Have you been experiencing persistent knee pain? Are you undergoing any form of pain treatment? Knee pain can either be chronic or acute. Acute pain occurs due to an injury or trauma and disappears when the injury heals. Chronic pain is persistent as well as intermittent. Chronic knee pain can be caused by a number of health issues including:
- Ligament injuries
Before your doctor can treat your pain, proper diagnosis of the symptoms is important. The kind of pain therapy you need depends on the type of pain you are feeling. The two basic types of pain:
- Nociceptive pain. If your nervous system is working properly this is the type of pain you will feel. There should be a definite source of pain like a broken nose, a cut on the neck or a dog’s bite on your heel. If you spill coffee on your hand the burns will cause hand pain. The body tells your brain that there is an injury, wound or other problems on a specific part of body part that is causing the pain.
- Neuropathic pain. You feel neuropathic pain when the body's central nervous system is not working properly. The body tells the brain that there is a problem or an injury when in fact, there is none. It sends incorrect signals to the brain due to damage to your nerve fibers. The pain is described as shooting and burning. Sometimes there is tingling, numbness, a sudden electrical shock or heightened sensitivity in the affected area. A common example of neuropathic pain is the phantom limb syndrome. Individuals with amputated limbs sometimes still feel pain from the nerves that were originally connected to the missing arm or leg. Because the nerves send a wrong message, the person still feels pain.
For chronic knee pain, there are several neuropathic pain treatments that your doctor may use when all other forms of pain therapy have been exhausted.
1. Medication. This is the first line of defense against neuropathic pain. Medication works by managing how the pain information is transmitted within the body. The types of neuropathic pain treatment medications are:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Strong painkillers containing narcotics
- Anticonvulsant drugs
- Antidepressant medications
- Muscle relaxants
- Topical creams for pain relief
2. Nerve Block Injections. Nerve blocks, a form of steroidal anesthetic, are used in pain clinics for treating spine pain, joint paint, sciatica treatment and others. It is injected into the nerve where the pain is felt. This therapy blocks the pain signals from reaching the brain. Relief from pain is often felt shortly after the injection. However, the relief will last no more than a few months. Some doctors suggest repeated injections of nerve blocks; while others may opt to try other options for pain management.
3. Other treatments. Neuropathic pain management uses spinal cord stimulation when medications and nerve block injections fail. This treatment involves delivering electrical current into the spine to stop pain signals. Another type of treatment is psychological therapy. Chronic pain usually leaves the sufferer depressed and anxious. Medication and imaging techniques are discussed as possible ways to alleviate this emotional state.
If you are suffering from chronic knee pain, your doctor is in the best position to prescribe the proper pain treatment for you. Just make sure that you tell your physician all the symptoms of the pain so that he can diagnose it properly. Improper diagnosis can lead to the wrong pain treatment.