Are You Living with Hip and Knee Pains?
The knee is considered to be a hinge joint while the hip is a ball-and-socket joint. They are both complex joints with a network of muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, and cartilage – all working together to keep you moving. With these many moving parts, it’s not surprising that as we age or engage in strenuous activity, we sometimes experience pain. If you suffer from hip or knee pain, it can make it difficult to do even the most basic daily activities.
Understanding the causes of hip and knee problems is often the first key to effective treatment. A physical therapist can help you reduce or even eliminate the amount of pain you’re experiencing if you’re struggling with hip or knee pain.
What can I expect from a PT treatment plan?
Physical therapy may offer a non-invasive solution for both hip and knee pain. Your physical therapist is likely to begin with an evaluation. In the case of knee pain, the evaluation would probably focus on the area from the hip to the foot. Evaluation of hip pain is also likely to include a spinal evaluation.
For both types of pain, the assessment may include a range of motion and strength measurements. Your physical therapist may also perform gait and mobility tests. An individualized physical therapy program would then be developed to meet your specific needs.
Physical therapy can improve your joint function while also easing your pain and stiffness. Our physical therapist can prescribe exercises aimed at addressing your specific condition, such as:
- Hip rotations
- Knee lifts
- Leg lifts
- Step exercises
- Hamstring curls
- Hip flexion, extension or abductor exercises
The American Physical Therapy Association states that early rehabilitation for certain types of knee pain is associated with a lower use of opioids and knee surgery. Various types of exercises are often used to reduce pain in the hips. Passive methods, such as icing or heat treatment, could also be used to eliminate pain.
Sometimes soft tissues and joints in the hip or spine must be manipulated to restore proper movement and reduce pain. A variety of exercises and stretches are also used to treat pain in the knee. Other treatments that your physical therapist may use include ultrasound or electrical stimulation.
What do additional treatments look like?
Surgery: Recovery from surgery can be painful and extensive. There’s always the chance of infection and sometimes surgery simply doesn’t produce the intended results. While surgery may be effective in some cases, it’s not without its drawbacks and should be used as a last resort.
Pain Medication:Prescription pain meds are sometimes used to treat knee and hip pain. Medication normally doesn’t solve the issue, but only temporarily reduces the pain. Medications, even over-the-counter meds, can be addictive and expensive.
So, why am I experiencing hip/knee pain?
There may be one or several reasons why you are experiencing hip and knee pain. A physical therapist can examine your movement to help identify things that are contributing to your pain, such as poor posture, unhealthy walking patterns, or unhealthy movement patterns at work.
Once they identify these kinds of issues, physical therapists can tell you how to correct them. Some common causes of knee and hip pain are as follows:
Knee Pain: Injuries that include torn cartilage or damaged ligaments can cause knee pain. Fractures, tendinitis, and knee bursitis are all common knee injuries. Medical conditions such as arthritis or gout can cause mild to severe knee pain. You may be experiencing stiffness or swelling in one or both knees. It might be difficult to stand, walk, or fully straighten your knee. Sometimes knees will make popping or crunching noises.
Hip Pain: Hip pain can be caused by a variety of medical conditions as well as from certain injuries. Inflamed tendons from over-exertion or an athletic injury can cause temporary or chronic hip pain. Tendinitis, dislocation, sprains, and pinched nerves can all contribute to or be the cause of hip pain. Hip pain may also result from repetitive injuries or poor posture.
Get started on a treatment plan today!
It is important to follow all the instructions of your physical therapist, including any stretches or exercises that can be done at home.
Your physical therapist can conduct a thorough examination of your body, pinpoint the areas in your hips and knees where you’re struggling with pain, and create a customized program to treat your particular condition.
Physical therapy can help you find lasting relief from pain in the hip or knee! Contact us today to find out for yourself