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A new and unsettling trend is emerging among young athletes: a serious increase in the number of knee injuries. It’s time to look at why more kids are hurting their knees, and how treatment for knee injuries can be safe, conservative, and effective. Our Monmouth County pain management office provides a wide variety of pain management and rehabilitation practices for patients of all ages suffering from knee pain near Red Bank, NJ.

A new study from The Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia* has highlighted a 400% increase in the number of knee injuries among young people.

This startling statistic is based on knee injuries young patients incurred between the years of 1999 and 2011. The types of injuries in kids’ knees have changed as well. Whereas injuries the anterior cruciate ligament (the ACL)—the major ligament that works to stabilize the knee—were once considered rare, they are now common. In fact, according to the study, the rate of ACL tears in younger patients increased by 11 percent every year.

The study didn’t necessarily highlight the reasons why more young athletes are experiencing injury and pain in the knee joint, although it’s pretty easy to speculate. For one thing, many sports are now played year-round, rather than seasonally. This means that the knees are absorbing the same types of serious impacts on a more regular and unceasing basis. Some speculate that high school sports may have taken on a more intensely competitive nature—with a lot of kids attempting to imitate the moves of professional athletes.  Kids also rarely want to stop whatever activity their participating in—even when rehabilitation isn’t finished.

What’s worse is that injuries to the knee could have serious long-term consequences. A study of Swedish soccer players** showed that 41 percent of male athletes and 51 percent of female athletes with a torn ACL experienced arthritis in the affected knee within 12 to 14 years of the initial trauma. What we’re talking about are twenty-somethings with serious arthritis.

When it comes to patients of all ages—and especially young patients—we believe that rehabilitation and pain management should be a healthy process. Our rehabilitation process begins with a proper diagnosis. From there, our pain management specialists create programs of rehabilitation that help the body to heal through conservative, healthy practices. Our mission is to help patients find real results without surgery or long-term painkiller use.

Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation offers the following services for knee injury and pain:

  • Medical Care: Our team of physicians includes top specialists in the field of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
  • Interventional Pain Management: We offer various interventional methods for long-lasting, localized knee pain relief, including steroid injections (outlined in more detail below).
  • Physical Therapy: Our Red Bank physical therapy programs use a progressive approach that includes the very best practices in PT alongside the newest and most effective technologies. For knee pain, customized programs of PT may include therapeutic exercise, laser therapy, ultrasound, and electrotherapy. The goals are to help patients heal, relieve pain, build strength, and get back to normal or even enhanced movement and flexibility.
  • Chiropractors for Knee Pain: In addition to ensuring the correct alignment of the spine (which promotes the health of the entire body and can directly address some of the causes of knee pain) chiropractors can also help to reduce pain and improve function and movement of the knee joint itself.
  • Acupuncture: We combine this ancient, Eastern medical practice with the latest and best in Western medical techniques. Acupuncture is great because it not only provides very real and proven pain relief, it also helps to speed the healing process. I can personally vouch for acupuncture; I’ve been using it for pain management after being hit by a car last summer. Certain branches of the U.S. military have even been using acupuncture during transport for wounded soldiers. The best part about this is that acupuncture helps patients reduce the need for painkilling medications.

Joint Injections for Knee Pain in Red Bank, NJ

What can be done about patients who aren’t able to use physical therapy or chiropractic? There are some cases wherein patients experience enough pain to restrict movement. No matter what your age, surgery is not the next option. Surgery is always traumatic and invasive, and it’s not always necessary. Let’s also say the same for painkilling medications. At Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation, we believe that analgesic drugs should be used as a short-term method of pain relief. They are not a solution.

Joint Injections using a long-lasting corticosteroid provide patients with localized pain relief. The steroid medication creates an anti-inflammatory response that often helps patients use healthy, proactive practices such as physical therapy and chiropractic. In other words, by fighting the pain this way, we’ll start you down a healthy path of correcting the actual injury or issue that is causing pain.

Contact our Red Bank, NJ Knee Pain specialists at Monmouth Pain to learn more.

*The study was presented at the 2011 Meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics in Boston.

** Osteoarthritis as an outcome of paediatric sport: an epidemiological perspective, Caine DJ, Golightly YM. Department of Physical Education, Exercise Science and Wellness, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND 58203-8235, USA.