Tag Archives: Knee

Knee Care

The knees are one of the larger joints in the body, supporting its entire weight. It is a hinge joint, like that of a door, capable only of moving forwards and backwards. Attempts to force a door to move sideways or push it open in the wrong direction will result in the door “coming off its hinges.” A similar problem occurs when the knee is forced to move in the wrong direction.

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The knee joint is composed of three bones, the lower end of the femur and the upper ends of the tibia and fibula, articulating with one another. The raw bones do not grate against each other. They are separated by a “joint space” filled with synovial fluid, lined with articulating cartilage and separated by little washers called meniscii. There are ligaments inside the joint holding it in place. Considering the size of the knee joint, these ligaments are woefully inadequate. In the front of the knee is the kneecap or patella.

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The knee undergoes constant wear and tear. Our daily activities involve walking and climbing stairs as well as exercising. In a lifetime, the knee joint functions over and above its capacity!

The knee undergoes constant wear and tear. Our daily activities involve walking and climbing stairs as well as exercising. In a lifetime, the knee joint functions over and above its capacity!

Pain in the joint can be acute and occurs owing to injury, infection, or age-(or overuse) related degeneration. The cartilage breaks down, exposing parts of the bone underneath. The raw nerves are exposed and this becomes very painful. Bits of broken cartilage can get trapped in the joint. When that occurs, movement can result is sudden pain and the joint can get locked.

Dislocations and injuries are more common in the young — basketball and football are notorious for causing knee injuries. This is because there are sudden abrupt changes in the direction of movement, which may be against the normal anatomical direction of movement. The player may land awkwardly or fall, bruising and injuring the joint.

The two knees support the weight of the entire body between them. The bones are physically capable of supporting only a certain amount of weight. Obesity causes the knees to degenerate rapidly. Depending on gait and posture, one side may wear out faster than the other. This may result in a bow-legged appearance. Walking is extremely painful and the gait may be crab like. The entire joint may be swollen and painful. Or, the pain may be localised on one side. At times, instead of the whole joint, the area under the patella gets worn down and irregular. As that rubs against the bones underneath, there is terrible pain with movement.

Children seldom develop knee pain without injury or a fracture. Boys can develop pain as part of certain inherited congenital syndromes or birth defects in the knee. The patella may also get dislocated. This is more common in teenage girls.

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Infections, acute trauma and fractures result in swollen, warm and tender joints. Arthritis, especially rheumatoid or osteoarthritis, can produce a similar picture. Infection always produces fever. Gout usually affects the big toe but can present itself as a painful knee joint. It may be worth checking uric acid levels.

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Ayurvedic remedies  of knee pain

Ayurvedic Therapy – A Promising Treatment for Knee Osteoarthritis?

Natural Ayurvedic Home Remedies for Knee Pain
Ayurveda for Osteo Arthritis (Knee Joint Pain)

Homeopathy for Knee Pain

Knee Injury Treatment With Six Homeopathic Medicines

Source: The Telegraph (Kolkata, Indi

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On the Strong and Balanced Side

When your core is strong, daily activities become easier and you’ll get more from your exercise routines as well. Remember to incorporate this straightforward yet challenging move for a more balanced practice.
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Begin on your hands and knees. Turn to the side and position your right hand directly below your right shoulder and your right knee below your right hip. Straighten your left leg with your left foot flat on the floor, toes and knee facing forward. Reach up with your left arm so it is above your shoulders. Engage your abdominals and move your tailbone in toward your body to avoid over-arching your lower back. Look up to the ceiling and pause.

Keeping your hips and shoulders stacked, push through your left heel and lift it to hip level. Concentrate on maintaining your balance with minimal movement in your torso. Hold this position for three to six breaths. Then lower your leg, come to all fours and repeat on the other side.

Source:Los Angeles Times

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Knees Pain

We often take our knees for granted. They may be hidden under clothing and seem inconspicuous but are, in fact, most important as they balance the entire weight of the body. This makes them prone to injury and malfunction at all ages.

One of the commonest symptoms of any knee problem is pain. This may be acute following a fall. It may occur as a result of an unexpected unbalanced twisting movement in a game of basketball or football. Or the knee may be affected as a result of degenerative osteoarthritis. In autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, generally small joints of the hands and feet are affected. At times, one or both knees may also be swollen. Conditions like gout and pseudogout — which occur when crystals are deposited in the joint space — usually affect the big toe, but again the knee may be affected.

The bones of the knee joint are cushioned by cartilage. Bits of the latter can suddenly break away and form loose bodies inside the joint space. These can get wedged during movement of the knee. There is excruciating pain, and the joint gets “stuck”. It cannot be bent or straightened.

The cartilage may also become worn down and degenerate with constant wear and tear. This exposes the bones. They then tend to grind against each other and produce pain.

