If you or someone you know has knee pain then this post is for you.
Many Americans deal with debilitating knee pain on a daily basis. In fact 750,000 thousand knee surgeries are performed in the US annually and an additional 600,000 total knee replacement surgeries.
One study found that up to 20% of patients receiving a knee replacement continue to have persistent pain.
An issue with your knee can be frustrating due to the pain but also the limitations it places on you. It can reduce your quality of life, activity level and mobility causing you to lose your independence and rely on friends and family for some of the most basic tasks.
Often the pain comes on gradually and most are not sure what caused the pain. Most people ignore minor to moderate pain when it first happens especially if the pain was not from an accident or injury. If they do anything at first they take some over the counter medications or try icing the knee.
If the pain doesn’t subside they often head to their doctor who prescribes anti-inflammatories, dangerous pain pills and muscle relaxers. While these may help with the discomfort they do nothing to address the real problem.
I have heard this story thousands of times over my 23+ career from patients suffering with knee pain.
Some are looking to avoid surgery and some are in for therapy following surgery. Either way the main goal is to
So what is the real problem and what can be done about it?
Our knee joints are essentially a hinge. They have some small amount of movement side to side and rotating but mainly bend and straighten. As we age we typically get less active which makes the joints stiff and limits mobility in all directions.
Over time this increase in stiffness is enough to drive the dull achy pain most experience with daily tasks. Getting out of a chair becomes harder due to weakness, the knees pop and creak like hinges on an old rusty door. This prevents you from climbing stairs or sitting at your grandkids sporting event.
What can be done? Exercise frequently is the best way to help a stiff knee. If you are in pain then riding a bicycle or swimming are excellent ways to work on your knee mobility and strength without making the pain worse.
Get on a sensible diet of healthy fruits, vegetables, lean meats and unprocessed foods to lose weight and cut down on general inflammation.
Work to get your bodyweight down to a sensible range and exercise regularly. Most recommend at least 30 minutes daily of moderate activity. This could include walking in the park, riding a bike, stretching, yoga, pilates etc.
I personally would avoid aggressive exercise classes such as Camp Gladiator or Crossfit. Not because I think they are bad but because most people try to jump into that type of workout too soon especially after being sedentary for so long. The body is not able to handle this intense activity and quickly leads to an injury.
The tissue in the knee has become weak and stiff over time which makes it more susceptible to injury.
The cycle continues as the pain comes on. People will naturally avoid pain which means they avoid activities including doing the things they love on a daily basis.
If you are suffering with knee pain then you know what I am talking about. Gone are the days of playing with your kids or grandkids, taking the stairs or walking with a loved one.
Over time these limitations slowly grow until you feel trapped and don’t know how to reverse the damage. Unfortunately surgery is not a cure all. I feel bad for patients when they come in for therapy following a surgery and they not only have to regain their strength and range of motion but are also still in pain. The strength and loss of motion is not from the surgery but from all of the years of ignoring the actual problem.
The surgery can cut out the bad tissue but it doesn’t restore mobility and strength nor guarantee a pain free life. Sometimes people think the surgery is all they need and they don’t do any therapy. We hear these stories all the time from people who thought this or were told this by their surgeon.
Now when they are in our office dealing with the pain, stiffness and weakness that should have been addressed years before it creates a lot of frustration and doubt. Not only does it take more time but there is also a financial and emotional cost of not handling the problem at the onset.
A huge misconception is that most people think surgery is the only option for knee pain. I am here to tell you that is not the case. In fact a recent study concluded that
Even with younger patients that have a torn ligament requiring surgery, working on their motion and strength prior to surgery puts them in a better position to recover faster. I call it Pre-Hab.
Think about it. Why do professional athletes recover and return to play so quickly after a knee surgery? They are in top shape to begin with so the surgery only knocks them back a few steps. Compare this to most people with knee pain who don’t exercise on a regular basis, eat poorly and are overweight.
Being overweight is actually one of the greatest determinants of someone developing knee pain and arthritis leading to a lower quality of life.
So what do the most successful people do when they have knee pain? They address their problem.
I call it the 3-D Principle to handling any problem in life-Don’t Ignore it, Don’t Mask It, Do Something About It.
If you are looking for guidance on your next step to finding relief from your knee pain then CALL our office 817-220-MOSS (6677).
At MOSS Rehabilitation Center we make it easy for you to get started. We even have a simple 3 step process.
1. Schedule a FREE NO Obligation, Discovery Visit with one of our experts. During this visit, you will talk with one of our friendly experts about your issues. This is a safe and confidential visit, you can trust that your safety and privacy is important to us. We are taking extra measures to ensure that you remain safe during this pandemic.
2. Receive a Customized (Individualized) Treatment Plan. Based on your free discovery visit, we will put together a custom, unique to you plan that will address all of your nagging pains and issues. The goal is to get you back to your healthy self as soon as possible while also addressing your issues for the long term.
3. Get Your Life Back and Do What You Love. The best result for us is a patient who tells us they can finally do what they love without the constant pain, stress, or issue they were facing. Together we can get you back to living life without worry.
Not only will we create a physical therapy program designed around you and your needs, but we also ensure to provide you with quality education for your long-term health.
The first step is always the hardest and I can’t take it for you but I promise we will do everything we can to help you.
Remember the 3 D’s of handling any problem-Don’t Ignore it, Don’t Mask It, Do Something About It.
If you would like to receive my 100% FREE Report – Top 5 Tips To Avoid Knee Surgery then CALL our office 817-220-MOSS (6677) to request it OR if you want the report right now, please visit www.springtownphysicaltherapy.com/kneepain and you can download it instantly.
PS. No one will ask for any money for anything when you call 817-220-6677 to request your free report which is perfect for those who are suffering with knee pain and want to avoid surgery.
To Your Health,
The author, Dr. Robert Moss PT, ScD is the owner of MOSS Rehabilitation Center in Springtown, TX. He is happy to help you with your knee pain problems either by phone 817-220-MOSS (6677) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.