Hip and knee pain are among the most common ailments facing Americans nowadays. And there’s a wide variety of different factors contributing to hip and knee pain. These range from obesity to sports injuries, poor sleep positions, aging, car accidents and repetitive motion injuries. Regardless of the cause, if you’re experiencing it consistently, it’s imperative to manage it. Hip and knee pain can severely inhibit your independence and overall quality of life. As a result, many people rely on certain medications like anti-inflammatories to reduce the swelling and minimize discomfort.
However, these medications do have potential side effects, and it’s beneficial to avoid over-reliance. Therefore, it’s best to find other, natural ways to relieve the pain and discomfort. Physical therapy can help in several ways, which we’ll explore in this post.
1. Identify the Causes
There may be one or several reasons why you are experiencing hip and knee pain. A physical therapist can carefully examine your movement in your initial consultation. This will help them identify the specific factors that are contributing to your pain. Things like poor posture, unhealthy walking or movement patterns, or the requirements of your work can all be responsible. Once they identify these issues, physical therapists can guide you towards permanently correcting them.
2. Strength-Increasing Exercises
Loss of muscular strength can contribute significantly to hip and knee pain. As your muscles weaken over time, you regularly place more stress on your joints. Physical therapy revolves around carefully-developed exercises that target various muscles. These exercises will consistently strengthen them, ultimately providing enhanced support for your joints and ligaments.
3. Mobility & Flexibility-Improving Exercises
Often, hip and knee pain leads to loss of mobility and flexibility. As a result, it increases the wear on your joints and ultimately leads to a lot more pain. Physical therapists can guide you through numerous exercises that improve your mobility and flexibility. As a result, you can better move your limbs and joints in the fullest range of motion possible for your body and individual capabilities.
4. Heat & Ice Therapy
Often, physical therapists administer heat to better improve your mobility and decrease the amount of pain you’re experiencing. As a result, you’ll be able to move more freely and without any significant pain or discomfort. Also, they frequently apply ice to lessen pain from your hip and/or knee as well as to reduce inflammation.
5. Ultrasound Therapy
Physical therapists use ultrasounds to apply heat deeper into your soft tissues to provide pain relief. The heat can improve circulation and aid in healing, which can ultimately reduce the pain you experience day to day.
6. Reducing Daily Pain
You may get pain relief when you’re at the physical therapist and receiving treatment. However, what about when you go home? A major goal of your physical therapist is to heal your injuries in the most long-term, permanent way possible. The various exercises and treatments they use with you will steadily improve your condition so that you experience less pain on a daily basis. As your body gets stronger and more mobile, you are likely to experience less stress and pain in your hips and knees.
7. Ending Painkiller Regimens
If your doctor has prescribed you painkillers, it’s best to strictly follow their guidance and take them as prescribed. However, it’s infinitely preferable to discuss physical therapy with your doctor, as well. If you find that your pain level has decreased through physical therapy, you can discuss reducing your medication usage with your doctor.
Conclusion – Lake Shore Physical Therapy
We’re passionate about connecting our patients with natural ways to heal and recover from pain and injuries. Physical therapy can greatly improve your quality of life and even restore your everyday mobility and overall independence. Hip and knee pain can severely inhibit you in countless ways. Therefore, embracing physical therapy in order to counteract these setbacks is your best treatment option, and can likely be one of the best decisions you ever made.