Knee Osteoarthritis (KOA) is both a prevalent and challenging condition to treat, commonly been seen as a structural problem with only surgery as the solution.
A recently published PubMed article is titled “Arthroscopic surgery for knee osteoarthritis? Just say No” -offering these suggestions below as an alternative.
Using analgesia – However, it does discuss gastric toxicity.
Nonpharmacological therapy – stating “physical therapy and regular exercise typically reduce pain and improve function of an arthritic knee. Acupuncture may have a small benefit as well.”
Consider a combination of glucosamine and chondroitin – The two combined may provide some relief associated with moderate to severe KOA.
If you are interested in this article, please visit and you can follow the reference points.
One suggestion this article fails to mention is Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) or Photobiomodulation for pain relief. Published articles of the benefits of LLLT have been available for at least the last 8 years, around the length of time we first received our Low Level Laser unit to Longueville Road Chiropractic.
Alignment is the Key
As Chiropractors, we understand this paragraph perfectly and couldn’t have said it better so..
“The human body is a complex mechanical unit composed of many joints held together by muscles, tendons and cartilages which also allow articulation. Gravitational forces must be balanced at all times at each link.
The line of gravity, one of the body’s most important factors as described by Harada, passes through the outer ear-opening and intersects the center of gravity of the human body (located adjacent to the sacrum) and the center of the knee joint.
The understanding of the function of the locomotive apparatus in the upright position and the dynamics of the body is one of the most important factors, so that the gravitational torque has a tendency to extend the knee joints in our daily life”
Here is the article in full for you with the conclusion that low level laser therapy can provide pain relief. One study in 2014 on rat knees showed prevention of degradation of cartilage with LLLT. More studies of course need to be done, but this is promising information. This particularly article states “LLLT stimulated cellular activity of cartilage repair and collagen synthesis, accelerating the breakdown of cartilage destroyed by collagenase and stimulating the fibroblast to synthesize repairing collagen III”
In summary, it is saying growth and repair of cartilage! Further information on Low Level Laser Therapy is found below.
For non-traumatic causes of knee pain, we especially like to look for the cause and not purely treat just the symptoms. Non-traumatic knee pain simply means that pain that has not been caused from a direct trauma to the knee itself. Many football playing injuries or skiing injuries for example can have a direct trauma cause of KOA. The majority of knee osteoarthritis cases we have seen however have been the non-traumatic type and respond to a thorough investigation as well as addressing potential foot function issues, hip and pelvic alignment and muscle weakness (particularly the gluteal muscles). Remember, the foot bone is connected to the thigh bone, which is connected to the hip bone! The knee is the middle joint and is thereby subjected to altered functionality if the foot and the pelvis have any distorted movement patterns as mentioned in the above PubMed paragraph. Our in house Foot Leveller orthotics are actually called “Pelvic Stabilisers” for good reason!
Hyaluronic acid appears superior to corticosteroid injections with beneficial effects on pain and function. Published results cause consideration of this with the low-quality evidence supporting corticosteroid injections.
Platelet-Rich-Plasma (PRP) currently appears to be beneficial and superior to placebo and Hyaluronic Acid both in function and pain.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin maybe beneficial and appears more efficacious that paracetamol.
Exercise has high quality evidence supporting this treatment for decreasing pain, improving functionality and the quality of life. Certainly, it is important to have the correct exercises given particularly with examination of all associated muscle systems including those associated with hip stabilization.
Knee Replacement. Let’s face it, sometimes things are beyond repair, however conservative treatment would always be the first recommendation to try.
On a final note, Look to the cause to help create the solution. And remember, when one part of the body is not functioning well, it cannot be isolated. in time, it will cause distortions elsewhere. Good mechanical functioning creates far better loading patterns.
For further reading of the benefits of Low Level Laser Therapy, please click Here and contact us directly if you require the research papers addressing the above mentioned treatments.