often used when non-surgical pain relief measures have been unsuccessful. This treatment can be used to address many different types of chronic pain, including back pain, post-surgical pain, and more. Spinal cord stimulation is often a good choice for patients who have not had good results from medications and other minimally invasive therapies and those without psychiatric disorders, which can reduce the effectiveness of the treatment.
There is a range of medications that can help treat back and knee pain. These drugs are often used in conjunction with other treatments such as physical therapy or chiropractic treatments to achieve optimal relief. Medication options include:
- NSAIDs are frequently the first line of defense when it comes to back and knee pain. These drugs help decrease inflammation and, therefore, pain.
- Opioids may be an option in patients with severe pain that does not respond to other treatments. These drugs are generally safe when used for short periods.
- Muscle relaxants. Muscle relaxants are available by prescription and reduce pain by affecting the central nervous system. This type of medication usually causes drowsiness.
- Even if you aren’t depressed, antidepressants may help relieve your pain. Some research has shown that certain antidepressants are effective in reducing chronic pain.
At Redefine Healthcare, we focus on non-invasive and minimally invasive treatments for back and knee pain of all types. Contact us today for a consultation to learn more about your options.