The Natural, Long-Lasting Solution to Chronic Pain
As two of the largest joints in the human body, your hips and knees play a huge role in supporting your body’s weight and guaranteeing mobility. However, as many Americans know, pain in the hips and knees is remarkably common.
In fact, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control, 50% of all adults reporting joint pain have issues with their knees and hips.
If you are struggling with hip and knee pain, know you are certainly not alone. Whether you are hurting in your knees, hips, or both, you already understand how this type of joint pain can make your day-to-day life feel more difficult, and in some cases, make your dream life feel unattainable.
Fortunately, physical therapy treatment can help.
Why try physical therapy?
Hip and knee pain can be so frustrating, especially when it seems like every time you move you will experience pain.
But there are long-term ways to reduce your pain. Though it may take some time and energy on your part, physical therapy has proven benefits and repeatedly helps lessen hip and knee pain for patients of all ages and backgrounds.
So why does physical therapy provide a long-lasting solution to pain relief? Some explanations include:
- PT makes it easier to lead an active lifestyle. Regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle help the body significantly in combating chronic pain. Physical therapy helps patients learn to move without pain, regain strength and mobility, and learn to exercise without injuring the hurting joints, making it much easier to get active and healthy!
- You’ll learn to move in a way that’s good for your body. It is common for the pain felt in your hip and knee to be related to unhealthy movement patterns. These movements may have been learned over time or been formed in response to an injury and result in added strain on your joints. Your physical therapist can identify unhealthy movement patterns and help you change them to prevent any further injury.
- Strengthening your joints helps prevent further injuries. One of the largest frustrations with joint pain is that it can seem endless. Even after periods of rest, new movements and actions can reignite the pain of the initial injury. But with strength-building physical therapy exercises, your muscles learn to better support your joints, lessening the likelihood of pain in the future.
- Identify the source of the problem. Treating the symptoms of a hip/knee issue without addressing the root cause almost guarantees that patients will face a recurring problem or pain cycle. But if you can identify and address the source of pain in the body, you can actually treat it. Physical therapists have a specialized process to identify the causes of hip and knee pain and offer strong treatments designed to get to the bottom of your individual issue.
Common approaches for addressing hip and knee pain in physical therapy
Some strategies for treating your hip and knee pain include:
Physical Therapy Exercises
The exercises that your physical therapist prescribes for your hip and knee pain will be based on your specific needs. The underlying causes for knee/hip pain can vary greatly between individuals, so it is critical to apply the right exercises for each person’s unique circumstances.
In beginning appointments, physical therapists tend to guide patients through PT exercises. It is important to ensure that you are able to do the exercises safely – and it is normal to need assistance to get through new exercises at first. Later you may be assigned at-home exercises to do on your own.
The exercises will be designed for strength training, and to improve your range of motion and flexibility. Eventually, they will minimize the pain you experience by ensuring your body is better able to support your hips and/or knees.
Your physical therapist can teach you new ways of movement so that you can avoid injuring your joints in the future.
Hot and Cold Therapies
Your physical therapist may use ice and/or heat to lessen inflammation and pain.
Providing Pain Relief
Now that physical therapists have identified the cause of your pain or injury, it is time for treatment. There are several different treatment options available based on your comfort level or circumstance.
Looking for Weaknesses in Your Muscles and Range of Motion
You may feel strong in your legs and hips, but there are many small muscles that might be weaker than you realize and could be causing issues in your body.
Physical therapists walk you through individualized exercises to discover any weaknesses that could be contributing to your pain and discomfort.
You will also go through range of motion exercises that examine flexibility by testing how far you can comfortably move your joints.
Feeling for Abnormalities
Palpation is a technique used by physical therapists to feel around your joints with the purpose of identifying potential problems. They can feel if something is out of place.
This technique can also reveal potential sensitivities you experience at the pressure applied around the joint.
Examining Your Walk
Your stride or the way you walk can tell a physical therapist a lot about your condition and its causes. Typically, they will ask you to walk a short distance and observe the different indicators of gait issues.
A physical therapist is a trained professional and can notice and learn from the various signs you exhibit as you walk, signs that might appear subtle or even invisible to you.
Personalized support is possible with physical therapy
Physical therapists are specially trained to help people in situations like yours. They can help you regain functionality and mobility in the body and help lessen the pain you experience on a day-to-day basis.
Physical therapists are very well-informed about the causes of hip and knee pain, and they can guide you through a wide variety of treatment methods to provide much-needed pain relief.
Start feeling better today
If you are looking to diminish your hip and knee pain, don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule an appointment with a physical therapist.