Category: Health Problems

Pain Behind the Knee: 5 Main Causes and What to Do

Pain behind the knee is not a normal symptom and its occurrence may indicate important things that should be evaluated by the traumatologist. Some situations that can cause this pain are the presence of a Baker’s cyst, varicose veins or osteoarthritis; tendinitis of the hamstring muscles, or a meniscus injury.

The diagnosis should be made by the physician after physical evaluation and the indication of some imaging tests, such as an MRI or ultrasound of the knee, for example. Treatment may involve the intake of anti-inflammatory drugs to control pain and physiotherapy sessions. 

Pain behind the knee: 5 main causes and what to do. The most common causes of pain behind the knee are:

  1. Baker’s cyst

Baker’s cyst, also called a popliteal cyst, is a type of cyst with synovial fluid inside located in the back of the knee and is usually related to other diseases such as arthritis, meniscus injury, or cartilage wear, so it does not need treatment, disappearing when the causative disease is controlled. Most commonly it is located between the medial gastrocnemius and the semimembranosus tendon. Symptoms include pain behind the knee, as well as some limitation when bending the knee and localized swelling, which forms a sore and mobile “bump” that can be felt.

What to do: Not all cases need treatment, but in case the individual presents symptoms, the doctor could indicate several sessions of physical therapy to alleviate the symptoms. Also, in case of severe pain, aspiration of the fluid containing the cyst may be indicated.

  1. Tendinitis or hamstring bursitis

Pain behind the knee can also be caused by tendonitis located in the hamstring tendons, which are located in the posterior region of the thigh. This region is more prone to injury in people who are athletes and who practice intense physical activity such as running, soccer, or cycling. The main symptom that arises is pain at the level of the tendon at the back of the knee, on the side, or in the center. 

What to do: Stretching exercises should be performed on these muscles and a cold compress should be applied to the region for 20 minutes after stretching, relieving pain and discomfort. It is also recommended to avoid heavy exertion and intense physical activity, such as running. Physiotherapy can also help to reduce pain and discomfort, as well as to normalize daily activities. 

  1. Varicose veins 

When the person presents varicose veins in the legs and in the area behind the knee, these can leave the area more painful, mainly when there is a greater accumulation of blood in this area. Telangiectasias or spider veins can cause pain or a feeling of heavy legs at the end of the day. Varicose veins are easily identified with the naked eye, however, in more serious cases the doctor may request tests for a more thorough evaluation, and may even indicate surgery to remove them. 

What to do: You should go to the doctor for an evaluation, which usually indicates the use of compression stockings, as well as the use of medications that help improve circulation such as Daflon, for example. 

You should also avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time, and should stand up and walk every so often. There are also some treatments such as sclerotherapy or surgical treatments to remove varicose veins from the legs, which are indicated by the doctor, if necessary.

  1. Arthrosis

Osteoarthritis in the knee can also cause pain in the knee when the worn areas of the joint are located in the most posterior area. It is more common in people over the age of 50 and may be associated with other conditions, such as excess weight or weakness in the thigh muscles.

What to do: The doctor may prescribe some stretching exercises for the legs, which can be done at home or with a skilled physical therapist , allowing pain relief and strengthening of the knee. In addition to this, he/she may prescribe the intake of anti-inflammatory drugs, analgesics, and food supplements to help restore the joint. In more severe cases, surgery may be indicated.

  1. Meniscus injury

The meniscus is cartilage found in the middle of the knee between the femur and tibia bones. The symptoms that usually arise are a pain in the knee when walking, going up and downstairs, and, depending on the area of the injury, the pain may be in the front, back or sides of the knee. 

What to do: If a meniscus injury is suspected, an orthopedist should be consulted for evaluation. A knee pain doctor in NJ can perform some tests which trigger pain and confirm the diagnosis, however the best test to observe the meniscus is through an MRI. Treatment may be with physical therapy or, in more severe cases surgery, in which the surgeon may suture or cut the affected part of the meniscus.

Medications for pain behind the knee

Tablet medications should not be taken without medical guidance. The clinician may recommend taking anti-inflammatory medications for 7-10 days to decrease pain. Corticosteroid infiltration may be an option in more severe cases, mainly when there is no relief of symptoms with the use of medications and physical therapy. Some anti-inflammatory creams and gels that the doctor usually indicates are diclofenac diethylammonium, arnica, or methyl salicylate, which can be acquired in pharmacies and drugstores. 

However, it is not enough to take medication or use ointments, it is important to treat the cause of the knee pain. If it does not disappear after 1 week or if it is a very intense pain that prevents you from performing your daily activities, you should consult a doctor or physiotherapist.

