Case History - Knee and Back Pain
Like all types of joint pain, knee pain and back pain can appear either suddenly, as with an acute injury which may be a result of a sports injury or trauma, or be chronic (long lasting) often as a result of overuse of some sort. The most common cause of chronic knee and back pain and disability is osteoarthritis, although other forms of arthritis can be culprits as well, including Rheumatoid Arthritis, traumatic arthritis, and gouty arthritis.
Osteoarthritis afflicts most of us as we age, steadily wearing away the smooth and resilient cartilage that caps the ends of our long bones and is essential to normal joint function. Other causes of knee and back pain include pseudogout, bursitis, tendonitis, sports injuries, Degenerative Joint Disease and in the case of the knees, chondromalacia patellae. Referred pain which occurs when a ligament injury or weakness in one part of the body causes pain in another part may also be involved. Obesity can cause further stress on the knees and back contribute to the development of both knee and back pain. Individuals with minor knee pain, clicking, giving way or a "trick knee" usually are experiencing the earliest symptoms of arthritis. Osteoarthritis can begin in those as young as thirty, and may progress for many years before symptoms appear. The most common cause of chronic back pain and disability is also osteoarthritis, although other arthritides may contribute as well.
Rusty is a 56 year old medical professional and Navy Reserve officer who came to Caring Medical for complaints of bilateral knee pain and low back pain. His knee pain began 15 years ago, along with swelling of those joints. An MRI revealed chondromalacia patella. He had previously tried physical therapy for one year with only minimal relief of pain, but a lot of money and time spent. He had difficulty going up stairs due to pain. His low back pain started 30 years ago while working in a factory and doing repetitive movements and heavy lifting. He states this affected his ability to do physical fitness requirements for the Navy Reserve.
Upon initial physical exam, he had tenderness of the patellar tendon, medial collateral ligament and lateral collateral ligaments in both knees, a negative anterior drawer sign, with clicking and crepitation present. His range of motion was 0-100 degrees bilaterally. He had tenderness of L3-S1 in his low back. Prolotherapy was recommended that day for both the knees and the back, but he chose to only treat his knees since they were his worst areas. Dextrose Prolotherapy was administered along with glucosamine and growth hormone intra-articularly for cartilage repair. He was started on the supplements Prolo Max, Super Omega, and Pro Cartilage to aid in the healing process. Dr. Hauser prescribed cycling on a bike 30 minutes per day to nourish cartilage in the knees.
Rusty returned for Prolotherapy monthly and on his third visit he decided to get his back treated with Prolotherapy as well. He reported that his knee pain was 50% better at this time.
After three visits, Rusty reported that his back was 100% better, and he was able to bend better due to less back pain. His knees were 95% better and his ability to climb stairs had greatly improved. His range of motion was normal and his knee swelling was completely gone.
We saw Rusty for his last visit two months later and he stated that he was using the elliptical and cycling regularly. He said he had recently traveled to Rome and was able to climb the stairs of the Basilica in a normal fashion and with very little discomfort. Rusty was congratulated for graduating from Prolotherapy that day. He states that is so happy that he found Prolotherapy to not only help him with his job but to return to the sports and recreational activities that he loved to do. He feels that his life is better since receiving Prolotherapy!