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Standing up from a comfy couch uncomfortable?

By: Rachel Herrmann, DPT

Typically, you may not always realize how much you do with your knees in an average day. However, when you start to have knee pain, then you begin to realize how big of a role your knees play in your day-to-day and leisure activities. Going up and down stairs becomes a dreaded part of the day. Getting on and off the floor when playing with your children is no longer an easy task. You start to think twice before squatting down to get something off the floor or out from a low cabinet. Other activities that also often become bothersome when your knees start hurting include prolonged walking, running/jogging, pivoting, going up/down curbs or ramps, bending your knee all the way in to put on your shoes and socks, and getting in or out of the car.

The knee pain can be either constant or it may come and go depending on the severity of the issue. The pain is  often be described as achy, sharp, dull, intense with movement, throbbing, and some people experience popping, clicking, locking, or a grinding-type noise from the knees.

This knee pain can start or persist from an injury or it can be a gradual onset pain that is caused tissue irritation due to prolonged or repetitive strain, poor body mechanics, lower extremity strength imbalances, lower extremity flexibility impairments, or soft tissue dysfunction. These impairments can contribute to tendinitis of any of the multiple tendons around the knee, incorrect tracking of the knee cap, degenerative changes to the meniscus, or degenerative changes to the joints of the knee. All of these knee issues can lead to pain that can make you want to limit or avoid the activities you want to do and need to do. If the underlying issues of body mechanics, strength, flexibility, joint and soft tissue mobility are not addressed, the pain will continue and will often continue to worsen.

The good news is that you do not have to let this pain continue to run your life. Physical therapy is an excellent treatment for knee pain. It can give as good, or if not better long-term results as arthroscopic knee surgery and with a much lower cost overall cost and without anyone cutting you open.  Physical therapy can also help you get pain relief so that you can reduce or eliminate the need for pain medications. A physical therapist can evaluate your lower extremity function and structure in order to determine which factors are causing your pain. You don’t even need a doctor’s order. Then through hands-on treatment in combination with exercises, physical therapy will help you address your underlying impairments so that you can go up and down the stairs, chase after your children,  squat or kneel down to the ground, participate in sports, or do what you enjoy most without thinking about it.

If any of this is all too familiar to you, don’t hesitate to call us. The sooner you address your pain the easier it will be to treat and the sooner you will be feeling and moving around better. Take action and get that knee pain fixed and continue to do what you love to do and need to do.

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

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