We can all attest to the vital importance of joint movement and flexibility, especially in the lower extremities, and there is no denying we all maintain a heavy reliance on our large joints like knee, hip, and ankle joints to accomplish regular activities that matter to us. The knee joint is one of, if not the most, crucial joint that we use every day due to our reliance on our legs and feet to accomplish the most basic tasks. If the knee joints experience pain, the consequences of this pain will extend to the rest of our body as we begin to accommodate the pain by walking differently or adjusting our posture or balance to accommodate the pain in our knee, or worse we just stop moving around altogether. Ultimately our quality of life in general is greatly affected by knee pain and our health continues to go downhill as a result of chronic knee pain.
Healthy knee joints allow for a highly flexible range of motion, permitting the movement of our legs, depending on knee joint health and practiced flexibility. The rotation and flexibility of our legs depends on a group of muscles and tendons that keeps our knees in their sockets. As we increase in age and acquire more risk factors for chronic knee pain, the range of motion in our knees decreases drastically and with less flexibility we have more rigid movements and more capacity for injury.
Excluding osteoarthritis as the primary cause of knee pain conditions, other conditions affecting knee joint health and its level of pain will largely depend on the aforementioned condition of the muscles surrounding the joint. In fact, a common cause of knee pain can be tied back to the inflammation of these muscles, tendons, and ligaments as they press against the bones of the knee. In an equal yet distinct way, bone spurs (which occur largely in the elderly) can grow on the bones in the knee and press against these muscles. Other causes of knee pain include arthritis, dislocation, overuse, and even bad posture.
Regardless of the reason for knee pain, patients can be assured that there are treatment options to mitigate the pain and increase use and flexibility in the knee joint. Our opinion and message to those seeking treatment for knee pain is that Neuragenex offers the best first solution with its proprietary Neuralgesia treatment program. Neuralgesia is the unique protocol used by Neuragenex to treat a wide range of chronic pain conditions. Neuragenex is the founding medical group who is pioneering the field of Neurofunctional Pain Management. Neurofunctional Pain Management is a specialized treatment program that uses high pulse electrical stimulation in combination with specialized hydration therapy to relieve pain by multiple physiologic effects combined. Pain neuron sustained depolarization and reduced chronic systemic inflammation are two of the core components of chronic pain relief under the Neurofunctional Pain Management treatment model.
However, in order to avoid an unfair and unjustified bias, we must make it clear that our intention is not to suggest that there are no other options, simply that we believe the first option should be the safest, least invasive, and most likely to succeed for the patient before moving on to other more invasive procedures, surgeries, or medications. The opinions of the conventional medical community are largely set in place through decades of algorithm training, and to keep medical treatment stable and predictable this is a great model to adopt for a large scale population. Neuragenex believes that its treatment protocols based on the field of Neurofunctional Pain Management could and should be the first step in the journey of chronic pain management. This would not detract from conventional models, it would simply allow the patient one more chance at achieving pain relief and restored health in the safest and least invasive manner before going down the path of less desirable treatment algorithms. Our goal is to review treatments with objective reasoning through careful analysis of the efficacy, side effects, and lasting results of each recommended treatment and weigh our analysis of these treatments in contrast with the efficacy, side effects, and lasting results of treatment with Neuragenex, our proprietary Neuralgesia treatment protocols, and the new field of Neurofunctional Pain Management that we are pioneering across the nation. With these parameters in mind, we hope to provide those seeking treatment for pain, particularly knee pain, an informed perspective which they can then use to find effective treatment.
Because one of the most common reasons for knee pain is the inflammation of muscles, tendons, and ligaments that are inside and surrounding the joint, the most apparent solution would be to reduce the inflammation of these muscles. Any patient familiar with muscle soreness will know that icing the affected area will result in a temporary decrease in inflammation and this is often the same when the pain is a result of muscle inflammation. In addition to ice as an anti-inflammatory, a natural next step would be the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs. When these two treatment options are used in tandem, they can create a welcome relief for patients suffering from knee pain. However, these two treatments are not without their drawbacks and limitations.
In our studies, particularly in relation to the use of NSAIDs as a supplement to other forms of treatment, we found that there are several side effects that should be considered and understood by patients. We will, however, consider some of the pros related to NSAID treatment as they are used jointly with other treatment options. NSAIDs are predominantly recognized as safe for short-term use and therefore readily available to most of the population and while these drugs can provide temporary relief, there are other effects that should be considered by patients. While not directly addictive to patients who take NSAIDs to deal with knee pain, the risk of dependency cannot be dismissed. NSAIDs, by their very nature and similar to the application of ice, have a temporary effect. The effects of NSAIDs, while often effective at treating pain, are temporary and short-lived and do not last long enough for patients to experience relief over a long period of time. One who experiences the effects of knee pain for long periods of time will know that NSAIDs are not going to be a lasting treatment for their pain. However, when used in conjunction with other treatment methods, NSAIDs may provide relief long enough for patients to work through those treatment methods, some of which will be mentioned later.
For many patients, the minor efficacy of NSAIDs can cause dependency and even overdose. We must make it clear that we use the term ‘overdose’ not only to signify death or even comatose, but more often the overuse of medication resulting in an adverse effect. Some patients make the mistake of assuming a technical overdose always results in death or incapacitation, but our aim is to make it clear that an overdose by definition can also refer to milder, albeit negative, side-effects that can still land a patient in the hospital. With that in mind, the mild nature of NSAIDs often leads to patients desiring heavier doses outside of the recommendation which is a dangerous step that should not be considered when treating knee pain. In a study done in February of 2020, doctors V.K. Sharma and associates concluded that, “[a]lthough NSAIDs are among the most commonly utilized drugs, their use is associated with a broad spectrum of side effects, which may include gastrointestinal and cardiovascular toxicity” (2020). As with many treatments for pain, there will often be a trade-off or compromise that will weigh on the mind of many patients. The pros and cons of NSAID treatment are great examples with which many patients are likely familiar. As we move on and explore additional treatment options for knee pain, patients should consider them objectively, recognizing both the pros and cons of each. While patients may experience the effects of NSAIDs, both positive and negative, they should also question the efficacy of treatment options that they supplement.
Keep in mind that this article is not an exhaustive review of all knee pain, as I have largely left out the concept of osteoarthritis and the treatment options commonly associated with that conditions such as hyaluronic acid injections known as viscosupplementation, and of course the growing popularity of platelet rich plasma, PRP, injections that can also be excellent treatments for osteoarthritis. For patients suffering non-osteoarthritis knee pain the article above covers the most common option patients have for treatment. Regardless of the cause of knee pain, a patient’s primary concern is their ability to perform daily tasks without pain. Any musculoskeletal pain condition can be treated with the proprietary Neuralgesia treatment protocol offered by Neuragenex. When it comes to knee pain, treatment options with Neuragenex should be your first consideration. Understanding that you have non-surgical, non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical, and non-chiropractic treatment options will be you best greatest ally in your journey for pain relief.
Many patients report relief after only one treatment session, and many patients report their life is markedly better after only a few weeks of the Neuralgesia treatment protocol. Neuragenex is pioneering the field of Neurofunctional Pain Management with the mission to relieve pain, restore health, and magnify quality of life without drugs, surgery, or invasive procedures. Our vision is to be the first thought, first choice, and first step in the journey of chronic pain relief.