Alcohol Homelessness Rehab Addiction Alcohol

The image of a homeless alcohol addict, sleeping under a pile of newspapers, on a park bench at night is for many fact of life. Secure places for homeless alcohol addicts to sleep at night are limited. The reality is that some who are addicted to alcohol do not want the confines of safe shelter. They make a choice to sleep out in the street. There are people homeless due to alcohol addiction in every city.

Whereas most drug addicts don’t see middle age, alcohol addicts who are homeless can be in late middle to early old age. Homeless alcoholics include both men and women who have chosen the bottle as a way of life. Some advanced alcoholics drink methylated spirits. Young adults and teenagers, including children as young as 10, who have become homeless often use alcohol and may have alcohol dependence because alcohol is cheap, can be legally obtained and it is a comfort to them.

There are many reasons why adult alcohol addicts become homeless. Most have previously been able to accommodate and support themselves, some have even been quite prosperous, owning their own homes and businesses, or employed in executive jobs.

Alcoholism is not a disease, it is simply caused by stress. There is said to be a relationship between alcohol addiction and a diagnosis of mental illness, and certainly if not pre existent, prolonged alcohol abuse will cause both physical and mental ill health.

The problem of homeless alcoholics highlights the fact that our world is structured such that no one has an entitlement to safe shelter and to a roof over their head. In our world, to have safe shelter you have to go out and earn it. Unless you win lottery, or seek charity, or find yourself rounded up into the custody of the system, there is simply no place in this world where, without money, you can lawfully be. This makes for temporary hang outs and an itinerant life style for the people of the streets.

Part of the problem for the homeless addicted is that they lack a sense of purpose and self-identity. Their only continuing connection with mainstream society might be a social security linked bank account. With no job and no social security, then for all intents and purposes, the homeless addict is simply invisible to the system. The homeless alcoholic depends on his wits and upon charity.

Due to alcohol abuse being a passive defense to the experience of emotional pain, alcoholics are not, like addicts high on speed, regarded as a public threat, more of a public nuisance. Alcoholics function in the depressive range – with little hope or expectation for the future and low regard for self. For some, a need to accept charity perhaps for the first time can be an added blow to self esteem.

Government housing assists many in poverty but it goes with the assumption that people will still pay a rental which is within their means. Providing homes for the homeless would require a bottomless purse. Not only do they lack both money and possessions, they are destitute in spirit.

The solution to homeless addiction lies in raising self esteem and optimism for the future. Holistic counseling methods can bring relief from a depressive outlook and provide help with issues of self esteem. Often the ladder back into society can look too hard to climb. Holistic therapy, including 100% drug free detox methods for alcohol addiction can provide a helping hand.

Alcohol Drug Abuse Treatment

Alcohol drug abuse treatment deals with a variety of personality disorders in the compulsive range. When a person engages in compulsive behavior it is reasonably certain that the issues behind it are very deeply entrenched, such that no alternatives give the same degree of relief and satisfaction.

The medical fraternity considers alcohol and drug abuse to be a disease, or mental illness and so alcohol drug abuse treatment consists primarily of medications, sometimes but not always with associated therapy. What therapy there is, is often limited, a person after medical alcohol drug abuse treatment will often find himself out there on his own.

Sometimes government funded alcohol drug abuse treatment will involve attendance at funded self-help groups. Many complain after years, that although their condition is stabilized, they don’t feel they have really moved on. There is no alcohol drug abuse treatment that professes to have found a cure. The medical profession claims the reasons to be genetic and say that they are still looking for the genes, or that causes are unknown and are happy to leave it there. It is against the law for any non-medical health practitioner to claim to have found a cure for any type of health problem or addiction.

Alcohol drug abuse treatment has been around for years, the best for alcohol is the 12 step plan, teaching abstinence and methods to cope with the continued craving. Drug abuse is treated mainly with long term, less damaging chemical alternatives, in all cases people are called recovering or in recovery – never in medical terms do you hear of anyone who has recovered from the “disease” of addiction as they call it.

There are many who consider that alcohol drug abuse treatment should be directed towards people’s emotional side, and that possible cures, and healing can occur with holistic methods. Many agree that such alcohol drug abuse treatment should be somehow “dynamic”, re-creating and creating positive change. Not many have more than a theory as to how this can be achieved.

The idea that merely talking about your feelings, to someone who understands what you are talking about, and who can provide guidance, support and interpretation as a means of alcohol drug abuse treatment is too simple it seems to deserve any funding and lacks a clear evidence base. Millions of dollars is poured into the medical system, the evidence being overwhelming that their alcohol drug abuse treatment at best supports the afflicted, it’s nowhere near to a cure. Alcohol drug abuse still continues to rise.

