Stop Achin' And Keep Movin': Non-Drug Options
Available For Knee Pain
(NAPSI)-Whether sore knees are what derailed your New Year's resolution to get into better shape, or if they are the reason you spend more time on the sidelines than in the game with your family and loved ones, knee pain is no joke. More than half of the approximately 20 million
Americans with osteoarthritis (OA) suffer from OA of the knee. Recent reports surrounding prescription anti-inflammatory drugs may have made you uncertain as to which way to turn when it comes to treating your knee pain safely and effectively. David H. Neustadt, MD, clinical
professor of medicine and former chief of the section on Rheumatology at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, answers questions about knee OA to help you get the relief you need.
Q: How did I get OA of the knee?
A: OA of the knee is a condition where normal knee fluid becomes altered and the protective cushion degenerates, leaving severe loss of cartilage, which can cause the bones to grind together. OA of the knee can be caused by many things. Family history and age do play a role, but it's most often a result of excess stress on knee joints. Work, sports, any other regular activity that adds stress on your joints, being overweight and living an inactive lifestyle all can play a contributing role. OA occurs most often in people over 45 years of age and typically affects more women than men after age 65.
Q: Is there a cure?
A: There is no cure for osteoarthritis, but there are simple treatments to relieve pain and reduce swelling, which may help the knee move better. Physical therapy and knee exercises can help keep the knee moving. Also, exercise programs and weight reduction, when needed, will reduce the impact on the knee joint and may help to diminish symptoms and slow the progress of the disorder.
Simple pain relievers can help manage the pain, while injectable steroids or anti-inflammatories may help relieve swelling and inflammation for a short time. As with any ailment, you should speak with your doctor before beginning any treatment regimen.
Q: Over-the-counter and prescription pain relievers and exercise don't work for me. Is there anything else I can do for my knee pain?
A: There are prescription non-drug products and procedures available that are safe and effective. They can be considered as an option if pain and difficulty with standing and walking are inadequately controlled. One useful product is Orthovisc®, an FDA-approved therapy given by a doctor in a series of three or four injections spaced one week apart. It has been shown in clinical studies to provide relief from knee pain for up to six months or longer for patients who have not obtained relief from simple pain relievers and physical therapy and/or exercise. And finally, surgery is an option.
Q: Is Orthovisc safe?
A: Orthovisc has been shown to be safe and effective. In clinical studies, the most commonly reported adverse events were joint pain, back pain and headache. Other side effects included temporary pain at the injection site. You should tell your doctor if you are allergic to products from birds, such as eggs, poultry or feathers. Orthovisc should not be injected in patients with infections or skin diseases in the area of the injection site or joint.
Q: Will Orthovisc interact with other medications I may be taking?
A: Orthovisc is not a drug. It contains natural hyaluronan, dissolved in saline. Hyaluronan is a natural chemical found in the body. Orthovisc is not systemic, meaning it does not get into the body's bloodstream. Nevertheless, you should still talk to your physician about any medication you are taking.
For more information about relief from pain associated with OA of the knee, visit www.orthovisc.com.
Millions of osteoarthritis sufferers are seeking answers...and relief.