Have you noticed yourself limping or hobbling around your house? Have you accepted the fact that your once active lifestyle is no more? Are your hips and knees refusing to work the way they should without causing pain? Your quality of life has most likely dropped drastically if you’re nodding your head “yes” to any (or all!) of these questions. It’s time to get on the path to healing and finding relief.
Physical therapy is a safe and effective approach that can not only ease your hip or knee but also improve the function of these critical weight-bearing joints. You can learn more by contacting our physical therapist at Houghton Physical Therapy today!
What Makes Hip & Knee Pain Develop?
Your hip and knee joints bear the entire weight of your upper body. Your knees must bear all of that weight plus the weight of the hips and thighs. At the same time, these joints must be able to flex so that you can walk, run, dance, sit, play sports, and perform other everyday tasks without losing your balance. It’s a major understatement to say your hips and knees have a huge job to do!
It’s not hard to understand how these demands can produce chronic hip or knee pain over time. Hip or knee pain can also come about quite suddenly (and intensely) in response to an acute injury. Read on to learn more about some of the more common causes of hip and knee pain.
Causes of Hip and Knee Pain
Hip and knee pain can be brought on by several problems. Some of these are related to musculoskeletal misalignment, poor posture, and/or excess weight; others occur as the result of natural aging or unhealthy sports/work habits.
The following list details conditions and problems that your hip or knee pain may stem from:
- Tendinitis, or stretched ligaments
- Bursitis, an inflammation of the friction-reducing sacs surround the joints
- Traumatic injuries, such as dislocation of the joint
- Postural/alignment issues that throw your body off balance, straining the knees or hips
- Runner’s knee, an instability of the kneecap
- Osteoarthritis, a painful inflammatory condition involving deteriorated joint cartilage
When you come to our office for your first appointment, our physical therapists will most likely be able to figure out the true cause of your hip or knee pain from its location. For example, pain along the inside of the hip is more likely to be caused by a problem with the bones or cartilage. Pain along the outer side is typically caused by a problem in the muscles, tendons or ligaments. One thing is for sure, you can’t know the true source of your pain until you let a professional take a look!
How Physical Therapy Can Help Relieve Your Pain
During your first appointment, your physical therapist will conduct a thorough examination to isolate the underlying cause of your hip or knee pain. He or she may ask you to tell them more about your medical history as well. You should also be prepared to explain your symptoms and any difficulties you’re having moving around.
From there, your physical therapist will recommend techniques to help you start feeling — and moving — more like you used to. They will probably show you several exercises that reduce the amount of weight being placed on your joints.Your therapy might even recommend swimming or aquatic therapy as a means of exercising the hips and knees without also forcing them to bear your full weight.
Physical therapy for hip or knee pain may also start with passive exercises. These are exercises in which your therapist moves the afflicted joint for you to increase its pain-free range of motion.
There are tons of other kinds of exercises that physical therapy will introduce you to. Strengthening exercises help by reinforcing the muscles and connective tissues that serve the joint. Corrective exercises and neuromuscular re-education can help you maintain a straighter, more upright posture. Physical therapy also includes treatment options like ice and heat therapy, as well as ultrasound. Your therapist will be able to make suggestions for you based on their findings during your exam; no two treatment options are the same because everybody’s pain condition is different!
Contact Us For More Information
If you’re tired of waking up in pain every day, or struggling to do the things you once did with ease, it’s time to get help. Let the skilled therapists at our clinic help you to reclaim your pain-free mobility through our services. Contact our office today to schedule your appointment, and kiss hip and knee pain goodbye!