Hip and Knee Pain Relief
Do your knees feel unstable and painful, as if they may buckle underneath you without warning? Do sharp pains in your hip make it difficult to get up in the mornings, move about during the day, or lie back down at night? Does simply standing up after sitting for a period of time post painful challenges?
Hip and knee pain can seriously interfere with your life, especially if you are dealing with both. Whichever one you may be suffering from, physical therapy is a safe, easy, and comfortable way to diagnose and provide relief, without the need for harmful drugs or surgery. For more information on how you may benefit from our services, contact ProTouch Physical Therapy today to schedule your appointment with one of our Cranford physical therapists!
Why does hip and knee pain develop?
Your hip and knees contain similar structures; therefore, they can be subject to similar stresses. Many times, the hip and knees suffer the same diseases, disorders, and injuries. For example, overuse injuries, such as tendonitis, and chronic muscle strain, are common in both the hip and knees due to the constant use that those joints experience. The hip and knees are also both vulnerable to acute injuries, such as strains, sprains, and dislocation.
Hip and knee pain can also develop as a direct result of referred pain from a pinched sciatic nerve, since the nerve travels through both areas. Additionally, imbalances in your stance or gait may cause abnormal stresses and premature wear-and-tear in your hips and knees, resulting in the development of painful symptoms or even arthritis.
While some conditions may affect both the hip and knees, some may be specific to one joint or the other. For example, the Mayo Clinic states that cartilage injuries known as labral tears are specific to hip pain, while inflammation of the bursa sacs, known as bursitis, is a specific condition that impacts the knee joint. However, painful injuries that cause instability in the hips can also affect the knees. For example, tight hip flexor muscles and weak gluteus medius muscles can cause the hip to rotate inward without you realizing it. This can result in painful conditions, such as iliotibial band friction syndrome or patellofemoral stress syndrome, as abnormal stress is being put on the knee or kneecap by the hip.
Why am I experiencing hip and knee pain?
As stated above, pain in your hip and knees can be experienced together or separately. Your hip is known as a ball-and-socket joint that works to support the weight of your upper body. It relies on multiple muscles and tissues to keep it mobile and stable so it can function properly. Your knee is known as a hinge joint, confined to forward-and-backward motions. Individually, your knees support more weight than the hips, as they allow you to stand, walk, run, dance, etc., without falling over.
Pain felt in the hip and/or knees may originate in the joints themselves, but it may also be a result of an underlying condition in another part of the body. Your hip and knees are part 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. Therefore, a problem with your knee joint may transmit painful signals to your hips, and vice versa. If one part of the kinetic chain is out of balance, stress and deterioration may be placed on another.
How will physical therapy relieve my hip and knee pain?
Our physical therapy treatments at ProTouch Physical Therapy can help to greatly reduce your 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. Our Cranford physical therapists will examine your hip and/or knee for signs of misalignment or structural damage, in addition to examining your gait, posture, stance, and range of motion. After your physical evaluation is complete, your physical therapist will prescribe you with a physical therapy plan, aimed at relieving any abnormal stresses and strains on your hips or knees, and working to normalizing your overall joint function.
You will be given 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.
You may also be given exercises designed to strengthen the core. This may include your lower abdominal muscle groups, lower back muscle groups, or pelvic muscles. 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 a combination of massage therapy, laser therapy, ice and heat therapies, or other soft tissue treatments that relieve pain and promote healing of the damaged hip and/or knee tissues.
It is time to take a stand against your hip and knee pain. Contact Us Today at Cranford, NJ Center to speak with one of our dedicated Cranford physical therapists, and get started on the path toward running around comfortably, with long-lasting pain relief.