Treatments to Try Before Getting Knee Surgery

Treatments to Try Before Getting Knee Surgery

Anyone with knee pain wants it to go away. Before resorting to surgery, there are many treatments you can try.

Activity and Exercise

It might seem counter-intuitive, but exercise is important to keep knee cartilage healthy. It helps slow the progression of osteoarthritis and strengthens joints.

Activities in the water can be good exercise since the water relieves some of the pressure and strain on the knees.

Also, strengthening exercises for leg muscles can help protect the knee joints. Strong quadriceps and hamstrings can help provide better knee support.

The exercise might also help you drop a few pounds, which is also good for the knee. The more weight your knees are supporting, the more work they have to do. The extra weight can also increase inflammation throughout the body.

It’s important to allow your knees to rest after any type of injury or over-use. Rest combined with ice, compression, and elevation can help relieve mild knee pain. But don’t stop moving the knee completely since that can lead to stiff joints.

Ice reduces pain, inflammation, and swelling while heat can relax muscles.

Pay Attention to Shoes

The shoes you wear can make a difference in how your knees feel. Good insoles with cushion and arch support can help reduce the stress on your knees. Make sure any shoes support your feet and do not allow you to slip.

Heels aren’t good for the knees and neither are flats. Both change the angle of your feet and don’t provide adequate support. Wear these types of shoes sparingly.

When sitting, try to avoid sitting too low to the ground since it puts strain on the knees to get up.

A brace to stabilize the knee can also help relieve some of the pressure on the knee and allow for proper alignment. There are many different kinds of braces, so make sure to talk with your doctor about which might be best for you.

Non-Surgical Knee Treatments

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and other medications can help with some knee pain. Often, these over-the-counter medications can relieve some minor pain. Some of these treatments can happen at home, but injections from a doctor can also help.

Corticosteroid injections directly into the knee joint can help relieve pain and inflammation. Sometimes, they can provide relief for several months.

Hyaluronic acid injections can also improve mobility and ease the pain. The injections contain a thick fluid similar to the natural lubrication produced by your knee.

The medical team at B3 Medical has developed a unique injection-based protocol to treat knee pain. There is no downtime and the pain can go away without surgery. Contact us today for a consultation.

What is Sports Medicine

What is Sports Medicine

Athletes need to be in peak condition to meet their goals. Sports medicine is one way to help any kind of athlete optimize performance. Sports medicine physicians specialize in injuries and illnesses that happen because of sports activities or exercise.

You don’t need to be a competitive athlete to see a sports physician. Non-athletes, people who want to begin exercise programs, or weekend warriors can benefit from the knowledge sports medicine doctors have.

Training in Sports Medicine

Doctors who specialize in sports medicine have special training about how to help prevent injuries and how to guide patients through recovery after an injury. It is a medical subspecialty and doctors are often board certified in internal medicine, emergency medicine, family medicine, physical medicine, pediatrics, or another specialty.

The additional sports medicine training is a two-year fellowship and there is a national certification exam. The certifying agencies also require continuing education and a recertification and re-examination every decade.

Common Sports Injuries

Although sports medicine physicians see patients for a variety of reasons, they often treat injuries that happen during exercise or a sporting event.

Common sports injuries are:

  • Ankle sprains
  • Fractures
  • Dislocations
  • Knee injuries
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Overuse injuries like tendonitis and stress fractures
  • Swollen muscles
  • Concussions
  • Cartilage injuries

Participation in athletic activities sometimes brings on asthma issues or heat-related impairments. Sports medicine doctors might treat patients in these situations.

If an injury is significant, don’t wait to see a sports medicine doctor. Seek treatment in an emergency room and then see a sports medicine specialist for follow-up care.

Types of Care

The type of care depends on the kind of injury. Treatment can include immobilization and resting at home with over-the-counter medications. Sometimes, surgery is required to repair a tear or to fix bones, although a large percentage of sports injuries do not require surgery.

Physicians and other medical professionals often work with athletes for physical therapy as well as strength and conditioning routines. The goal is to help people get back to doing the activities they love.

Injury Prevention

Sports physicians provide advice about how to prevent injuries. A training routine can help people maintain their strength.

Nutrition is also an important part of staying healthy and athletic performance. Sports medicine specialists help athletes maintain a proper diet.

B3 Medical is a leader in sports medicine in the Tampa Bay area. Experts at B3 Sports Performance know what it takes to be an athlete of any type. They can help children, teens, and adults keep doing the sports activities they love to do.

With a combination of individual assessments and evaluations, we will treat your sports injury and create a specialized program to get you back in the game. Call today to schedule an appointment.

Reducing Opioid Use

Reducing Opioid Use

Being in pain makes it difficult to go about your daily life. Opioid medications have been the treatment of choice for many people, however, their addictive properties have led to issues, including overdose deaths.

Many patients and their physicians have been looking for other treatment options. There are many methods that do not involve prescription opioid painkillers.

Types of Pain

There are two main types of pain, acute and chronic. Acute pain happens suddenly because of a trigger, either an injury, surgery or the like. It can last for a little bit but goes away.

Chronic pain does not go away. Disease, illness, car crashes, etc., can cause chronic pain. It’s physically debilitating and can last a lifetime. Chronic pain can also lead to anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders.

Non-Opioid Medications

Medications like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and acetaminophen have shown to be effective in treating common types of pain.

NSAIDs like Ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin can control pain, especially acute pain. They’re available over-the-counter. Long-term use can cause stomach and intestinal issues.

Acetaminophen is also available over-the-counter. It is also good for acute pain; however high dosages can lead to liver damage.

Corticosteroids can decrease inflammation and reduce swelling for some pain, both acute and chronic.

