Monday, August 28, 2017

Runner’s Knee: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Runner’s Knee: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

If your knees are sore and swollen, particularly if you live an active lifestyle, you might have developed a condition called runner’s knee. This condition affects many people, and can make it painful to walk and bend the knee.

What causes runner’s knee?
As its name suggests, runner’s knee is common among runners—but that doesn’t mean they’re the only people who can develop this condition. Runner’s knee can develop when the joint becomes irritated by repeated exercises like running, biking, walking, and bending, or when the knee sustains an injury from a blow or a fall.

Problems with the feet can also lead to runner’s knee. Feet that are hypermobile (meaning the joints move too much), flat, or have fallen arches may cause the condition. Similarly, malalignment in the bones and tight or weak quadricep muscles put pressure on the knees and may cause them to turn in or out, leading to runner’s knee.

What are the symptoms of runner’s knee?
People with runner’s knee may experience pain in front of, behind, and around the kneecap. This pain usually accompanies walking, going up or down stairs and hills, squatting, running, kneeling, or doing any other action that requires the knee to bend. Some people also experience swelling, tenderness, and a popping, cracking, or grinding sensation in and around the knee joint.

If you think you may have runner’s knee, speak to your doctor. Ignoring the condition can cause it to become worse.

Treating runner’s knee
The first step in treating runner’s knee is allowing the knee to rest. If you run, cut back on the distance and strenuousness of your workout. While you can’t avoid bending your knee altogether, stay away from any activities that require you to bend your knees often, such as squats.

Try putting ice on your knee every three to four hours for 20 to 30 minutes at a time, until the pain subsides. You may want to wrap your knee for extra support, and put your leg up on a pillow when you sit or lie down.

Medicines like ibuprofen and naproxen may help reduce the swelling and pain. If you’re on other medication, speak to your doctor before taking any drugs for your knee pain. Gentle stretches for the quadricep muscles may also help, and consider getting orthotics or arch support to help reposition your feet and ease pressure off of your knees.

Runner’s knee often stems from other issues like muscular imbalance, joint dislocation, or a fracture. At Stem Cell Therapy, we specialize in using alternative, safe, and minimally-invasive treatments to restore the body to health and relieve pain in the joints. Contact us today to find out if stem cell therapy can help with your runner’s knee.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Getting a Better Night’s Sleep with Back Pain

Getting a Better Night’s Sleep with Back Pain

If you live with back pain, getting a good night’s sleep might seem like a thing dreams are made of. You might find yourself tossing and turning for hours, struggling to get comfortable—and when you do finally doze off, you’re jolted awake by a twinge. Sadly, the more sleep you lose, the more sensitive to pain your body becomes, meaning your sleeplessness may actually cause your back pain to worsen over time.

Your body needs sleep to heal, making it more important than ever to get a solid eight hours of rest when you’re in pain. But don’t despair—it is within reach! Here are some simple tips for getting a better night’s sleep with back pain.

Change your sleeping position
When it comes to back pain, the position you sleep in can make a huge difference. Sleeping on your stomach, for instance, flattens your spine and twists your neck, both of which will only make things worse. So which position should you sleep in?

In fact, there’s no single position that’s best. Remaining in one position for too long actually increases back pain, so the best plan is to switch it up throughout the night. Try lying in a fetal position on your side, with a pillow tucked between your legs. If you prefer to sleep on your back, put a pillow beneath your knees. Or if you find sleeping on your stomach is more comfortable for you, place a pillow under the lower part of your abdomen and pelvis to minimize the strain on your back.

Sleep on a medium-firm mattress, and use one pillow
The type of mattress you sleep on is also important. If you’re able to, shop for a new mattress that feels comfortable to you—in most cases, a medium-firm mattress will do the trick. If your current mattress feels too firm, you can also try adding an egg crate mattress pad.

Sleeping on a stack of pillows puts more pressure on your neck, so try sleeping with just one. Many people with back pain find that a contoured pillow helps ease the strain on their neck.

Try to relax
You may be able to reduce nightly back pain by doing daily exercises or stretches designed to help you relax. Stress is often a big contributor to pain, so if you can, eliminate stressful situations from your day, and unwind before going to bed by doing things like reading a book or taking a relaxing bath.

Consider stem cell therapy
If you’re looking for a long-term solution to your nightly back pain, consider stem cell therapy. This regenerative treatment aims to relieve back pain by taking stem cells from the patient’s own body and injecting them directly into the site of injury to promote healing. Many people have found stem cell therapy effective for reducing their back and spinal pain, increasing their quality of life and helping them to get a better night’s sleep for good.

At Stem Cell Therapy, we specialize in safe, natural regenerative therapies. Contact us today to find out if stem cell therapy is right for you.