Frozen knee is characterized by knee stiffness accompanied by pain and swelling that restricts your normal movement. Other symptoms include numbness, warmth, redness and pin and needle sensation. Frozen knee is either caused by injury (like meniscus tear, ligament injury or sprains) or existing medical conditions like Osteoarthritis or Bursitis. In seniors, frozen knee often occurs due to degeneration of knee cartilage with aging due to overuse. The risk is higher among elderly individuals affected by health ailments like stroke, diabetes or thyroid hormone imbalance.
Managing daily normal activities with frozen knee can be difficult as it limits your mobility. The best course treatment for knee stiffness as recommended by most orthopaedic specialists is the PRICE principle. PRICE is an acronym which when decoded stands for Protect, Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Protect: A knee support or a brace can help to protect the knee joint from further injury. Rest: Your legs need adequate rest for the frozen knee to heal. So it is better to avoid strenuous activities. However, mild exercise daily is advised to relieve the stiffness. Ice: Regular cold compression with ice packs helps reduce swelling. Hot and cold gel packs can be used for this. Compression: Compression by retention of body heat can be done using neoprene Knee supports or Knee cap. Heat therapy products like heating belts, infrared massagers and lamp are also helpful for pain relief. Elevation: Resting the leg in an elevated position (by placing a pillow or cushion underneath) will help to drain away the excess fluid in the joint.
Stretching and strengthening exercises under the guidance of a trained physiotherapist will help you to regain mobility. Oppo Progressive Resistance Band is a useful aid for stretching exercises. Also, it is important to avoid prolonged sitting or standing postures.
During the recovery process, daily living aids like No tie elastic shoelaces, stocking aid, easy grip toe nail cutter can make regular activities easier.