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Overview

Knee problems can affect both men and women. Whether due to athletics, aging, injury, or posture, all can be factors contributing to knee pain. However, women are reported to be 2 to 8 times more likely than men to experience knee pain and injuries, regardless of their level of physical activity1. The World Health Organization also states that 60% of osteoarthritis patients are women2. But how does this happen?

Factors why women are more likely to suffer from knee pain 

  1. Physical differences
comparison of female and male leg structure

The unique qualities of women's knees can be observed through the differences in their hips. Women's hips tend to be slightly wider than men's, affecting the positioning of their leg bones in relation to the pelvis. Their knees are more likely to tilt inward while the ankles remain spaced apart. This can result in increased stress on the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), the crucial tissue that connects and stabilizes the thigh bone to the shin at the knee joint. The variation in alignment can also impact the way they walk, run, and perform other lower-body movements.

2. Hormones

A women having knee pain

Estrogen is known to have positive effects on maintaining bone density and promoting increased flexibility in joints. However, during the menstrual cycle, estrogen levels fluctuate, and when this occurs, it may be associated with a higher likelihood of knee and ankle injuries.

3. Muscle imbalance

Female and male quadriceps comparison

In women's muscle development, their quadriceps (front thigh muscles) tend to become stronger than the hamstrings (back thigh muscles), creating an imbalance in muscle strength that can potentially affect joint stability and function. This imbalance becomes evident during activities such as running, jumping, or even simple movements like walking, putting increased stress on the knee joint. This imbalance may contribute to issues such as knee pain, instability, or an elevated risk of injuries, including anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries during those activities.

4.Wearing heels for long period of times

Bad effect of wearing high heels for women

The heightened stress resulting from habitual wearing of high-heeled shoes among women can potentially impact the alignment and function of the knee joint during each step. When wearing heels, the body’s weight shifts forward, placing increased pressure on the balls of the feet and altering the distribution of forces throughout the lower limbs. Over an extended period, the repetitive stress and altered biomechanics associated with wearing high heels can lead to chronic issues.

Home remedies for knee pain

If knee pain persists, worsens, or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it is advisable to seek medical advice for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. However, if the pain is mild or moderate, it can also be treated at home with self-care measures. Here are some self-care measures that may help alleviate mild knee pain3.

Use RICE method

RICE method

R - Rest: Give your knee some time to rest and avoid activities that may worsen the pain. This can help prevent further irritation or strain.
I - Ice (Cold Packs): Applying ice packs to the affected area can help reduce inflammation and numb the pain. Avoid applying ice directly to the skin. Wrap the ice in a towel or use an ice pack to apply on the painful area. Apply it to the knee for about 15-20 minutes at a time.
C - Compression: Use a compression bandage to help reduce swelling and provide support to the knee. Ensure that the bandage is tight enough to support circulation but not too tight to hamper it.
E - Elevation: Elevating the leg when resting can help minimize swelling. Prop your leg up on a pillow or cushion to keep it elevated.

Healthy women doing an activity

Gentle Exercise

Practice gentle and low-impact exercises to maintain flexibility and strength in the knee. Always warm up before exercising and cool down afterward. Stretch the muscles in the front of your thigh (quadriceps) and in the back of your thigh (hamstrings).

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight can put excessive strain on your knee. Therefore, maintaining a healthy weight through proper diet and exercise can help alleviate stress on the knees.

Proper Footwear

Wearing shoes with cushioned insoles can help reduce strain on your knees and alleviate knee pain. Choosing supportive and comfortable shoes can also contribute to proper alignment, especially during weight-bearing activities.

Physiotherapy

However, if your knees are experiencing severe pain, do not delay seeking medical help. It's essential to listen to your body and avoid pushing through severe pain. If home remedies do not bring relief, or if the pain persists, consult with a healthcare professional and physiotherapist for a thorough evaluation and appropriate treatment recommendations.

