Knee Cartilage Tears (Meniscus Injuries) and Laser

knee

A meniscus tear is a common knee injury. The meniscus is a tough, rubbery, C-shaped disc that cushions your knee. Each knee has two menisci, one at the outer edge of the knee and one at the inner edge. The menisci act as shock absorbers keep your knee steady by evenly balancing your weight across the knee. A torn meniscus can prevent your knee from working properly and can lead to accelerated wear of the joint.

Meniscus Tear Knee Pain Symptoms

The symptoms of a torn meniscus vary depending on the size and location of the tear. Since there are no nerve endings to the meniscus, pain is due to swelling and injury to surrounding tissues. The most common symptoms are the following:

  • Knee Pain usually at the side or center
  • Pain usually increases with squatting, lifting, or rising from a seated position
  • Can produce a “wobbly”unstable feeling
  • Swelling in the Knee
  • Catching or locking of the knee joint
  • Range of motion of the knee may be limited

Cause of Meniscus Tears in the Knee

  • Knee Injury– This usually occurs if there is sudden twisting or turning of the foot while it is planted and the knee is bent. Meniscal tears can also occur with heavy lifting, squatting, or in contact sports. Most likely to fragment.
  • Degenerative or Arthritic Knees– A meniscal tear may occur in a person over 40 who has dry, thin or weak cartilage. As the cartilage weakens it becomes more brittle and can easily tear. It is not uncommon for an individual with arthritis or degenerative knee joints to tear meniscus simply by getting up from a chair or climbing the stairs.

Meniscus Tear Knee Pain Treatment Options

The treatment for a meniscus tear is determined by the size, location of the tear, and the activity level of the patient. Some people respond well to non-invasive treatments while others have to have surgery. The location of the meniscus tear is one of the most important factors because that will determine how well the tear will heal.

  • Outer Edge (Red Zone)

The outer one third of the meniscus has its own blood supply. Tears in this area tend to heal well. Small and moderate sized tears tend to respond well to non- invasive treatment options like laser therapy. Laser treatment helps stimulate the healing and repair process by increasing blood flow and nutrients to the injured area and accelerating the growth of new tissue.

  • Inner Meniscus (White Zone)

The inner two thirds of the meniscus lacks good blood supply, so it does not heal well on its own. Even arthroscopic surgery, which is often suggested, may not work well due to the lack of healing ability in this part of the meniscus. Recovery may be difficult especially for older patients over 40 years of age.

Class IV Laser Knee Program

The Class IV Laser is at the heart of our treatment program. It provides a safe, effective, non-invasive, painless solution for knee pain. Patients respond exceptionally well to treatments and usually notice significant pain relief after just a few treatments.

Our program utilizes the latest in Class IV Lasers, and combines them with other therapies to help reduce the pain, strengthen the muscles around the knee joint, and increase range of motion. Most importantly these treatments help reduce inflammation/swelling, which helps improve overall function of the knee.

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Plantar Fasciitis and Class IV Laser

Flat-Foot-Arch-Before

What is it?

Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot that connects the heel to the toes and creates the arch of the foot.

Symptoms

The most common complaint is pain in the bottom of the heel. The heel pain may be dull or sharp. The bottom of the foot may also ache or burn. This can be painful and make walking more difficult.
The pain is usually worse:

  • In the morning when you take your first steps
  • After standing or sitting for a while
  • When climbing stairs
  • After intense activity

The pain may develop slowly over time, or suddenly after intense activity.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis develops because of repeated small tears to the flat band of ligamentous tissue that connects your heel to the bones of your toes. These tears weaken the arch that supports the foot. As the arch of the foot weakens, increasing strain is placed on the deeper ligaments and tendons of the foot and lower leg. Over time, Plantar Fasciitis can result in Chronic Pain, Heel Spurs and Degenerative Joint Disease (Arthritis).
You are more likely to get plantar fasciitis if you have:
• Foot arch problems (both flat feet and high arches)
• Long-distance running, especially running downhill or on uneven surfaces
• Sudden weight gain or obesity
• Tight Achilles tendon (the tendon connecting the calf muscles to the heel)
• Shoes with poor arch support or soft soles
Plantar fasciitis is seen in both men and women. However, it most often affects active men ages 40 – 70. It is one of the most common orthopedic complaints relating to the foot.
Plantar fasciitis is commonly thought of as being caused by a heel spur, but research has found that this is not the case. On x-ray, heel spurs are seen in people with and without plantar fasciitis.

Signs and tests

The health care provider will perform a physical exam. This may show:
• Tenderness on the bottom of your foot
• Flat feet or high arches
• Mild foot swelling or redness
• Stiffness or tightness of the arch in the bottom of your foot.

Physicians typically treat Plantar Fasciitis with anti-inflammatory drugs and steroid injections. These medications temporarily reduce the pain associated with Plantar Fasciitis but do not treat the cause of the problem. Traditional methods can usually take between 9 months to two years to resolve this condition.

