Your knees are one of the most complicated joints in your body, having to take the force of up to 6 times your body weight. On average your knee joint will bend over one million times in just one year, so it is no wonder that things can go wrong. The vast majority of knee pain can be quickly alleviated with the right physical therapy, without the need for painful injections or medication. Physical therapy should be tried first, before any more aggressive procedures, such as surgery are performed.
Here are some common types of knee pain that people suffer from:
- Knee arthritis
- Patellofemoral pain
- Meniscus injury
- ACL injury
- Knee sprains
Here are tips that can put your knees back onto the road to recovery, allowing you to squat, run, walk, bend and jump without pain:
Increase your leg strength
Do wall sits, knee extensions, toe raises, hip side-lifts and more. Speak with one of our professionals for how to perform these exercises correctly.
Improve your patella (kneecap) tracking
Your patella needs to stay in its groove in the middle, sliding up and down easily when you bend your knee. If there are tight tissues around the knee, your patella will unevenly pull to the outside, causing pain. With your knee straight and the leg supported, gently hold your kneecap and glide it towards the inside of the knee, to stretch those structures. Most patellofemoral pain comes from poor patella tracking and a physical therapist is the expert to diagnose and treat this problem.
Maintain and improve flexibility
With running and exercising it is very common for the powerful muscles in the leg to become tighter. For example, the hamstring and outer tissues of the leg (iliotibial or “IT” band) can become very tight, altering the mechanics of the knee causing pain. Stretch after every time you run and do adequate warm ups prior. Try integrating yoga and stretching into your routines.
Improve your balance and coordination
Do balance exercises to improve your proprioception (sense of balance position). Exercises such as standing on one leg with and without eyes closed are important. Don’t forget to make sure you setup for safety when performing balance exercises by having a steady surface nearby to hold onto when needed.
Improve your agility
Many casual runners, simply run, but do not perform other types of important exercises such as strengthening, balance and agility training. Mix up your workouts to include these other types of exercises.
No matter what your knee pain and even if you have been suffering for years, at Elliott Physical Therapy we can help. Take the time to call us in Dorchester at 61-506-7210, Milton at 617-696-8141 and in North Attleboro at 508-316-0559 and speak with one of our physical therapists today. There is always time to take care of your knees, so you can enjoy years of fun activities ahead.