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Ever Walked with a Limp or on Your Toes Because of Knee Pain?

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By: Rachel Herrmann, DPT, PT

Knee issues can begin for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, knee pain can be attributed to a specific incident like a fall or an injury while playing sports. Knee problems can begin when you take a wrong step as you are run or walk. A knee issue could start after you walk us more stairs one day than you normally do or just by stepping down awkwardly from just one or two steps. Sometimes knee pain just occurs for no apparent reason.

Our lives are busy so it’s common for us to feel some kind of ache or pain and write off as a, “it will go away on its own in a day or so” kind of mentality. The problem here is that more often than not, that ‘day or so’ quickly turns into weeks and then months. If the pain does end up lasting this long, then it is likely to progress and get worse. More pain. More compensatory movements to avoid feeling that pain. More problems doing our daily activities.

Pain and injuries whether that be in your knee or elsewhere are often start and progress because of the following:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Poor muscle control
  • Poor core stability
  • Decreased balance
  • Poor lower extremity mechanics and muscle restrictions

More often than not, it is usually a combination of a lot of these factors that contribute to the onset and perpetuation of knee pain. If not addressed, these factors can contribute to continued wear and tear of the knee and its surrounding structures leading to pain throughout different regions of the knee, swelling and increased pain. The body will often resort to compensations to try to help you avoid your pain. These are some common ways we move differently to try and avoid that knee pain:

  • Limping
  • Leaning more to one side
  • Walking more on your toes
  • Keeping your knee locked straight as you walk

These compensations may seem more comfortable for you initially, but if done over a period of time, these compensations can lead to irritation of other structures throughout the body resulting in heel pain, back pain, hip pain, or pain of your other knee.

Moral of the story? Address your pain early on and you can help prevent yourself from prolonged and worsening pain or progression of pain to other body parts. Physical therapy is a very effective treatment method to alleviate knee pain and problems. In the state of Virginia, you can see a physical therapist without a doctor’s referral. This means you can get your pain treated more quickly and without the time and hassle of making an appointment with the doctor first. Your knees are an important part of how you move around throughout the day and having knee pain can really slow you down. Pain and overall function can still improve even if you’ve had a pain for a long period of time.

Don’t let that knee pain slow you down any longer, give us a call at 703-450-4300 and let us help you and teach you how to get better. CLICK HERE for more on how physical therapy can help you. 

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