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Take the Leap: Regenerative Medicine for Knee Osteoarthritis

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A man sitting down and holding his left knee with both hands,

Do you or a loved one suffer from knee pain associated with osteoarthritis? Characterized by the gradual breakdown of cartilage in the joints, osteoarthritis can lead to chronic pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility. Traditional treatment options for osteoarthritis often focus on managing symptoms through pain medication and physical therapy, but regenerative medicine offers a more innovative and promising approach. 

Regenerative medicine harnesses the body’s natural healing processes to repair and regenerate damaged tissues, including cartilage in the knee joints. By using techniques such as platelet-rich plasma injections or prolotherapy, regenerative medicine can stimulate the growth of new cartilage cells and reduce inflammation in the joint. This not only helps to alleviate pain and improve function in the knee, but also promotes long-term healing and restoration of the joint. 

One of the key benefits of regenerative medicine for osteoarthritis in knees is its ability to address the underlying cause of the condition, rather than just managing symptoms. In this blog, we’ll discuss two of the top regenerative knee injection options for osteoarthritis and provide exercises to strengthen your knees.  

PRP Injections for Knee Osteoarthritis 

PRP therapy involves injecting a concentrated solution of the patient’s own blood platelets into the affected knee joint to promote healing and reduce inflammation. The concentrated platelets in the PRP solution contain growth factors that help promote tissue regeneration and repair, leading to improved function and reduced pain in the affected joint. This regenerative effect can potentially slow down the progression of osteoarthritis and eliminate the need for more invasive treatments such as surgery. 

PRP injections have been shown to provide long-lasting relief for knee osteoarthritis symptoms and offer a safe and effective treatment option for patients.  

If you are experiencing knee pain or stiffness due to osteoarthritis, consider talking to your healthcare provider about the potential benefits of PRP injections and whether this treatment option may be right for you. By exploring all available options, you can make an informed decision about the best course of action to improve your knee health and overall quality of life.  

Learn More: Your Ultimate Guide to Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP)

A person receiving PRP therapy injection in their knee.

Prolotherapy for Osteoarthritis Knee Pain

Prolotherapy involves injecting a solution of dextrose (sugar water) and other substances into the damaged or inflamed joint to stimulate the body’s natural healing process. This triggers a localized inflammatory response, which helps promote the growth of new collagen and tissue repair in the affected area. As a result, prolotherapy can help strengthen the ligaments and tendons around the knee joint, providing more stability and support to the damaged cartilage. 

Research has shown that prolotherapy can be an effective treatment for knee osteoarthritis, with studies reporting improvements in pain, function, and quality of life in individuals who undergo this therapy. 

One of the key benefits of prolotherapy is its ability to target the root cause of knee osteoarthritis by promoting tissue regeneration and repair. While medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or corticosteroid injections may provide temporary relief by reducing inflammation, they do not address the underlying structural damage in the joint. Prolotherapy, on the other hand, aims to stimulate the body’s natural healing mechanisms, leading to long-lasting improvements in pain and function.  

The Best Osteoarthritis Knee Exercises

By incorporating these exercises into your daily routine, you’ll increase the chances of finding relief from knee pain, increasing strength, and enjoying improved quality of life.  

  1. Straight Leg Raise: This exercise involves lying on your back with one leg bent and the other extended straight out. Lift your straight leg up towards the ceiling, keeping it as straight as possible, then slowly lower it back down. This movement helps to strengthen the muscles around the knee, providing support and stability to the joint. 
A person doing a straight leg raise exercise.
  1. Seated Leg Extension: Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and extend one leg out in front of you. Hold this position for a few seconds before returning to the starting position. This exercise targets the quadriceps muscles, which play a key role in knee function and can help improve mobility and reduce pain in individuals with knee osteoarthritis. 
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  1. Wall Sit: To perform a wall sit, stand with your back against a wall and lower yourself into a seated position as if you were sitting in an invisible chair. Hold this position for as long as you can, aiming to build up your endurance over time. This exercise helps to strengthen the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, which are all important for supporting the knee joint and improving stability. 
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In addition to these three specific exercises, it is also important to engage in regular cardiovascular exercise such as walking, swimming, or cycling to help maintain a healthy weight and improve overall joint health. Stretching exercises can also be beneficial for improving flexibility and reducing stiffness in the knee joint.  

Do not start a workout regimen without the approval of your medical provider. Consult with your provider regarding the intensity and frequency of the workouts.  

Common Questions about Knee Osteoarthritis

For those living with knee osteoarthritis, there are often many questions about the condition, its causes, and how to manage it effectively, such as:  

Knee osteoarthritis can be caused by various factors, including age, genetics, obesity, joint injuries, and overuse. As we age, the cartilage in our joints naturally begins to break down, leading to osteoarthritis. Genetics can also play a role in determining who is more likely to develop the condition. Individuals who are overweight or obese put extra stress on their knees, which can accelerate the deterioration of cartilage. Joint injuries, such as a torn meniscus or ligament damage, can also increase the risk of developing knee osteoarthritis.

There are several ways to effectively manage knee osteoarthritis, including exercise, weight management, physical therapy, and assistive devices.

This depends on the severity of the condition and if your provider has cleared you to perform the activities. Regular exercise is often recommended as one of the best ways to manage knee osteoarthritis. Low-impact activities such as swimming, biking, and walking can help improve strength, flexibility, and range of motion in the knee joint without putting excessive stress on the joints.

Common symptoms of knee osteoarthritis include pain, stiffness, swelling, and decreased range of motion in the affected knee. The pain may be worse with activity or after long periods of rest. Stiffness in the knee joint can make it difficult to bend or straighten the leg fully. Swelling may also occur due to inflammation in the joint. In severe cases, bone spurs may form around the joint, causing further pain and limitations in movement. 

Invest in a proper knee brace (Family Integrative Medicine can provide medical-grade knee braces that can unload pressure at just the right angle desired by the provider), make sure your shoes support your feet, rest, perform hot and cold therapy, and exercising are some of the best things you can do. 

Eliminate Knee Pain with Family Integrative Medicine

Knee osteoarthritis is a common joint condition that can cause pain and limitations in movement. By understanding the causes, symptoms, treatment options, and lifestyle modifications for knee osteoarthritis, individuals can better manage their condition and improve their quality of life. 

The regenerative medical staff at Family Integrative Medicine can eliminate your knee pain by combining all-natural biologics and functional treatments that meet the needs of your specific condition.  

To experience the joy of a pain-free lifestyle, give us a call and visit the location closest to you! 407.751.2192 

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