Knee injuries and long-term damage need not result in surgery. For alternative treatment methods, patients are looking to Dr. David M. Gafken, D.A.CN.B., of Health N.O.W., 2146 State Road, Auburn, Ind., for help in relieving pain.
Gafken says patients come to him either with undiagnosed knee pain or because they have seen other medical professionals and are seeking nonsurgical alternatives to bone-on-bone and other knee issues.
“These patients have had X-rays, MRIs and/or have been receiving cortisone shots without achieving any lasting relief,” Gafken adds. “We conduct a thorough exam which may include additional nerve testing, X-rays and MRIs if significant time has passed since their last tests.”
Knee injuries or age-related damage rarely heal by themselves, he continues. It is better to seek alternative methods of treating knee issues than to tough it out alone.
Once the examination is complete and the patient is approved as a candidate for therapy, Gafken says he decides on a course of treatment using several highly effective methods to promote joint regeneration, such as decompression, laser, plus radial pressure, shockwave or acoustic waves.
Gafken says decompression on knee joints is achieved by seating the patient in a chair and hooking the knee up to a machine which gently pulls the joint open and closed using less than 16 pounds of force. By gently separating the joint space between the bottom of the femur (thigh bone) and the top of the tibia (shin bone), Gafken adds this creates a vacuum effect inside the knee joint which brings more nutrient rich fluid to the area. The method also stretches the tendons, ligaments and other soft tissue around the joint. Together, this helps re-establish some of the natural joint space and cushioning in the knee.
“We gently work the knee for about seven to eight minutes,” Gafken adds. “The course of treatment is given three times weekly for four to five weeks.”
High intensity laser therapy consists of using four different levels of intensity to penetrate the appropriate depth in the knee joint, Gafken says. These waves have a healing effect, increase the production of stem cells, and to generate venous nitric oxide to increase peripheral blood flow to the afflicted areas around the knee.
“This is called photo bio modulat,” Gafken adds. “It aids in the growth of new blood vessels while flushing out any damaged tissue, alleviating pain.”
Acoustic and focus shockwave therapy have been in use for more than 10 years, Gafken explains. The method sends pulses through the joint to promote stem cell growth, encourage the development of new blood vessels and increased blood flow, and to induce quicker healing.
“It’s a tool that hasn’t been used as much as it could be because powerful tools are expensive,” Gafken adds. “The treatment not only reduces pain but also induces biochemical changes that promote healing.”
Basically, the patient is given a course of treatment which employs one or several of the above methods. As a rule, the patient is treated up to three times each week during which all of the selected methods are applied in a stepped order.
Along with treatment in the Gafken office, patients are encouraged to exercise as appropriate, ice the knee joint to reduce inflammation and swelling, as well as various at-home remedies.
“We have a 90-percent success rate with this course of treatment,” Gafken concludes.
For more information or to make an appointment, call the Gafken-Steinberg Chriopractic Center at (260) 920-8811 or visit its website. ❚