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Lower back pain, overweight, difficulty walking, stiff shoulders and knees

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Oncologist
Practicing since : 2002
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Question
CAN STIFF SHOULDERS CAUSE STIFF KNEES? age 65, LOWER BACK PROBLEMS OVERWEIGHT. DO YOGA ETC FRO MANAGE BACK PAIN. BUT NOTICE AFTER WORKING AT KEYBOARD OFTEN HAVE STIFF SHOULDER, TENSED AND DIFFICULTY WALKING. CAN I PREVENT THIS HAPPENING.WHEN I SHAKE OUT MY SHOULDERS MY KNEES GET BETTER
Posted Fri, 13 Apr 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
 
 
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 12 minutes later
Hello,

Thanks for the query.

Your question is a very good one. As for the relationship between shoulder pain and knee pain while there is not a direct relationship there maybe an indirect association. As we get a little older our joints become somewhat stiff especially when they are kept in the same position for an extended period of time. I extended period of time I am referring to a period of greater than 30 min. to one hour.

In your case a number of things may be contributing to your knee symptoms. First of all as we get older as I mentioned previously the cartilage and fluid in our knees becomes somewhat worn down. Occasionally patients may need a replacement of the knee joint. Orthopedic surgeons have made amazing progress in this field. I don't think you're at the point where you need something like that it is just something I want to make you aware of. In addition if we carry a bit of extra weight is can also put some strain on the knees and contribute to some stiffness which can occur over time.

In your case I don't think the shoulder stiffness contributed to the knee stiffness. I think both are really manifestation of a mild degree of osteoarthritis. For this type of thing there are several options. First of all there are some over-the-counter preparations which can provide good relief. By this I am referring to such preparations as Tylenol arthritis. In addition some patients have reported improvement of their symptoms with a supplement called glucosamine.

There are also some prescription medications which you may have heard of as well. This includes such medications as Celebrex. In addition ibuprofen and a leave also have been used successfully to treat conditions of mild arthritis. One must use caution with the use of any of these medications as there are some side effects which can cause trouble with stomach or kidney function.

Lastly I would like to encourage you to maintain a healthy exercise regimen. Even a bit of walking done on a daily basis can slowly help improve symptoms of arthritis.

I thank you again for your query. I hope my reply has been both informative and adequate. If you have additional questions. I am available to address them.


Sincerely,

Dr. Robert
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