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New Study Analyzes Rise in Prevalence of Knee Osteoarthritis

Knee OsteoarthritisKnee pain is one of the most commonly treated conditions in Brooklyn healthcare centers. One of the key reasons for knee pain is osteoarthritis (OA). The cartilage in the knee gradually wears away, causing inflammation and swelling. Getting proper knee pain treatment early is important to prevent the condition from getting worse and to maintain function and mobility. The prevalence of OA has dramatically increased in recent decades in America. Most experts proposed that it was due to increase in life expectancy and the epidemic of obesity. Studies have shown that OA of knee rises due to obesity, while, even a modest weight loss can lessen the joint symptoms and in some cases allow a person to avoid the need for surgery.

Harvard Health recently reported on a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which looked into the “mysterious rise in knee osteoarthritis”. The research was based on the skeletons from people who had died and donated their bodies to research. The researchers reported that slowing or reversing the dramatic increase in obesity in recent years may have less impact on knee osteoarthritis and identified other factors that account for the rising rates of knee osteoarthritis:

  • Injury
  • Wearing high-heeled shoes
  • Inactivity
  • Walking on hard pavement
  • Inflammation

The researchers concluded that a proper understanding of why and how osteoarthritis develops is crucial before we can prevent it or improve its treatment.

Today, pain management centers in Brooklyn offer safe and effective joint injection drug treatment for treating mild to moderate OA of knee. Monovisc and Orthovisc are high molecular weight injectable hyaluronic acid viscosupplements which are injected into the joint to reduce knee pain and improve functionality. They are similar to the fluid that surrounds the joints in the body. When they are injected directly in to the knee joint, the cushioning and lubricating properties of the knee joint restores, resulting in decreased joint pain and improved mobility. They can provide knee pain relief up to 6 months. Only difference between the two is that, Monovisc is a single injection treatment, while the orthovisc is a multi-injection viscosupplement which is injected once a week for a total of 3 to 4 weeks in order to produce the desired effect. These FDA-approved, non-drug therapies are non-animal sourced hyaluronic acid derived from bacterial cells and not from rooster combs. This makes them the perfect option for osteoarthritis patients with sensitivities or allergies to birds or chickens, eggs, and feathers. However, they are usually administered to those patients who have failed to respond adequately to conservative non-pharmacologic therapy and to simple analgesics such as acetaminophen.

Based on the patient’s condition and lifestyle, pain management doctors at such facilities may also use other non-surgical treatment modalities to treat musculoskeletal conditions. These include physical therapy exercises, ice and heat application, TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation), NSAIDs, and chiropractic care. Their customized treatment plans go a long way in helping patients manage chronic joint pain and improve mobility and quality of life.

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