Athlete getting knee examination

Have Knee Pain Symptoms? Know When It’s Time to Seek Medical Attention.

Your knees are the largest, most active joints in your body and the hinge point of your legs.

It’s easy to think most knee pain comes on as a result of injury during strenuous activities. But everyday activities in work and school can cause it, too.

And for many people, chronic knee pain sets in as they age.

Knee Pain You Can Treat At Home

Like other pain symptoms, some knee pain is not severe enough to require medical attention. You can manage the following symptoms at home:

1. Mild to moderate knee pain after a strenuous activity that you don’t normally do, like running or walking a few miles.

2. Mild to moderate knee pain that comes on slowly.

3. Mild to moderate knee pain from minor injuries without significant movement limitation or inability to bear weight, such as mild knee strains.

Knee Pain that Requires Immediate Medical Attention 

Seek immediate medical attention when knee pain is severe, especially when accompanied by weakness and limited range of motion.

Intense Pain: Go to urgent care or the emergency room if you have severe knee pain, especially from a forceful impact.

Deformed joint: Go to urgent care or the emergency room when your knee joint is deformed. A dislocation and or break is likely.

Popping Noise: Go to urgent care or the emergency room if there was a popping noise when your knee was injured.

Sudden Knee swelling: Go to urgent care or the emergency room if your knee swells up suddenly.

Knee Pain Symptoms that Require A Visit to the Doctor

Sudden knee swelling: If swelling sets in gradually, schedule a doctor’s appointment. Significant swelling of the knee can cause joint tissue damage, cartilage degradation, and bone softening.

Joint weakness: See a doctor if your knee cannot bear weight and you need support to walk.

Tenderness and warmth: Schedule a doctor’s appointment if your knee feels warm and sensitive to the touch.

What to Expect During Examination 

A doctor will examine your knee and, depending on the symptoms, do the following:

  • Drawing fluid from the knee
  • Taking an x-ray
  • Take an MRI

Surgery may be necessary to correct the damage. If not, the doctor will recommend home treatments such as rest, hot and cold therapy, and pain medications.

Knee Pain Treatment in Houston and Dallas 

You don’t need to rush to the ER for non-severe knee pain symptoms, but you should schedule a doctor’s appointment. Texas Pain Physicians’ team of board-certified pain specialists are experts at diagnosing, treating, and managing knee pain.

Put your best foot forward by booking an appointment online or calling us today at (972) 636-5727.

Still Active Over Age 40? 5 Tips to Prevent Injuries and Chronic Pain

As you age, you suffer more injuries, aches, and pains. Staying active helps keep your body strong and injury-free. But if you don’t take steps to do it safely, it can also be a source of injuries and pain.

Below are some tips for avoiding common injuries and chronic pain in five vulnerable areas of the body.

1. Lower Back

Potential Injury: Running, jumping, falling, lifting, crouching, and other physical demands of sports can easily overextend the spine and injure the lower back. Exercises that strengthen the core can prevent lower back pain.

Sitting too much can decondition the abdominal and gluteal muscles, putting added pressure on the spinal column.

Prevention: Carefully performed yoga and abdominal exercises can build up the abs and strengthen the lower back.

Before playing sports, do stretches such as the child’s pose, knee-to-chest, and piriformis to loosen the lower back. Stretching the lower back helps prevent strain.

2. Kneecap (meniscus)

Potential injury: As people age, injured and achy knees resulting from wear and tear on the meniscus, the main ligament in the knee located under the kneecap, is more common.

Age-related tissue degeneration, such as cartilage breakdown resulting from fluid loss, increases the risk of meniscus strains and tears.

Prevention: Weight-bearing exercises using technically-sound exercise form strengthens the knee area and decrease the risk of injury.

3. Rotator Cuff

Potential injury: The most injury-prone area in the shoulder is the group of muscles and tendons known as the rotator cuff.

Rotator cuff tendonitis is common. It occurs when the muscles and tendons of the rotator cuff become inflamed from overuse.

