Hip and knee pain are two of the most commonly experienced pains identified in an adult joint pain reporting survey done by the Centers for Disease Control. This means that if you’re dealing with hip and knee pain, you’re not in the boat alone.
We’re sure you’re well aware that knee and hip pain makes it much harder to live the life you want. It doesn’t matter whether your knee hurts, your hip hurts, or you are dealing with pain in both joints — living with this discomfort can hinder your daily routine.
There’s good news for you though: physical therapy can provide the kind of pain relief you’re seeking. Contact our clinic at the Physical Therapy Center of Rocky Hill today to learn more about how physical therapy can give you a pain-free life.
What causes hip and knee pain in the first place?
Hip and knee pain can be caused by several factors, some of which you may not even think would be behind your pain!
Your hip or knee pain may stem from:
- Bursitis, an inflammation of the friction-reducing sacs surround the joints
- Tendinitis, or stretched ligaments
- Osteoarthritis, a painful inflammatory condition involving deteriorated joint cartilage
- Runner’s knee, an instability of the kneecap
- Postural/alignment issues that throw your body off balance, straining the knees or hips
- Traumatic injuries, such as dislocation of the joint
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.
Did you know a physical therapist can often tell the cause of your hip or knee pain from its location alone? 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.
If you’re experiencing hip and knee pain, call our clinic today to set up an appointment with a physical therapist.
How can a physical therapist help me?
Physical therapists are extremely knowledgeable movement specialists who know a great deal about the causes of hip pain and knee pain. They also know a wide variety of treatment methods to provide relief from these types of pain. Physical therapists focus on pinpointing the source of your pain and treating it, not just relieving your symptoms!
Physical therapists are specially trained to help people with pain conditions like yours regain functionality and mobility. They use various treatment methods and modalities to help lessen the pain experienced from various injuries and illnesses.
There are a number of things your physical therapist will do to help relieve your hip or knee pain and keep it from recurring in the future.
They can assess your range of motion and strength levels.
You may feel relatively strong in your legs and hips, but there are a lot of small muscles that could be weaker than you’re aware. A physical therapist will take you through some different exercises to find any weaknesses that could be contributing to your pain. You will also go through a range of motion exercises to see how far you can comfortably move your joints.
They can determine any abnormalities.
Physical therapists can feel if something is out of place by using palpation to feel around your joints to identify potential problems. The pressure they apply will also show them if you feel sensitive to the touch anywhere around the joint.
They know how to properly examine your gait.
Your gait, or the way you walk, can tell a physical therapist a lot about your condition and what is causing you pain. Your therapist will examine your gait by asking you to walk a short distance and notice the different indicators of gait issues. You may not be aware of the various signs you show as you walk, but your physical therapist will definitely notice them!
Ways physical therapy provides pain relief
After the underlying cause of your pain has been identified, it is time for treatment to begin. There are several different things a physical therapist might do to treat your pain, including:
Targeted exercises and stretches
The exercises that your physical therapist prescribes for your hip and knee pain will be customized to your circumstances. These stretches and exercises are being designed to make you stronger and improve your range of motion. Eventually, they will help you better support your hip and/or knee so that you experience less pain.
One person’s knee pain can have a different cause than another person’s knee pain, so it is important to apply the right exercises for each individual’s needs.
You will first go through your physical therapy exercises under the guidance of the physical therapist. They want to make sure that you are able to do the exercises safely – and you may need assistance to get through them at first. Eventually, you may be assigned exercises to do at home on your own.
Heat and cold therapy
Ice and heat work in different ways to help reduce painful conditions that many athletes sustain. Both ice and heat therapy can work to provide relief for pain when used correctly. Heat increases blood flow and enhances the speed at which nutrients are sent to various parts of the body. Ice, however, reduces blood flow and brings down inflammation and swelling.
A trained physical therapist will know which type, ice or heat, will work best for the type of pain you’re experiencing. They can also teach you when to use one of these methods for pain relief at home.
A physical therapist is a great resource for helping you problem-solve your mobility limitations and learn how to move more safely and efficiently. They may recommend things like scheduled rest and activity breaks, adaptive equipment like canes or custom orthotics, and environmental modifications such as bars you can grab onto to reduce strain and stress on your joints.
They can also teach you specific ways to move your body during various activities (e.g., getting in and out of bed, going up and downstairs, walking, playing a sport, etc.) in order to improve your body mechanics and minimize pain.
Are you ready to start living a pain-free lifestyle?
There’s no reason you need to continue suffering from hip or knee pain. Your life can be as enjoyable as it once was with the help of a licensed physical therapist. Don’t waste time, contact Physical Therapy of Rocky Hill to schedule an appointment with one of our skilled team members!
Tags: Physical Therapy, Physical Activity, Physical Health, natural treatment, natural pain relief, chronic pain, nutrition, Rehabilitation, opioids, aches and pains, physical therapists, hip pain relief, knee pain relief