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Does sitting for a long time bother your knee joints?

By: Jason Makoutz DPT

Knee pain/injures are one of the most common injuries we see at Loudoun Sports Therapy Center. Whether they are caused from a sports/weekend warrior traumatic injury or muscular weakness/imbalances. Three of the most common ailments related to the knee are arthritis, meniscus injury, and patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS).

Common Causes of Knee Injuries

  • Traumatic contact injury
  • Twisting on a planted foot
  • Normal ageing
  • Muscular weakness
  • Poor mechanics

Knee arthritis

Knee arthritis can occur from a previous injury to the joint or normal wear and tear over your lifespan. You may start to notice an ache in the joint that becomes more and more persistent. You often will feel clicking or grinding in the joint, as well. So, what is going on? The joint has worn away its “padding” and there is less of a cushion between your knee joint. With less cushioning in the joint it may become stiff and lead to the pain you are experiencing. This all sounds bad…the infamous “bone on bone,” but this is a very common ailment that can be treated with Physical Therapy. Often, I tell my patients there are three stabilizers to the joint: ligaments, the joint itself, and muscles. In most cases you can’t change the joint itself or the ligaments, but what you can change is muscular strength to support the joint, this is where Physical Therapy comes in.

Meniscus injury

A meniscus injury is most thought of to be a contact or sport related injury. It occurs either from a traumatic hit to the knee or twisting on a planted foot. Many people say they instantly hear/feel a pop and then immediate swelling of the knee. It is also common to have a meniscal injury from degeneration and can accompany knee arthritis. Over time the ligament wears down and may tear. Common signs of a meniscus injury are PAINFUL clicking/popping, a locking sensation where you can no longer move your knee, and pain along the joint line and deep in the joint. In many cases a meniscus injury can be treated conservatively with Physical Therapy, but there are instances where surgery may be indicated if it is blocking your knee from moving. After surgery Physical Therapy can help you recover your ROM and strength so that you can return to your normal daily activities.

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

This is diagnosis is a bit more vague. It’s more of a clinical diagnosis where the patient presents with pain in their knee, but the pain and symptoms are inconsistent with other knee pathologies such as arthritis, meniscus injury, or other ligamentous injuries. Most times patients will complain of persistent achy pain behind their knee cap and find stairs, hiking, or walking up an incline quite difficult/painful. Since this is a more vague/clinical diagnosis it is important to come in for a full evaluation by a Doctor of Physical Therapy to figure exactly what is causing the pain. Most times its weak or tight muscles, poor loading of the patellar tendon, and poor knee mechanics. Physical Therapy can help decrease muscle tightness, introduce proper loading/strengthening of the patellar tendon, and strengthen the surrounding muscles to better support the joint. With the end result being decreased pain and ability to return to leisure activities.

These are just 3 of the many knee related injuries that we see at Loudoun Sports Therapy Center. Don’t wait and let your knee injury dictate how you live your life. Physical Therapy is an effective conservative way to relieve your knee pain and help you return to the activities you love doing pain free. At Loudoun Sports Therapy center one of our Doctors of Physical Therapy will take you through a thorough evaluation to determine where the pain is coming from and how to treat it. They will talk to you about your daily activities and what leisure/work activities you’d like to get back doing. That could be anything from walking pain free to returning to hiking the Appalachian trail and skiing pain free. We will be able to get you out of the vicious cycle of pain.

Jason’s Quick Knee Routine

  • Tennis ball trigger point release/ pin and stretch
  • Foam Rolling
  • Sidesteps/monster walks
  • Step ups
  • PROPER squats

If you or someone you know has experienced or is currently experiencing any of these issues or just have general achiness/pain in your knee, call our office today at 703-450-4300. We can evaluate you and determine what steps you need to take to return to your pain free life!

CLICK HERE for more on how physical therapy can help you.

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