Though not as common, rotator cuff tears are more severe injuries than tendonitis and may require surgery to repair.

Prevention: Stretching exercises with and without resistance bands help to add flexibility and strength. Weight-bearing exercises build muscle but also come with injury risk.

Practicing correct form and having sufficient recovery time between training sessions lowers injury risk.

4. Hamstring

Potential injury: The dreaded pulled and torn hamstring. Aging weekend and seasonal athletes know all about it.

Preventing it: Taking time to warm up and stretch the legs and hamstrings before participating in sports will reduce the risk of hamstring pulls and tears.

Strength training exercises like squats and lunges performed with correct form and plenty of rest in-between training sessions will also help prevent injury.

5. Elbow

Potential injury: Tennis elbow, or elbow tendinitis, is characterized by burning pain in the elbow joint and weakened grip strength. It’s a common condition that affects non-tennis players, too.

Performing any repetitive motion long enough, such as throwing a football, propelling forward with ski polls, or using a computer mouse, can cause it.

Prevention: Avoid making repetitive hand and arm movements, if possible. To relieve strain on the shoulder muscles, use the elbow and forearm tendons whenever possible.

 

Texas Pain Physicians Treatment

Are you an injured, 40+ weekend or seasonal athlete?

Whether it’s sore knees, achy tennis elbow, or a torn meniscus, our board-certified pain management doctors will work out a treatment plan tailored to you.

Give us a call at (972) 636-5727 or book an appointment online today!

Knee Pain Recovery

6 Ways to Lessen the Pain and Recovery Time after Knee Surgery

Facing normal post-op pain from major knee surgeries such as ACL repair, meniscus repair, and knee replacement can be intimidating.

But you can cut back on the knee pain and recovery time.

Here are some tips to help you put your best foot (or knee) forward.

1. Take care of the wound.

When in bed or sitting, elevate your leg to improve blood circulation.

Also, follow the doctor’s instructions on keeping the wound clean and dry and apply ice packs or cold or heated compresses as directed.

2. Stick to the rehab program.

Keeping up with the rehab plan laid out by your physical therapist or doctor is vital.

The initial days following your knee surgery will involve a lot of rest. However, your therapist will likely emphasize that a little physical activity is much better than none.

Shift positions in bed every hour or two. If needed, use a cane or crutches to walk around some. Moving will circulate blood through the wounded area, speed recovery, and reduce the time you are in pain.

Your doctor will clear you to exercise after the initial recovery phase. But that doesn’t mean you won’t have pain. But low impact activities like walking, swimming, and stationary biking will strengthen your legs and promote faster healing.

3. Avoid setbacks.

Your doctor and physical therapist will probably warn you about exerting yourself too hard soon after knee surgery.

Lifting and moving heavy objects, heavy weightlifting, and too much exercise can reinjure your tender knee.

4. Build a healthier lifestyle.

Rehabbing after surgery is a golden opportunity to form and reinforce good habits.

  • Eat better. Try to cut back on or eliminate poor eating habits. Extra body weight puts extra pressure on your knees.
  • Stop drinking. Alcohol adds calories to your diet and can be dangerous when consumed with pain medications such as opioids and NSAIDs.
  • Stop smoking. In addition to its well-known health hazards, smoking slows the healing process by shrinking blood vessels.

Taking better care of yourself will promote faster healing.

5. Take medication.

Immediately after surgery, the anesthesiologist may inject a peripheral nerve block at the surgery site, which will numb the area for 24 hours.

When this wears off, you have options for pain relief, including OTC medications like acetaminophen and NSAIDs (Tylenol and aspirin) and prescription opioids (oxycodone). As opioids are addictive, make sure to take them for as short a duration as possible.

6. Consult a pain management specialist.

Depending on your condition, health history, and preferences, a certified pain management specialist can help you choose treatments and medications.

 

We Specialize in Pain Management

Are you suffering from post-surgery pain? At Texas Pain Physicians, our pain doctors are board-certified in pain management.

Please give us a call at (972) 636-5727 to set up an appointment today!