Do you live with Knee Pain that doesn't go away?Knee pain afflicts millions of people every single day. Whether you have sustained some sort of acute injury to your knee joint long ago or you are experiencing chronic pain as the result of regular wear and tear, it can wreak havoc on your overall quality of life. If you have difficulty standing for long periods of time, or deal with knee pain and stiffness that just won't go away, there may be something more to the story than your doctor has told you. In this post you'll learn about a new member among the causes of knee pain... and what actions can you take right away to mend your sore knees faster. (One note: If you've injured your knee, ie. torn meniscus or ligament/tendon damage or other trauma you should see a doctor.)
Knee Pain StatisticsIf knees are givin' you grief, you're certainly NOT alone:
- 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain
- Knee pain is the second most common cause of chronic pain
- One-third of all Americans report experiencing knee pain at some time or another
- Knee pain is often the result of too much weight on the knee joint
- Another leading cause of knee pain is improper technique during activity
- Between 15 and 20% of all men are afflicted with knee pain
- More women than men report knee pain, roughly 20%
Could it be fungus?Consider one risk factor to chronic knee pain your doctor may not have told you about. When a person's immune system is running low, you're more likely to develop a fungal form of arthritis, one that feeds on simple sugars and only gets worse with time. There’s a remote chance of this happening by meds contaminated with fungus microbes. Which is what happened in September 2012, causing a multistate outbreak of fungal meningitis and fungal arthritis. But what’s far more likely among the millions of people suffering with chronic knee pain, are the millions of prescription antibiotics dispensed and consumed in the US today. Broad spectrum antibiotics lay out a warm welcome for fungal overgrowth in all the mucous membranes of the body. Why? Because they destroy competing microflora in all their habitats... including the soft lining in your knees.
ALERT: Steroids may harm not helpA 2017 study published in JAMA, showed that steroid injections are not helpful for knee pain and finally confirms what many researchers have been saying for years. When the researchers compared results of 140 osteoarthritis patients, those who received steroids AND those who received placebo (saline) saw no significant difference in knee pain at any time during the two-year period. Thanks to the placebo effect, pain did decrease a bit in all patients. But there were no changes in knee functioning, stiffness, or walking.
Cartilage Loss for Steroid UsersHowever, one thing did change significantly between the groups: cartilage thickness. Cartilage helps to cushion the knees, and cartilage loss is the major cause of knee pain. The patients who received steroid injections lost significantly more cartilage than those who got saline. This is exactly the opposite of what patients and their doctors are hoping for when steroids are administered. Consumer beware!
Popping Ibuprofen may not be the answer eitherSo, scrap the steroids. What about NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory meds) like Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Relafen or Celebrex? Ask your pharmacist. These were never intended for long term use and they do erode the cartilage in joints, just as anti-inflammatory steroids do in the study above.
Get to the rootFungal arthritis is inflammation of a joint by a fungus microorganism that has invaded the body and is growing in the soft synovial membrane of the joint. Fungal infection of a joint is a serious condition that can lead to permanent damage with loss of function. If your knee pain was ever preceded by a course of broad spectrum antibiotics, listen up.
Fungal Arthritis is on the riseFungal arthritis is caused by organisms like Candida, Aspergillus, or Exserohilum species traveling through the bloodstream to set up camp in the joint. Whether encouraged by infection through the blood or injection through a contaminated instrument or med, fungal arthritis can be the result. According to a medical studies review by the National Institutes of Health, Musculoskeletal Infection by fungi was once rare, but its incidence has increased in the past few years. (link to Review, NIH)
Risk factors you should know.
Some risk factors for elevating fungus levels in the body that could be the cause of your knee pain are the use of broadspectrum antibiotics, chronic emotional stress, repeated use of steroids OR nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory meds (Ibuprofen, Relifen, Naproxen) and a high sugar diet.