Heal your knee pain with Hydrogen therapy

Physiotherapist at Hi-Bliss is doing a hydrogen therapy to the client

Hi-Bliss Hydrogen therapy combines molecular hydrogen with physiotherapy to address various health conditions, including muscle and joint pain. At Hi-Bliss, we have successfully assisted over 1000 customers suffering from joint pain, particularly in the knee and shoulder areas.

Our hydrogen therapy treatment is primarily 100% natural and non-invasive. You can rest assured as the treatment is pain-free and has no side effects afterward. During the session, patients may experience the infusion of cool air onto their skin, promoting a sense of calm and relaxation.

Moreover, hydrogen's unique ability to selectively eliminate toxic free radicals causing oxidative stress and reduce inflammation in the joint area helps prevent further damage to joint tissues. This therapeutic effect has proven effective in reducing knee pain and providing long-term relief. Protect yourself from potential knee injuries in the future. If you're experiencing pain in your knee or any joint area, consult with a healthcare professional to prevent worsening. Take proactive steps towards healthier joints today with Hi-Bliss!

  1. https://www.njspineandortho.com/women-and-knee-pain/ ↩︎
  2. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/osteoarthritis ↩︎
  3. https://www.medicinenet.com/what_is_the_home_remedy_for_knee_pain/article.htm ↩︎

Introduction

Knee Pain is a condition that many people of all ages face during their lives. It can have a wide variety of causes and may happen suddenly with great intensity or may manifest as a dull ache over a long period of time.

Causes of Knee Pain

Obesiti

Over 50% of Malaysians are either overweight or obese. This means that if you aren’t overweight yourself, you are very likely to know a person who is overweight or obese. Structures of the Anterior Knee such as the Patella, the largest sesamoid bone in the body, experience forces equal to up to five times our body weight. Having a high body weight can contribute to these bones and joints overworking to compensate. More wear and tear will occur on the knee as a result.

Sports

The most common form of Knee Injury is Knee Sprain. According to a study, strains and pains accounted for more than 40% of knee injuries. A study conducted in 2015 estimates that 32% and 57% of all knee strains and sprains occurred at a sports venue.

One of the major sources of knee injuries comes from Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injuries. These injuries are common in athletes who participate in sports that involve a lot of high-impact pivoting movements. This includes sports like football (also known as soccer in the United States), basketball and badminton.

Another sports-related knee injury is the Meniscus Tear which occurs in sports that involve a lot of twisting and tackling of the knee.

Age

As you get older, your muscles and bones start to deteriorate. This can cause weakness and pain in your joints. Furthermore, as you get older, the Menisci (cushioning in your knees) will start to wear away causing a condition known as Osteoarthritis.

Knee-Related Medical Conditions

Baker Cyst

Known also as a Popliteal Cyst, a Baker Cyst is a fluid-filled cyst that may manifest at the back of the knee causing stiffness and discomfort. These cysts normally form due to meniscus tears or osteoarthritis. This happens as a result of the body’s response to inflammation – increasing the flow of synovial fluid until it accumulates behind the knee.

Non-surgical treatment options are available for managing Baker Cysts such as the usage of NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs), Steroid Injections and Aspiration (removal of the fluids). However, large cysts that are causing nerve or vascular problems may be removed via excision surgery.

Osteoartirtis

If you are suffering from Osteoarthritis of the knee, you will likely experience pain while walking, particularly when going up or down inclines like hills or stairs. You may hear a grinding or grating sound in your joints while moving it. In severe cases, your knees might even buckle, causing imbalance or difficulty in balancing. We have written an article about Osteoarthritis, click here to read it.

Osgood-Schlatter disease

Osgood-Schlatter Disease is a type of swelling below the knee joint along the tendons on the front of the knee. It is caused by irritation of the bone growth plate and mainly affects children, especially growing children who are active in sports.

This condition usually goes away with ample bed rest and a reduction of intensive activity for children who are susceptible to the condition. Ice Packs after activity and the usage of knee pads may help reduce the effects of the condition. Medicine such as acetaminophen or NSAIDs may be used as advised by your doctor.

