Hip and Knee Pain Relief
Get Moving With Hip and Knee Pain Relief
Do you ever wonder if your unstable knees may cause you to collapse without warning? Do the sharp pains in your hips make moving around to complete daily tasks difficult? Is standing up after sitting for a prolonged period of time a challenging feat?
It is no secret that hip and knee pain can cause serious limitations to your daily life. These limitations are even further exaggerated if you are dealing with both. Fortunately, physical therapy is a safe, easy, and comfortable way to diagnose and provide relief for hip and knee pain. In fact, it may even eliminate your need for pain-management drugs or surgery. To learn more about how our services can help you find relief for hip or knee pain, contact The Fit Institute (TFI) today to schedule an evaluation with one of our dedicated physical therapists.
Why do my hips and/or knees hurt?
Pain in your hips and knees can be experienced together or separately. These joints work together to provide optimum movement, but sometimes an injury or underlying condition can cause their function to go awry.
Your hips are ball-and-socket joints that act as a support for your upper body weight. Your knees are hinge joints that allow for the forward-and-backward motions within the joint. While it may come as a surprise, your knees actually individually support more weight than your hips, as they allow you to stand, walk, run, dance, etc. without falling over. In order to maintain proper function, in addition to remaining mobile and stable, your hips and knees rely on several muscles and tissues.
When pain is felt within your hips or knees, it may be rooted in the joints themselves; however, it is also possible that it may be a result of an underlying condition in another part of the body. For example, a problem with the hip joint may transmit a pain signal to the knees, and vice versa. The hips and knees are both parts of the same kinetic chain, meaning they make up a combination of weight-bearing joints that must function together in harmony in order for your body and posture to function properly. If one part of the kinetic chain is out of balance, stress and deterioration may be placed on another.
What causes hip and knee pain?
The structures in your hips and knees are exceptionally similar; therefore, they can be subject to similar stresses, diseases, disorders, and injuries. Here are some examples of what could be causing your hip pain or knee pain:
- Overuse Injuries. Several overuse injuries, including muscle strains and tendonitis, are common in both the hip and knees. This is because the joints both experience constant use.
- Acute Injuries. These are common in both hips and knees, such as sprains, strains, and dislocations.
- Referred Pain. Pain may also develop as a direct result of referred pain from a pinched sciatic nerve, since the nerve travels through both areas.
- Gait or Stance Imbalances. These can cause abnormal stress and premature wear-and-tear to be put on your hips and knees, which can result in painful symptoms or arthritis.
- Weak or Tight Muscles. If you have a weak gluteus medius muscles and tight hip flexor muscles, this can cause the hip to rotate inward without you realizing it. Because of this, abnormal stress can be put on the knees, resulting in painful conditions, such as patellofemoral stress syndrome or iliotibial band friction syndrome.
- Cartilage Injuries. According to the Mayo Clinic, cartilage injuries affect either the hips or knees. For example, hip pain can be caused by cartilage injuries known as labral tears, while inflammation of the bursa sacs, known as bursitis, is a specific condition that impacts the knee joint.
Get moving with physical therapy:
At The Fit Institute (TFI), our physical therapy treatments are effective in treating both hip and knee pain. In many cases, our personalized treatment plans can even help relieve your pain completely, sparing you the need for potentially harmful pain-management medication or an invasive surgical correction.
When you come in for your initial appointment, one of our physical therapists will examine your hips and/or knees for signs of misalignment or structural damage, in addition to examining your posture, stance, gait, and range of motion. Afterward, an individualized treatment plan will be prescribed to you, based on the nature of your condition and your specific needs. This plan will focus on alleviating pain, normalizing joint function, and relieving any abnormal stresses on your hips and knees.
Your treatment plan will include targeted exercises designed for relieving joint pain and stabilizing weak hip and/or knee tissues. The exercises may vary depending on your condition; for example, research has demonstrated that those suffering from kneecap pain tend to respond better to exercises that focus on strengthening both the hips and knees, rather than just focusing on the knees alone. Core strengthening exercises targeting the lower abdominal muscle groups, lower back muscle groups, or pelvic muscles may also be prescribed. Core exercises are aimed at straightening your posture and equalizing the weight load on both sides of your body.
Additional specialized treatments may also be added to your treatment plan as your physical therapists deem fit. This may include any combination of ice and heat therapies, massage therapy, laser therapy, or other soft tissue treatments aimed at relieving pain and promoting healing of the damaged hip and/or knee tissues.
If you are suffering from hip and/or knee pain, don’t hesitate to contact The Fit Institute (TFI) today at Chicago, IL. We’ll set up an evaluation for you to discuss treatment plans with one of our licensed physical therapists. Don’t wait for pain relief – get moving and take a stand against hip and knee pain relief.