Problems in areas like the spine, hip and ankle can produce a change in gait. The person may not balance properly on both feet and may limp. This puts more pressure on one knee. This too can result in pain.

The patella is a triangular bone that sits on top of the knee. Degeneration of the patella or strain of the ligaments that attach it to the bone may cause pain. This is common in children, older people and particularly women athletes.

Bacterial infections which start in other parts of the body can spread via the bloodstream and localise in the knee. This causes an acute infection with redness, pain and fever.

Knee pain can usually be tackled at home. It often disappears with 48 hours of rest. Pain and swelling can be reduced with the application of an ice pack. The pack, however, should not be applied for more than 20 minutes. Ointments containing Capsicain are often effective. They should be applied on the affected joint, followed by an ice pack. Lidnocaine (a local anaesthetic) ointment may also provide relief. Ointments are particularly effective if combined with tablets of paracetamol, ibubrufen or nalidixic acid. Compression of the joint with an “elastocrepe” bandage or a “knee cap” prevents swelling. Elevation of the foot also helps.

Accupressure and acupuncture have been shown to be effective. The first involves application of pressure to specific points around the knee while in the second, needles are inserted into them.

A doctor needs to be consulted if the joint pain is accompanied by fever, there is obvious swelling, it is impossible to bear weight on that knee, or if it cannot be flexed or extended fully.

By examining the knee thoroughly and performing some diagnostic manoeuvres, it is usually possible for the doctor to arrive at a tentative diagnosis. Blood tests may be done to rule out gout or rheumatoid arthritis. X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) scans and ultrasound may be needed to clinch the diagnosis.

A combination of physical therapy and medication usually provides great relief. Injections of steroids and other chemicals into the joint space may reduce inflammation and pain. If the problem persists, surgery may be required. Arthroscopy may be done to remove loose bodies and repair tears to the ligaments inside the joint. Surgery for knee replacement — complete or partial — is now common and done in many centres. There are very few contraindications. More and more older people are opting for it and enjoying productive and pain-free lives.

Some knee problems — particularly those resulting from an injury or a systemic disease — may be inevitable and require long-term treatment. The painful arthritis of old age can, however, be prevented with a few lifestyle modifications.

Obesity increases the pressure on the knees. Many years of being overweight take their toll, resulting in degenerative changes. Try to remain as close to your ideal body weight as possible.

Physical activity maintains muscle tone and helps keep the knee joint aligned. Repetitive high impact activity can cause tears in ligaments and cause pain. Runners in particular can develop pain in the ligaments around the joint. This is particularly true if physical activity is not preceded and followed by stretching and strengthening exercises. Cross training helps balance joints and reduce strain and injury. A combination of cycling, swimming, jogging or walking, and yoga is ideal.

Source : The Telegraph ( Kolkata, India)

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Baker’s cyst

Alternative Names:  Popliteal cyst; Bulge-knee

Definition:
Like all joints, the knee needs lubrication to function properly. This lubricant is a jelly-like substance called  synovial (si-NO-vee-ul)  fluid.A Baker’s cyst is a fluid-filled cyst that causes a bulge and a feeling of tightness behind your knee. The pain can get worse when you fully flex or extend your knee or when you’re active.

Although a Baker’s cyst may cause swelling and make you uncomfortable, treating the probable underlying problem usually provides relief.

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When the knee’s damaged, more synovial fluid is produced. Under pressure, this fluid stretches the lining of the joint, called the joint capsule, out into the back of the knee. This causes a bulge, known as a Baker’s cyst.

Herniation of the joint capsule is responsible for most Baker’s cysts in adults.

The most common cause of damage that triggers the process is arthritis, usually osteoarthritis. Other types of knee injury, such as tears to the cartilage, may also be responsible.

It is named after the surgeon who first described it, Dr. William Morrant Baker (1838–1896).This is not a “true” cyst, as an open communication with the synovial sac is often maintained.

Symptoms:
In some cases, a Baker’s cyst causes no pain, and you may not even notice it. If you do experience signs and symptoms, you may notice:

*Swelling behind your knee, and sometimes in your leg
*Knee pain
*Stiffness
*Texture similar to a balloon filled with water

A large cyst may cause some discomfort or stiffness, but there are often no symptoms. There may be a painless or painful swelling behind the knee.

The cyst may feel like a water-filled balloon. Sometimes, the cyst may break open (rupture), causing pain, swelling, and bruising on the back of the knee and calf.

It is important to know whether pain or swelling is caused by a Baker’s cyst or a blood clot. A blood clot (deep venous thrombosis) can also cause pain, swelling, and bruising on the back of the knee and calf. A blood clot may be dangerous and requires immediate medical attention.