Pain-Relieving Procedures

Several types of procedures and injections can help treat pain.

Injections address the source of the pain. Facet joint injections put a small dose of anesthetic and steroid directly into the facet joint to block pain. The facet joints are the joints in your spine that make you able to bend or twist. It might not make the pain go away, but it can help make it tolerable, so you can do physical therapy with the goal of making the pain go away permanently.

Trigger point injections put local anesthetic, saline, or corticosteroid into muscle knots to help relieve pain. Injections into the epidural fluid surrounding the spinal cord can help reduce inflammation and pain. Peripheral nerve blocks inject anesthetic near nerve bundles to block the pain sensation.

Using radio waves to bring heat to nerve tissues can help reduce chronic pain. It’s called radiofrequency ablation and the heat impairs the nerve and disrupts how pain signals go from the spine to the brain. Spinal cord stimulation also masks pain signals by delivering a mild electrical stimulation to nerves along the spinal cord.

Other Treatment Methods

Strengthening the body through physical therapy can also be a pain treatment option. It can not only help a person overcome an injury, but it could also allow a person to resume a regular exercise routine. Exercise releases endorphins which can reduce pain.

Chiropractic and acupuncture treatments can also be effective for reducing pain.

The medical professionals at B3 Medical can help you figure out the best way to treat your pain. We understand what you are going through and want to help you find a way to get back to living the life you want to live. Contact us today for a consultation.

How Nerve Blocks Work

How Nerve Blocks Work

When pain hits, we look for relief. Nerve blocks are one way to make the pain go away.

What is a Nerve Block?

Nerve blocks are injections to help decrease inflammation and disrupt the signal for pain along a nerve. Nerve blocks can help a damaged nerve heal, identify a source or pain, and provide temporary pain relief. You can repeat a nerve block several times a year.

An anesthetic and/or anti-inflammatory medication goes into the nerve or nerve group via an injection to turn off the pain signals. The person administering the nerve block uses a fluoroscope or other instrument to guide the needles to the proper location.

Some people feel pain relief almost immediately, others need several injections. If the pain isn’t related to a nerve, nerve blocks might not help relieve the pain at all.

Why Use a Nerve Block?

Doctors might use a nerve block for several reasons.

  • Therapeutic Nerve Block: These blocks are to treat pain and provide temporary relief.
  • Diagnostic Nerve Block: Doctors use this to try to determine where pain originates. The injection allows medical professionals to see how the nerve block impacts the pain and can, therefore, pinpoint its location.
  • Prognostic Nerve Block: This usage of a nerve block helps a doctor predict if a more permanent treatment like surgery would be a successful way to treat pain.
  • Preemptive Nerve Block: These are to prevent subsequent pain from an upcoming procedure.

Nerve blocks might help relieve pain in many parts of the body including the face, jaw, neck, back, arms, and legs.

Before, During, and After a Nerve Block

Patients usually do not need to do anything special to prepare for a nerve block but check with your doctor before your appointment to make sure.

During the procedure, a doctor will clean and numb the area of the injection. Then they will use a small needle to help determine the proper placement of the injection. The doctor might also use imaging guidance like a fluoroscopy or computed tomography (CT). Then the medication goes into the nerve with a syringe.

After the procedure, the patient will rest for a period to make sure there are no unexpected side effects.

Side Effects

There are some risks to nerve blocks including soreness and bleeding at the injection site, a rash or itching. There is also a risk of infection or nerve damage.

The physicians at B3 Medical often recommend nerve blocks to their patients as part of a treatment plan. They are one of the many non-surgical treatment options we use to help patients relieve their pain. Contact us today for an appointment.

How to Treat Sciatica

How to Treat Sciatica

It’s never fun when pain shoots down your lower back and your leg. You don’t need to suffer from sciatica pain. Non-surgical treatment is available.

The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back and down each leg. Sciatica pain happens when something like a herniated disc or bone spur puts pressure on the sciatic nerve. It can cause sharp pain, tingling, weakness, or numbness.

Treating Sciatica

Often, sciatica pain improves with home treatment like over-the-counter pain medications, rest, and other at home remedies.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can sometimes help reduce the inflammation that causes the pain. Don’t use them for too long without talking to your doctor. A doctor could also prescribe a muscle relaxant or a steroid injection.

Bed rest can help, but don’t get too much. About three days on a firm mattress or the floor is best, but after that, try to get back to your regular activities. Moving around can make the sciatica feel better.

Alternating ice and heat will not reduce inflammation, but it can help to stimulate the area to reduce the discomfort. Alternate about every 20 minutes. Make sure to use a cloth or towel to protect the skin from the ice or direct heat.

Alternative Therapies

Many patients get relief from alternative therapies like chiropractic manipulation, massage, or acupuncture.

Spinal manipulation can trigger the nervous system to naturally heal the painful area. Massaging trigger points on top of the sciatic nerve in the glutes can also help relieve pain. It helps to loosen the muscles. Non-trigger point massage can also generally relax the body, providing some relief.

Acupuncture helps restore energy flow to the area and can help with pain relief.

Some oils and ointments like capsaicin or other natural pain-relieving remedies can also help topically. There is some research that shows these can help reduce the release of pain-causing compounds from the nerve.

Exercise Options

Stretching and exercise can help take pressure off the sciatic nerve, reduce inflammation, and improve posture. Short walks can get things moving. Lower back stretches or ones that externally rotate the hip can help. Gentle yoga can also be a good way to stretch things out.

Make sure you do not stretch too far. A physical therapist or trainer can help make sure you have proper form when doing any type of exercise and talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise routine.

The professionals at B3 Medical are trained to help you suffer less from sciatica pain. They have many options available, all without surgery. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.