One of the most common questions we are asked at our clinic is ‘why do my knees hurt?!’ Often clients have suffered with knee pain anywhere from a few months up to several years, and frequently it has begun to interrupt their quality of life, preventing them from enjoying simple things like walking, gardening, using the stairs or even just getting up from a chair.
My knee pain
The two most common forms of knee pain we see are either around the knee-cap (the patella) or along the inside of the knee joint. Clients over the age of 40 have often been told that this is down to ‘arthritis’ and at some point in the future they may need surgery to help improve it. Unfortunately it seems very plausible and it’s easy for this idea to be supported by looking on the internet and reading familiar stories of people being told their joints are ‘wearing away’. This is not very helpful and can lead you down a path of further disuse and muscular weakness which makes your pain worse. You may well have normal age related ‘osteoarthritis’ but it is often not the sole cause for your pain and there is another way.
The good news
The good news is that almost every time, your knee pain can be improved or eliminated with some very simple principles. For example, a huge study published this year from Scandinavia showed that education and rehabilitation by Physiotherapy is more effective at improving quality of life than having a total knee replacement performed! You may find this amazing, but Physios around the world have known this for a while and we find it amazing how much people CAN change when they know this and we want to get the message out there that you CAN do something about your knee pain.
Can I really improve it?
It can often seem daunting and a bit worrying to put those ‘worn out’ joints through more loading and exercising but we know that doing so helps your muscles in the lower body get stronger. It also improves coordination and balance, improves fitness and ultimately confidence in your own body to get out and do the things you love. Oh, and of course it most definitely reduces pain!
What about those noises?!
A way to think about your knee is like a hinge on a door. One of the ways the hinge stays free is by movement and sometimes a bit of oiling. Well, exercise is your movement and as a result your joint produces synovial fluid which is your joints natural “oil”.
What can I do then?
There is not a one size fits all approach yet, we are all different in our size, weight, fitness, job and lifestyle. For most it means doing some simple strength exercises along with some general exercise that moves your joint. For some this may just be walking more, for others it may mean cycling, swimming or dancing. So if you would like to find out more about how to reduce YOUR knee pain please get in touch.
Just remember you CAN do something about it.
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