Have you heard these common sayings? We have heard them all!
Aches and pains are a part of life right? You are getting older and aches and pains come with the territory right?! There is nothing you can do about your pain or arthritis – you just have to live with it!
Wrong, you do not need to live with aches and pains. We see so many patients who come to us with knee pain looking for relief & the proper treatment with a knee pain specialist. After a visit to the doctor, they are told they have arthritis in the knee and think it’s hopeless. Now what?
Don’t Fret – We have good news! Believe it or not, we can help eliminate or reduce your knee pain all without the need for medication or surgery.
How do we do this? With Specialized Physical Therapy! First let’s review what arthritis is, common symptoms and then we’ll get into how our physical therapists can help.
What is Arthritis?
There are two major categories of arthritis. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The majority of arthritis cases are osteoarthritis with the hip, hand and knee joints being affected the most. Osteoarthritis occurs when the protective cartilage around the joint wears down over time. This can result in bone rubbing on bone and overtime the entire joint can change. These changes usually occur slowly. Arthritis can target all age groups.
Symptoms of knee arthritis could include one or more of the following:
- Pain – during of after movement of the joint
- Stiffness – especially with not movement or after waking
- Swelling around the knee
- Loss of flexibility
- Tenderness of knee upon touching
- Bone spurs – extra pieces of bone can form around said joint
- Loss of range of motion
Most Common Causes of Arthritis
Lack of movement is one of the biggest reasons that arthritis develops. When our body is stationary for long periods of time, the joints become weak due to lack of blood flow. This crucial blood flow brings needed nutrients to the joint. Without these nutrients, the joint becomes unhealthy and deterioration can occur over time. Movement also keeps the essential lubrication on the joint. This lubrication or fluid is needed to keep the joint flexible and mobile. Stiffness, tenderness and swelling can all occur from lack of movement. All movement, especially low impact, is critical for keeping your knee joint healthy and working correctly.
How to Ease Arthritis Pain Now
- Physical Therapy – this provides pain relief and also gets to the root cause of your issues so pain does not return. More on that below…
- Get active – Low impact activity – walking, biking, water exercises – You may not feel like moving with your knee pain but low impact activity can assist. Activities such as walking, swimming, biking, yoga or Tai Chi can keep your joints from stiffening up and causing more pain. Water exercises like water aerobics are also a great way to keep moving. The buoyancy of the water puts less pressure on the knee and can be quite refreshing as well.
- Apply ice/heat – Both can ease pain. Icing will help reduce the swelling and heat will ease stiffness.
- Stretches – Keeping the body loose will assist with mobility and keep the blood flowing throughout the day.
- Topical pain relief – a topical cream can sometimes provide temporary relief.
What can Physical Therapy Treatment do for Arthritis Pain Relief
Click here to watch Dr. Sarah explain why arthritis occurs and how physical therapy can help https://youtu.be/DoP321GRrkQ
Our Knee Specialist Physical Therapists at Balance Within will look not only at your knee but your entire body to access the root of the problem. Physical Therapy should begin with a full body review and look for all areas that can be affected. Your therapist will test the strength of the knee and feel for any abnormalities that could be causing pain.
Your Knee Specialist Physical Therapist will also consider the following:
- Your core and lower body may be out of alignment – Your core and pelvic area provide your body with stability and balance. Even a slight out of alignment can cause your body to over compensate in other areas. This is often the case with the knees taking the brunt of the shock and pressure.
- Core not firing correctly – If your core muscles are weak, this can create issues within your legs as they are working hard to assist your body with stability and balance. Overtime, this can cause knee pain as your knee joint is working to assist the body.
- What is going on above and below your knee – Looking at your upper thigh muscles and your lower calf muscles is key to assess knee pain. Often times, what is happening above or below your knee can make all the difference with the severity of your pain
- Body mechanics are so important – Your sitting, standing, and walking position should also be assessed as
- Your physical therapist will also provide you with at home exercises and tips so your pain does not return.
Physical Therapy is an excellent resource to assist with knee pain. Your therapist should look at the overall body picture to find clues to the source or reason behind the arthritis and your knee pain.
And what about arthritis? Well, the good news is that arthritis, while mild or moderate, is often not the main pain driver for knee pain. Usually, when we balance out all of these other components of the knee joint & its surrounding environment in the body, the knee pain goes away and people can return to being active! Pain from arthritis is not something you need to live with. We can help. We have two great resources to help you on your journey to a pain free life full of your favorite activities.
Balance Within PT will meet with you to discuss your arthritic knee pain – looking from the root cause of your pain and develop a customized treatment plan to get you back to your activities and living your best life.
Click here to request our free Ease your Knee Pain Guide – it offers helpful tips to provide relief for your pain.
We also offer a FREE Knee Pain Troubleshooting Session to look at your overall pain issues and look for the root problem. Click HERE to request a FREE session today!