 

Class IV Laser Plantar Fasciitis Program

Our program utilizes the latest class IV Lasers, and combines them with other therapies to help reduce the pain, strengthen the muscles around the foot and ankle joints, and increase range of motion. The Class IV Laser is at the heart of our treatment program. It provides a safe, effective, non-invasive, painless solution for plantar fasciitis. Patients generally respond exceptionally well to treatments and usually notice significant pain relief after just a few treatments.

Permanent correction of Plantar Fasciitis requires two procedures.

1. Heal the Damaged Fascia

Ending the pain caused by Plantar Fasciitis requires stopping the cycle of inflammation. This is critical because chronically inflamed tissues block the flow of needed nutrients and oxygen to surrounding muscles and joints. The advanced CLASS IV LASER restores the flow of nutrients and oxygen to the inflamed tissue allowing the cells to repair themselves at an accelerated rate.

2. Correct the Foot and Gait Mechanics

Most cases of plantar fasciitis are resolved very easily with Class IV K laser Therapy alone; however, if the condition has become chronic this can lead to alterations in the gait that will have to be addressed. This could involve stabilizing the arch with orthotics  or implementing a simple series of specific strengthening and stretching exercises.
Plantar fasciitis when treated early has an exceptionally good prognosis with our protocol. We encourage those with Plantar Fasciitis to seek our help right away. The longer one suffers with this painful condition the more likely it will cause other conditions in the knee, hip and spine.

More Support for Laser Therapy and Elbow Pain!

A recent study showed that the combination of class IV laser therapy and an epicondyle bandage “showed significant improvement for all evaluated parameters including pain scores, handgrip strength, disability, and SF-36 scores after sixth week of the treatment”

Laser

We offer class IV Laser Therapy at Aberdeen Chiropractic for all patients. Come see what laser can do for your chronic muscle pains today!

 

https://www.archivesofrheumatology.org/full-text/807

Can I prevent Fibromyalgia?

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Fibromyalgia (FM) is a common cause for chronic pain (pain that lasts three or more months) and afflicts 4% of the general population in the United States! FM commonly affects the muscles and soft tissues – not the joints (like arthritis); however, many FM sufferers are mistakenly diagnosed with arthritis, so it may take years before they get an accurate diagnosis. There are NO known accurate diagnostic tests for FM, which is another reason for a delayed diagnosis.

In order to answer the question, “Can fibromyalgia be prevented?” we must first find the cause of FM. There are two types of FM: PRIMARY and SECONDARY. Primary FM occurs for no known reason, while secondary FM can be triggered by a physical event such as a trauma (e.g., car accident), an emotional event or a stressful situation (e.g., loss of a child), and/or a medical event such as a condition like irritable bowel syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, or systemic lupus erythymatosis (SLE). Any condition that carries chronic or long-lasting symptoms can trigger FM, and some argue that the lack of being able to get into the deep sleep stage may be at the core of triggering FM since sleep disorders are a common finding in FM sufferers!

The “KEY” to managing FM has consistently been and probably always will be EXERCISE and SLEEP. So, if FM is preventable, daily exercise and getting the “right kind” of sleep are very important ways that may reduce the likelihood for developing the condition! Since emotions play a KEY ROLE in the cause and/or effect of FM, applying skills that keep life’s stressors in check is also important. This list can include hobbies like reading a good book, playing and/or listening to music, or meditation. The combination of exercise with mindful meditation using approaches like Tai Chi, Yoga, Qi Gong, and others has had positive impacts on FM patients such as improved balance and stability, reduced pain, enhanced mental clarity, and generally improved quality of life. Managing physical conditions that are associated with FM (such as irritable bowel syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, or systemic lupus erythymatosis) is also important in managing and/or preventing FM.

Another management strategy of FM is diet. As most patients with FM will agree, certain foods help and others make the FM symptoms worse. In a survey published in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology, 42% of FM patients reported certain foods exacerbated their symptoms. Of course, each individual case is unique, so keeping a food log or journal can be very helpful to determine dietary “friends” vs. “enemies.” The first step is to eliminate certain foods for four to six weeks, such as dairy and/or gluten. Most patients report a significant improvement in energy (less fatigue) while some report less pain when problem foods are eliminated from their diet. Generally, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins can have a positive impact on the FM patient. Consider eating multiple small meals vs. two or three large meals during the day, as this can keep blood sugar levels more stable and reduce fatigue.

So back to the question, can fibromyalgia be prevented? Maybe…maybe not. Since the medical community doesn’t know the exact cause, it’s hard to answer this question. However, being proactive and implementing the strategies used to better manage FM may help in preventing it as well!

If you, a friend or family member requires care for Fibromyalgia, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services!