What is clearly needed is a level playing field, with all types of alternative practices funded, on a trial basis, giving them a chance to prove their worth. Surely the current failure of standard alcohol drug abuse treatment to fully alleviate suffering should encourage a search for new and better methods, if only on humanitarian grounds. Currently medicine is very much re-inventing the wheel as it investigates, as possible cures, plants and herbal medicine, the holistic methods of old. It may well be found at the end of the day, that it is not new methodology we seek for alcohol drug abuse treatment but a return to community and personal relationship that we seem to have lost along the way.

Can Diabetes Be Cured

Diabetes has become a prevalent disease in our society today. According to the American Diabetes Association, 8.3% of the population has been diagnosed with this disease. Diabetes does not limit itself to race, class or gender; affecting celebrities like Halle Berry, Bret Michaels, Nick Jonas, Paula Deen, Salma Hayek and Bears Quarterback Jay Cutler.

As podiatrists we see the impact that diabetes can have on a person’s mobility. Many serious foot complications and other medical complications can be reduced or eliminated with control of blood glucose (sugar) levels. This control of blood glucose is not easy to accomplish as evidenced by the explosion of numbers of people with type 2 diabetes in this country and in the world. Type 2 Diabetes has become a major public health concern in the United States, as 26 million people in this country alone have type 2 diabetes. A large number of these cases are caused by or worsened by obesity.

Weight loss has been shown in research studies to reduce blood sugar levels and reduce need for medication and insulin for control. Weight loss is usually difficult to attain, especially for those significantly overweight, who have difficulty exercising. Two recent studies have garnered new hope for those with diabetes caused by obesity. These studies examined the surgical treatment of obesity and it’s relationship to diabetes. The studies followed patients who underwent gastric bypass weight loss surgery. This type of surgery reduces the size of the stomach and redirects some of the intestine to cause weight loss. These studies showed that, not only did patients lose weight and keep it off, but their diabetes significantly improved! These studies showed over 80% of patients no longer need to take medication to control their diabetes.

Weight loss surgery has been shown to significantly improve other obesity related health problems as well, such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and sleep apnea to name a few. Current NIH standards still only recommend weight loss surgery for those significantly overweight that have failed other approaches at weight loss. Recent advances in surgical techniques have made the procedure safer, with complication rates lower than other common abdominal surgery, such as gall bladder removal. Hopefully, the increased safety and the demonstrated effectiveness in managing disease will widen the NIH recommendations to give people better access to this life saving treatment.

Should you or a loved one need a recommendation for a weight loss surgeon, we can help you! Through our affiliation with Gramercy Surgery Center, we can refer you to some of the best Bariatric surgeons in New York. Give the office a call or mention it on your next visit to Midtown Podiatry , with locations in Midtown, Gramercy Park, Union Square, Wall Street or Glen Cove .

Are Physicians Starting To Burn Out

A recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed that half of all physicians exhibit at least 1 sign of burnout. Measures of burnout include high levels of emotional exhaustion, high levels of depersonalization and low sense of personal accomplishment. Physicians also have higher levels of burnout than other American workers according to the study. Physicians on the front lines of medicine, such as family medicine, emergency medicine and general internal medicine seem to be especially prone to burnout. Specialists seem to have less symptoms of burn out. What is driving this trend?

The authors of this study think that loss of autonym and loss of meaning in what physicians do are major factors. These factors and others are influenced largely by the current healthcare environment and all the tasks that a physician must perform throughout the day. It all affects the doctor-patient relationship. Patients notice this as well, with many expressing dissatisfaction with their doctor visits. Perhaps it is all the other tasks physicians have to perform before, during and after a patient visit that are affecting this. Charting the visit, following up test results, contacting other providers, calling insurance companies are just some of the tasks a physician must do related to a visit.

The face to face time with the doctor and patient is what suffers. This face to face time helping people is what drew most of us to medicine in the first place. The direction that medicine is heading is sure to increase this non-patient work that needs to be done. All physicians should make a concerted effort to improve the face to face time we have with patients, for theirs and our sakes. Also, keeping a healthy work-life balance is essential to decreasing burnout symptoms. A healthy body, mind and spirit are all fortifications against burnout. We as physicians are privileged to be able to look after the needs of our patients. Patients should as well be thankful there are physicians to take care of them. So, next time you are in to see your doctor, remember that he has a lot to do outside of your visit to give you the best care possible. Thank him or her for being there for you. Help them keep their purpose alive, so we can keep the best and brightest in medicine.

Make an appointment today to see the doctors of Midtown Podiatry, who strive daily to increase relationships with all of our patients.