Infections

Bone infections are also known as osteomyelitis and they may be responsible for acute or chronic knee pains. It occurs when bacteria enters the bone through your bloodstream or through an open wound. Symptoms of osteomyelitis include fevers, chills, local swelling and general discomfort.

Treatment is usually conducted with antibiotics to kill off the harmful bacteria and, in severe cases, surgery.

Home Care to Reduce Knee Pain

Though certain knee pain conditions require medical intervention by your doctor, here are some things you can do at home to assist your recovery journey.

Bedrest is an important aspect of recovering from bouts of knee pain as movement can cause compression on the knee joint which prevents it from recovering as quickly as it should. When lying down, keep your knee raised to reduce swelling. You can use a pillow underneath your knee while sleeping to keep it elevated.  

Icing the area is another thing you can do from your home to improve recovery from knee injuries. Wrap some ice cubes or an ice pack in a bundle of cloth and apply it to the swollen or painful areas. Refrain from pressing the ice directly onto the skin to prevent discomfort or injury.

Preventing Knee Pain and Injuries

Warm Up and Cool Down

Always warm up before exercise and cool down after you are done. This can be done by conducting some stretches of the muscles on the front and back of your thighs, your quadriceps and your hamstrings. Watch this video for some simple stretching exercises as taught by our Hi-Bliss Physiotherapists

Reduce Joint Impact

As your knee joint bears a lot of weight during daily activities, it is important to reduce the impact where possible. This includes walking down inclines (downhill) instead of running. When it comes to exercise choice, instead of running or jumping, consider cycling or swimming.

Weight Management

As we have mentioned before, obesity plays a huge factor in your joint health. Managing your weight can bring many healthcare benefits including improving your cardiovascular health, your lungs and even your mood! If you are suffering from weight-related knee pain, you should consider speaking to your doctor or a dietician about weight loss options.

Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy isn’t necessarily only for those with injuries. You may consider physiotherapy as a preventative route to reduce your risk of knee pain or injury. Physiotherapists can help by strengthening your surrounding muscles to help give your knee joint more support.

How Hydrogen Therapy Can Help

We already suggested physiotherapy in the previous section but what if there was something better than just physiotherapy?

Hi-Bliss Hydrogen Therapy combines the anti-inflammatory properties of Molecular Hydrogen and a team of highly-trained physiotherapists to help people who are suffering from knee pain improve their condition and reclaim their active and healthy lives.

During your first session with Hi-Bliss, our physiotherapists will conduct a few health assessments to identify the state of your condition. It will be helpful to bring some of your scans or medical reports from previous doctor visits.

Then, our therapists will perform a palpation check, a sense-of-touch test to identify muscle weaknesses and stiffnesses.

When that is done and treatment points are identified, our physiotherapists will spray molecular hydrogen gas onto your body.

Hydrogen gas is non-invasive but due to its nature as the smallest molecule, it can penetrate your skin painlessly to relieve inflammation in your body and joints. This is done by reducing oxidative stress by neutralising free radicals. There are no side effects to Hydrogen Therapy so no worries and no fuss. All you need to do while undergoing Hydrogen Therapy is just relax!

After being sprayed with Hydrogen gas, our therapists will conduct manipulation on your body. This includes some static stretching and massages.

Finally, your Hi-Bliss Therapist will teach you some basic stretching and strengthening exercises to do at home for a holistic healing experience.

If you are interested in trying out Hi-Bliss Hydrogen Therapy to manage your knee pain, make your appointment now!

  1. National Health & Morbidity Survey | NHMS 2019
  2. Anatomy, Bony Pelvis and Lower Limb, Knee Patella.
  3. Obesity and Anterior Knee Pain | University of Michigan
  4. Epidemiology of 6.6 million knee injuries presenting to United States emergency departments from 1999 through 2008
  5. Incidence of Patients With Knee Strain and Sprain Occurring at Sports or Recreation Venues and Presenting to United States Emergency Departments
  6. Age-proof your knees
  7. Baker's Cyst (Popliteal Cyst) | Orthoinfo
  8. Osgood-Schlatter Disease | John Hopkins Medicine.
  9. Osteomyelitis

Introduction

Osteoarthritis (also known as OA) is a joint condition that affects a significant number of people worldwide, especially older individuals. It is the most common form of arthritis and is a major cause of disability in the elderly population. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that normally cushions the joints starts to break down, this causes the bones in the joint to not have that much-needed protective layer between them. This causes more friction on the bones and can cause a wide array of symptoms.

