Knee and Hip Pain – Causes and Treatment Options

Janice CarsonJanice Carson

Knee and hip pain are often indicative of other conditions, such as arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a common condition in which joint tissue breaks down, causing inflammation, swelling, grating sounds, and pain. This condition often affects the knees and hips because those joints bear a lot of weight and are susceptible to injury. Knee and hip pain caused by arthritis is easily remedied if you are diagnosed early. As the condition worsens, treatment becomes more difficult. There are several ways to treat knee and hip pain at every stage of arthritis, however. Doctors will often suggest medication to start and adjust knee and hip pain treatment as necessary.

Knee and Hip PainNSAIDs, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, are usually the drug of choice when it comes to knee and hip pain relief. Drugs such as Ibuprofen, Aleve, and Aspirin treat knee and hip pain by reducing inflammation. Taken long-term, however, NSAIDs can damage your intestines and stomach lining. Doctors may opt to prescribe analgesics, instead. The mildest type of analgesic includes drugs such as Tylenol. Narcotic analgesics include strong painkillers such as Vicodin, Morphine, and Codeine. These drugs are often addictive and can cause liver damage if taken for too long. Analgesics are mostly used for short-term knee and hip pain relief.

Acupuncture can also be used to treat knee and hip pain. Acupuncture blocks pain messages by placing needles in specific parts of your body. There are 6,500 licensed acupuncturists in the United States. As acupuncture becomes more popular, doctors are including acupuncture in their medical practices. It might take more than one session to treat your knee and hip pain. A normal course of treatment includes 10 sessions over a 5-week period. Many insurance companies cover the cost of acupuncture, so you have little to lose. If you cannot stand needles, try acupressure, or Shiatsu massage, to relieve knee and hip pain instead.

Hydrotherapy and cryotherapy also relieve knee and hip pain. Hydrotherapy simply involves relaxing in warm water. If you have a hot tub, this is the perfect excuse to kick back and relax. Heat soothes muscles and stiff, achy joints. If you do not respond well to heat, consider cryotherapy instead. Thankfully, you do not have to soak in cold water for this treatment to be effective. Simply apply ice packs or cold compresses to your knees and hips as often as you can. The cold will slow blood flow and block pain signals. Remember, you do not have to live with knee and hip pain. Try one of these treatments today.

 

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**This is a subjective assessment based on the strength of the available information and our estimation of efficacy.

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