Causes:
Synovial fluid circulates throughout your knee and passes in and out of various tissue pouches (bursae) throughout your knee. A valve-like system exists between your knee joint and the bursa on the back of your knee (popliteal bursa). This regulates the amount of synovial fluid going in and out of the bursa.

But sometimes the knee produces too much synovial fluid, resulting in buildup of fluid in the bursa and what is called a Baker’s cyst. This can be caused by:

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•A tear in the meniscal cartilage of the knee……
•Knee arthritis (in older adults)
•Rheumatoid arthritis
•Other knee problems

Diagnosis:
During a physical exam, the doctor will look for a soft mass in the back of the knee. If the cyst is small, comparing the affected knee to the normal knee can be helpful. There may be limitation in range of motion caused by pain or by the size of the cyst. In some cases there will be signs and symptoms of a meniscal tear.

Transillumination, or shining a light through the cyst, can show that the growth is fluid filled.

If the mass grows quickly, or you have night pain, severe pain, or fever, you will need more tests to make sure you do not have other types of tumors.

X-rays will not show the cyst or a meniscal tear, but they will show other problems that may be present, including arthritis.

Ultrasound  and or MRIs can help the health care provider see the cyst and look for any meniscal injury.
Treatment:
Baker’s cysts usually require no treatment unless they are symptomatic. Often rest and leg elevation are all that is needed. If necessary, the cyst can be aspirated to reduce its size, then injected with a corticosteroid to reduce inflammation. Surgical excision is reserved for cysts that cause a great amount of discomfort to the patient. A ruptured cyst is treated with rest, leg elevation, and injection of a corticosteroid into the knee. Recently, prolotherapy has shown encouraging results as an effective way to treat Baker’s cysts and other types of musculoskeletal conditions.

Baker’s cysts in children, unlike in older people, nearly always disappear with time, and rarely require excision.

Cryotherapy:
Ice pack therapy may sometimes be effective way of controlling the pain caused by Baker’s cyst. Ice must not be applied directly onto the skin but be separated by a thin cloth. Alternatively, cooling packs may be used, but the total application time for any product is for no more than 15 minutes at a time.

Medication:
Medications bought at pharmacies may be used to help soothe pain. Painkillers with paracetamol, a.k.a. Tylenol(c) (acetaminophen), or with the additional anti-inflammatory action (such as ibuprofen or naproxen), may be used. Stronger non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be required by prescription from one’s general practitioner.

Heat:
Heat is also a commonly used. The application of a heating pad on a low setting for 10–20 minutes may relieve some pain, but only if instructions are followed carefully.

Bracing:

A knee brace can offer support giving the feel of stability in the joint. If only support is necessary, a simple elastic bandage is recommended; however, braces compress the back of the knee, where it is most tender, and can cause pain.

Rest and specific exercise:
Many activities can put strain on the knee, and cause pain in the case of Baker’s cyst. Avoiding activities such as squatting, kneeling, heavy lifting, climbing, and even running can help prevent pain. Despite this, some exercises can help relieve pain, and a physiotherapist may instruct on stretching and strengthening the quadriceps and/or the patellar ligament.
Prognosis: A Baker’s cyst will not cause any long-term harm, but it can be annoying and painful. The symptoms of Baker’s cysts usually come and go.Long-term disability is rare. Most people improve with time or arthroscopic surgery.

Possible Complications:
Complications are unusual, but may include:

•Long-term pain and swelling
•Complications from related injuries, like meniscal tears

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/bakerscyst1.shtml
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001222.htm
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bakers-cyst/DS00448
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baker’s_cyst

http://www.healthcentral.com/osteoarthritis/h/tai-chi-and-arthritis-of-the-hip.html

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Two Phases of the Half Moon

 

This classic yoga pose, called half moon, is excellent for stretching your back and hip muscles. It also strengthens your legs and ankles while helping you develop balance. At first you might need to use a yoga block under your hand, but as soon as you get more limber and feel stable enough, you can rest your fingers on the floor and straighten your bottom leg.
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With a yoga block, stand upright with the block in front of you, hands on your hips. Bend your right knee and place your right hand on the yoga block approximately 1 foot in front and slightly to the right of your right foot. Shift your weight onto your right foot as you slowly raise your left leg up to hip level. Your left knee and toes should be turned out, and your shin should be parallel to the floor. Pause for three to six breaths. Lower your left leg, stand and repeat on the other side.

Without the block, stand upright to begin. Bend your right knee and place your right hand on the floor approximately 1 foot in front of you and slightly to the right of your right foot. Shift your weight onto your right foot as you slowly raise your left leg up to hip level. Straighten your right leg. Turn your left thigh, knee and toes outward, shin parallel to the floor. Reach your left arm above your left shoulder. Pause for three to six breaths. Bend your right knee and lower your left leg. Stand and repeat on the other side.

Source :
Los Angeles Times

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