Joints that are commonly affected by this condition are mainly weight-bearing joints such as the knees, hips and spinal joints. Osteoarthritis has also been observed in fingers, wrists and elbows too.

Main Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

Photo credit Matthias Zomer

The main symptoms of osteoarthritis are joint pain & stiffness. This can cause mobility issues and may affect your ability to remain active. In most cases, symptoms come in waves and can be tied to your activity level and external factors like the weather.

You are most likely to be suffering from Osteoarthritis if you are experiencing:

Symptoms of Knee Osteoarthritis

A common form of osteoarthritis encountered is Knee Osteoarthritis. If you are suffering from Osteoarthritis of the knee, you will likely experience pain while walking, particularly when going up or down inclines like hills or stairs. You may hear a grinding or grating sound in your joints while moving it. In severe cases, your knees might even buckle, causing imbalance or difficulty in balancing.

Risk Factors for Osteoarthritis

As Osteoarthritis is a leading condition among the elderly, it can be said that there are many risk factors that could contribute to people being afflicted with this condition. Some of these risk factors are within your control but not all of them are.

Joint Overuse

Firstly, we have joint overuse. Jobs with high physical demand, mainly blue-collar jobs, can cause joints to work overtime every day. This daily overworking of the joints can wear and tear on your joints which can contribute to the development of Osteoarthritis. Examples of job activities that may cause OA in the future include jobs that require:

This is why it is important to take frequent breaks while on the job, especially as you get older. This also applies to people who participate often in high-impact sports like sprinting, boxing or acrobatics.

Obesiti

Obesity is a major cause of many health conditions and puts you at risk of developing many severe chronic health issues, osteoarthritis is one of them. According to the John Hopkins Arthritis Center, overweight people have 4-5 times more risk of developing Knee OA compared to a non-obese person! This is likely due to the increased pressure on the weight-bearing joints like the lower back and knees. Managing your weight through a caloric deficit and frequent low-impact exercise like swimming can help prevent osteoarthritis that can occur as a result of obesity.

Posture

Poor posture places pressure on your joints. Your head weighs as much as a bowling ball and is supported by your neck, shoulder and upper back muscles. You only get to rest your neck while sleeping. Keeping a poor neck posture places a lot of stress on the joints as your muscles will be stretched out to compensate for the poor posture. In the long-term, poor posture will contribute to wear and tear of your muscles and joints and can develop into osteoarthritis. Most readers will be reading this article on a laptop or phone, this is your reminder to lift your chin and straighten your back!

Genetics

Though people cannot inherit osteoarthritis as a condition, the predisposition to developing osteoarthritis can be genetically inherited. However, the pattern of inheritance or respective genes is still unknown. If you have parents who have suffered from osteoarthritis, then it is important to go for frequent screenings and prevent the preventable risk factors of osteoarthritis as described earlier in this article.

Age

Aging is one of the greatest risk factors for Osteoarthritis and aging is also unavoidable. However, it is important to note that OA is not inevitable for those who are getting older. As a person gets older, their cartilage becomes more brittle, their bone structure weakens and their muscles will degenerate. These all contribute to increased pressure on the joints and can contribute to osteoarthritis.

Injury

Arthritis that develops after an injury is called post-traumatic arthritis. This type of arthritis accounts for 10% of OA cases and affects more than 5 million people globally each year. Joint injuries are 7 times more likely to develop into arthritis compared to joints that have not experienced any trauma. As injuries are inevitable in life, the most we can do to manage this risk factor is to ensure that we receive appropriate care and rest for the injured joint while it recovers.

How to Prevent Osteoarthritis?

