The Chronic Pain from Osteoarthritis Can Lead to Depression

A group of researchers from Japan recently published the results of their study examining the effects of knee pain on depression and quality of life. Osteoarthritis can be a debilitating disease but few studies have looked at the relationship between knee pain and depression. According to the National Institute of Health, osteoarthritis is the most common joint disorder in the United States affecting approximately 10% of men and 13% of women over the age of 60; impacting their quality of life and ability to care for themselves.

The Kurabuchi study, in Japan, examined the effects of knee pain on depression in 573 people aged 65 or older. In 2005 and 2006 when the study began, none of the participants suffered from symptoms of depression, however, after two years of follow-up, 12% of the patients suffered from depression. The researchers noted that people who experienced knee pain at night while in bed, while putting on socks, or while getting in or out of the car, were more likely to report having symptoms of depression.

Osteoarthritis arthritis of the knee occurs when the cartilage, which acts a cushion, wears away.  As the cartilage wears away there is less shock absorption and the bones will begin to rub more closely against each other; the result is pain, swelling, stiffness, and in later stages of the disease, the formation of bones spurs, and bone on bone contact.  As the swelling, stiffness, and pain increases you may find yourself minimizing your movement, effectively worsening the problem.  Reduced movement can increase the amount of muscle that is wasting away, and laxity of the ligament which, will reduce the strength and stability of the knee.

Stem cell transplant at the Stem Cells Transplant Institute in Costa Rica can improve the painful symptoms of osteoarthritis including; increasing range of motion, reducing inflammation, reducing stiffness, and potentially delaying or eliminating the need for surgery; allowing patients to fully engage in the activities they enjoy. Conventional non-surgical treatments treat the symptoms, but not the underlying disease, and may have serious adverse events associated with long term use. Knee replacement surgery is the only FDA approved treatment that can provide a long-term solution, but there can be serious surgical related complications.

The Stem Cells Transplant Institute uses adult autologous mesenchymal stem cells to support self-healing of the knee joint cartilage. Osteoarthritis of the knee occurs with gradual change to the immune system, cartilage is damaged, bone structure is remodeled, and a chronic inflammation of the synovium develops. Mesenchymal stem cells have been shown to regulate the immune system response, inhibit inflammation, stimulate blood vessel growth, repair tissue, and stimulate self-regeneration of the cartilage.

Don’t let knee pain stop you from enjoying life. Contact the experts at the Stem Cells Transplant Institute to discuss the benefits of stem cell therapy.


Journal Reference:

  1. Keiko Sugai, Fujimi Takeda-Imai, Takehiro Michikawa, Takahiro Nakamura, Toru Takebayashi, Yuji Nishiwaki. Association Between Knee Pain, Impaired Function, and Development of Depressive SymptomsJournal of the American Geriatrics Society, 2018; 66 (3): 570 DOI: 1111/jgs.15259