Grace Walker, Physical and Occupational Therapist and Nutritionist wants you to know these 5 things about knee pain shared by Cheryl Lock, The Denver Magazine.
August 27 2015, 10:00 AM
An estimated 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, 15.1% of those consist of knee pain, according to the American Academy of Pain Management. Even if you have never suffered from knee pain, these 5 things are helpful for you to know.
The problem may NOT be your knee.
It is possible that what starts out as a weakness in your hip muscles might cause you to walk “funny”, or induce tightness from your hip, which manifests itself at the knee joint. “The problem may not be at your knee, but that’s where you’re feeling the pain, because that’s where the issue is coming to a head.” Dr. Josh Hardy, PT, DPT says.
Knee exercises might make it worse.
If you attempt to ease the problem yourself with certain exercises or stretches, it may actually end up making the problem worse. Core strengthening or hip stabilizing and strengthening are usually more adequate. This is where a physical therapist or doctor can help personalize the exercises to “work for you, not against you”.
Some knee pain can be avoided with a little training.
Sometimes, the best treatment is to simply slow down. The knee is especially susceptible to what therapists call “weekend warrior injuries”— such as going for a 4 mile hike after months without physical activity.
Dr. Hardy says that “People should ease into exercise if they’ve been out of the game for a while. If you try to do a big run or hike without the flexibility or strength to back it up, the next thing you know your knee is irritated, and you have to play catch up even more.”
Diagnostic testing can help you figure out your level of fitness. Furthermore, Dr. Hardy states that “It doesn’t hurt to have someone take a look at your functional movement and strength to find out if you’re at-risk before going out and hurting yourself.”
Avoid quick fixes.
It’s frustrating to have to take time off from doing an activity you love and attempting to work through the pain. But coming up with a quick fix instead of taking the proper time to heal will most likely set you back even more. Your physical therapist or doctor will set you up to a gradual progression to help ease you back into your activities so there isn’t more damage done.
The answer isn’t always surgery.
For the most part, non-traumatic injuries can be treated without invasive interventions, but even some more serious injuries can be treated with therapy first (depending on the patient) to try to avoid surgery. “For people who aren’t elite athletes, some can rehabilitate their muscles in such a way—with direction—that they don’t even need their ACL,” said Dr. Hardy. “If you can get functional strength back in your hamstrings, they can do the same job.”
Call Walker Physical Therapy & Pain Center to schedule an appointment with an expert and caring physical therapist!
1111 W. Town and Country Rd. Ste. 1