Managing a Healthy Body Weight

As mentioned above, obese individuals are more likely to develop OA in the future. Extra fat also contributes to changes in cartilage production in the body. There are many safe ways to lose weight including managing your caloric intake and exercising frequently. For more options on weight loss, you should consult a healthcare professional such as a dietician or a doctor.

Managing Blood Sugar

Diabetes is a risk factor that can contribute to osteoarthritis development. Conduct frequent blood tests to monitor your blood sugar.

Low-impact Exercises

Low-Impact Exercises refer to exercises you can do without placing high impact on your joints. Low-impact exercises like swimming or brisk walking are great for strengthening your muscles, losing weight and reducing pressure on your joints. It is recommended to get at least 30 minutes of exercise or 6,000 steps a day. Though it may be challenging to start exercising frequently, discipline becomes a habit eventually so don’t give up!

Pain Monitoring

If you experience joint pain that lasts for more than an hour after exercise, you may have caused injury or overworked that joint. Rest the joint and use an ice pack or a hot pack to relieve the inflammation. Consider visiting a physiotherapist or a doctor to assess your condition.

Managing/Treating Osteoarthritis

There is no cure for osteoarthritis but there are ways to manage it through medication, devices and tools, therapies, and in severe cases, surgeries.

Medication

Medications that may be used include pain relievers, Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and Counterirritants. There are options available over the counter and as prescribed by the doctor. Anti-inflammatory medication such as corticosteroids can be administered by your doctor.

Exercise & Weight Loss

Exercise is a key component of managing osteoarthritis after developing it. These exercises include strengthening, stretching, balance and cardiovascular exercises. Combined with a diet plan to lose weight, these exercises will help strengthen your body and help reduce pressure on your joints.

Surgery

Joint replacement surgery by an orthopaedic surgeon may be an option for you in severe cases. An orthopaedic surgeon will help identify what is the best procedure to be done depending on which joints are damaged and how badly.

How Hi-Bliss Can Help

Hi-Bliss Hydrogen Therapy combines the anti-inflammatory properties of Molecular Hydrogen and a team of highly-trained physiotherapists to help people who are suffering from osteoarthritis improve their condition and reclaim their active and healthy lives.

During your first session with Hi-Bliss, our physiotherapists will conduct a few health assessments to identify the state of your condition. It will be helpful to bring some of your scans or medical reports from previous doctor visits.

Then, our therapists will perform a palpation check, a sense-of-touch test to identify muscle weaknesses and stiffnesses.

When that is done and treatment points are identified, our physiotherapists will spray molecular hydrogen gas onto your body.

Hydrogen gas is non-invasive but due to its nature as the smallest molecule, it can penetrate your skin painlessly to relieve inflammation in your body and joints. This is done by reducing oxidative stress by neutralising free radicals. There are no side effects to Hydrogen Therapy so no worries and no fuss. All you need to do while undergoing Hydrogen Therapy is just relax!

After being sprayed with Hydrogen gas, our therapists will conduct manipulation on your body. This includes some static stretching and massages.

Finally, your Hi-Bliss Therapist will teach you some basic stretching and strengthening exercises to do at home for a holistic healing experience.

If you are interested in trying out Hi-Bliss Hydrogen Therapy to manage osteoarthritis, make your appointment now!

References:

  1. Management of Osteoarthritis: Expert Opinion on NSAIDs
  2. Osteoarthritis | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  3. Osteoarthritis | National Institute on Aging
  4. Osteoarthritis | NHS
  5. Causes of and Risk Factors for Osteoarthritis | Healthline
  6. Role of Body Weight in Osteoarthritis | John Hopkins Arthritis Center.
  7. How Your Posture Can Cause (and Affect) Arthritis | Health Central
  8. Osteoarthritis: Inheritance | Medline Plus
  9. Why is Osteoarthritis an Age-Related Disease?
  10. Post-Traumatic Arthritis | Cleveland Clinic.
  11. How to Help Prevent Osteoarthritis | Rochester University
  12. Osteoarthritis | Arthritis Foundation
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