Osteoarthritis knee pain is caused when protective cartilage in the joint has broken down, leaving knee bones to rub together. This type of pain can be especially frustrating because athletes and former athletes are more prone to it; suddenly physical activity becomes markedly more difficult for those who have lived their lives as some of the most physically active people among us. Millions of Americans suffer from it, but far fewer realize how many treatment options they have short of ibuprofen or aspirin for pain. This leads to many knee replacement surgeries that could potentially be avoided with more effective treatment options. If you suffer or think you may suffer from osteoarthritis knee pain, talk to your healthcare practitioner about an Osteoarthritis Treatment Program, and keep the following things in mind.
Getting Serious About Knee Pain
Are your knees very stiff in the morning?
Do your knees hurt when going up or down stairs?
Do the activities you enjoy cause pain around your knees?
Have you been told that you will need knee replacement surgery?
If so, the use of ibuprofen or aspirin is an understandable step to managing the knee pain. However, when your knee pain becomes chronic, it is wise to research other treatment options.
Why You Might Want to Limit Ibuprofen and Aspirin
Because they are readily available over the counter, most people do not realize that daily use of ibuprofen or aspirin for knee pain can come with a whole host of side effects. For most adults, Ibuprofen or Aspirin is fine for headaches, body aches or other pain. That is because Ibuprofen and Aspirin are both non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). They work by blocking certain natural substances in the body that cause pain and inflammation (both hallmarks of osteoarthritis of the knee).
NSAIDs are certainly beneficial in some contexts, especially when taken occasionally. However …… Taking them daily is another story. Under no circumstances should anyone start a daily regimen of either drug without thoroughly discussing potential side effects. In extreme cases, constant use of the drugs can lead to conditions like perforated ulcers, bleeding in the GI tract or even renal failure.
More commonly, reported side effects of frequent use of Ibuprofen or Aspirin for pain are less serious—things like indigestion caused by irritation of the stomach lining, constipation or diarrhea, ringing in the ears, headache or rash.
Adverse Side Effects of Ibuprofen or Aspirin for Pain
If your pain is chronic, as with osteoarthritis knee pain, you would have to take Ibuprofen or Aspirin every day and at multiple times to confront it. This is a serious issue when you consider how much the potentially damaging side effects, even the minor ones, would negatively impact your quality of life.
To mitigate the risk of serious side effects and avoid the unpleasantness of the less severe ones, it is imperative that you research other options to find the right combination of treatments that will work for you over the long term—especially if you are looking to avoid knee replacement surgery.
Effectiveness of Ibuprofen or Aspirin for Pain
For many people, Ibuprofen or Aspirin alone will not significantly treat their knee pain. Rather than seeing an improvement of their knee pain over time, the condition gets progressively worse, encouraging the sufferer to take even more Ibuprofen or Aspirin for pain and increasing the likelihood of a negative side effect. A comprehensive approach to knee pain management is crucial to maximizing the potential benefits of an Osteoarthritis Treatment Program.
Know Your Options
After pinpointing the precise cause of osteoarthritis knee pain, the next step to effectively treat knee pain is a review of different treatment options and a discussion of the pros and cons of each treatment based on scientific research as well as your personal medical history. In addition to pain relievers for knee
pain, other treatments that are sometimes used include (frequently in
- Stem cell injections
- Hyaluronic acid injections
- Theraciser Rehabilitation
- Physical therapies
- Other drug therapies
- Nutritional counseling
- Exercise/weight control
- Custom knee bracing
As with any medical condition, among the most important considerations is finding a healthcare provider who will take the time to customize treatment plans for you. Someone who will understand how your knee pain impacts your life on a day-to-day basis and work to maximize your quality of life by helping you get back to an active lifestyle and help you avoid knee replacement surgery.
Call Arrowhead Health Centers today to schedule a consultation and to find out if our proprietary, integrated OsteoArthritis of the Knee program is a good fit for you.