Bone on bone knee pain is the more common name for osteoarthritis of the knee joint. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that develops as the tissues in your joint wear away over time, leading to inflammation and eventually the bones in the joint rubbing together painfully. Prior to any degeneration, a healthy knee joint has soft tissue in between the bones of the joint called cartilage. Cartilage is a natural shock absorber and helps to cushion and separate the bones from directly coming into contact with one another. When the cartilage gradually wears away over time, it can lead to bone-on-bone knee pain.
Causes of Bone-on-Bone Knee Pain
Osteoarthritis in Knee Joint
The most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis can occur in any joint where the cartilage starts to break down with wear and tear over time. Symptoms of osteoarthritis develop over time and tend to gradually get worse. The most common symptoms of osteoarthritis in the knee are pain during or after certain movements, stiffness, tenderness, swelling, loss of flexibility, and popping or crackling sounds. As osteoarthritis in the knee joint worsens, it can be difficult to put pressure on your knee without experiencing significant pain and discomfort. You may also have difficulty moving your knee around in what used to be your full range of motion. Inflammation in the knee joint can increase pain symptoms as the swollen soft tissues put pressure on areas nearby.
Bone spurs are bits of smooth bone that can develop around the knee joint and feel like a hard bump. When Bone spurs are also a symptom of osteoarthritis in the knee joint. A bone spur in the knee may rub against bones inside the joint or press on nearby nerves, leading to pain, stiffness, numbness, and tingling. Bone spurs actually develop as the body’s natural response to a perceived joint injury, like with osteoarthritis. When your joint starts to break down, your body will try to add bone to the area to try and fix the damage. However, bone spurs can end up causing you more pain and discomfort than was intended.
Health Factors and Considerations
Osteoarthritis is more common in older adults as it is a degenerative disease that develops with general wear and tear of the body, thus old age is a risk factor. Repeated stress on the knee joint over time can also lead to an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis, even at an earlier age. Jobs with repetitive movements that put stress on your knee joints, like requiring you to stand or bend repeatedly, can contribute to the development of osteoarthritis in the knee. Extra weight can also put stress on the knee joints because they are weight-bearing, which can lead to inflammation and other issues. A history of knee injuries can also contribute to osteoarthritis of the knee, even if they took place long ago and have since healed.
Treating Bone on Bone Knee Pain
There are many ways to address bone on bone knee pain and the first step is determining what is causing the pain. Diagnosing osteoarthritis of the knee joint, identifying any bone spurs, and determining the amount of cartilage still present in the joint are all factors that affect how bone on bone knee pain is treated. Degenerative diseases are not reversible but there are ways to help manage pain and relieve symptoms while also focusing on how to maintain range of motion and avoid the need for surgery.
One of the main goals of treatment is to help alleviate your pain so you can function in your daily life. There are natural, non-invasive pain management solutions that are effective in reducing pain in your knee joint with little or no side effects. While pain medications are common, they can only temporarily mask pain symptoms and do not get at the root cause. There are other pain management options that provide more long-term relief by addressing the root cause of the pain.
Bracing the Knee Joint
There are multiple options to brace the knee joint to help alleviate pain symptoms, inflammation, and instability. There are both short-term and long-term bracing options that can help provide support and effectively redistribute the pressure on the knee joint so you can experience long-term relief.
Strengthening the Knee Joint
Massage, stretches, and exercises are all ways to strengthen the knee joints and their surrounding muscles so the joint is better supported. As parts of the knee joint experience degeneration, the joint and its surrounding tissues may become weak with discomfort and disuse. Strengthening the supporting musculature helps to support the knee joint and provide a more stable, natural brace for the joint.
Lubricating the Knee Joint
Part of the degeneration that occurs and leads to bone-on-bone knee pain has to do with a lack of lubrication in the knee joint. As the cartilage soft tissue breaks down, the knee joint is not as well-lubricated over time. The lubrication in a well-functioning joint is what helps the knee joint move freely and pain-free through normal range of motion. In the absence of such lubrication, movement can become increasingly painful and lead to bones directly rubbing against one another.
Chiropractic Care for Bone-on-Bone Knee Pain
Your chiropractor will use several chiropractic techniques to help relieve bone on bone knee pain while also helping address the root cause of the pain and degeneration in the knee joint. Chiropractors can use adjustment techniques more commonly associated with the spine on other joints in the body as well. With the knee joint, your chiropractor may perform a knee adjustment to help reduce inflammation in the knee joint and to improve mobility. A knee joint slightly out of place can take on uneven weight distribution and pressure from the rest of the body, adding to the pain and discomfort. Additionally, chiropractic adjustments on the spine can help to restore proper posture, which can also help you to better distribute your body across your weight-bearing knee joints. Massage of the soft tissues will also help reduce inflammation and increase oxygen-rich blood flow to the area. This kind of chiropractic care and gentle techniques are all-natural and medication-free but still provide you with effective pain relief and improved range of motion.
Soft Wave Therapy for Bone-on-Bone Knee Pain
At Alan Nathans Family Chiropractic, we use soft wave therapy to help provide pain relief and long-term healing for a variety of conditions, including osteoarthritis of the knee. If you are experiencing bone-on-bone knee pain then The Stem Cell Machine is another treatment approach that is minimally invasive and does not require any medications or surgeries. Instead, The Stem Cell Machine utilizes soft wave therapy on the knee joint to help reduce inflammation and promote healing by sending waves into the damaged soft tissues. These waves trigger a healing response in the body, encouraging more nutrients to flow to the area. This cutting-edge treatment can also help to grow new blood vessels and increase stem cells in the area.