Your hips and knees are important joints that work hard to provide you with optimum function throughout the day. Because of their complexities and constant use, they are common areas of pain and discomfort.
The risk of developing chronic hip or knee pain increases with age, as the cartilage in one’s joints starts to gradually wear down. However, it is possible for anyone to develop hip or knee pain from extensive overuse, unexpected injuries, or underlying conditions. While surgery is sometimes needed to correct certain conditions in the hip or knee, physical therapy has been proven to succeed in significantly lowering pain and improving function. In many cases, physical therapy can even eliminate the need for a surgical procedure. If you are living with hip and/or knee pain and you are looking for relief, contact our office today to see how our services can benefit you!
What’s causing my hip or knee pain?
When you schedule an appointment with a physical therapist, the first thing you can expect is a thorough evaluation. Your physical therapist will examine you to figure out where the painful area is, as well as where the pain is stemming from. For example, sometimes pain can be stemming from the hips but can be felt in the lower back, buttocks, groin, or the front/side of the hips. Additionally, pain stemming from the knees can be felt on the front or back of the knee joint. It can also be felt on the inside of the knee if a trauma occurred, or the outside of the knee if you are experiencing iliotibial band stress.
Hip pain is typically reported as a constant dull ache that doesn’t seem to go away. However, knee pain is a bit different, and is often assessed as one of several different types of pain:
- Acute – Acute pain is the most intense type of knee pain. It typically occurs after an injury and will last for about a week. The treatment for acute pain is generally just to simply rest and isolate the affected area, as your body is working hard to heal it.
- Subacute – Subacute pain is typically felt two to six weeks after an injury. The affected area will still be painful, but it will not be nearly as severe as the acute pain of the first week. The treatment for subacute knee pain generally consists of gentle motions meant to increase your range of motion and facilitate healing.
- Chronic – Chronic pain can be defined as any pain that lasts longer than two or three months. If you’ve been living with serious knee pain for that long, you should consult with your doctor. He or she will most likely suggest performing another full physical exam, in addition to x-rays.
Find relief for your hip and knee pain today:
When you arrive for your initial consultation, your physical therapist will conduct a comprehensive evaluation to determine the nature of your condition and the best steps for relief. This evaluation will include:
- Palpation. Your physical therapist will provide gentle palpation of the knee or hip to figure out where the pain is originating.
- Strength tests. Testing the strength of your knee and hip structures will give your physical therapist a better idea on whether your pain is due to an injury or a physical imbalance.
- Gait analysis. Your physical therapist will assess how you walk to determine if anything is out of the ordinary with your gait.
- Range of motion tests. Your physical therapist will test the limits of your knee or hip, to see how far it will bend. This helps in determining the severity of the trauma and will give your physical therapist an insight into what the course of treatment should be.
Depending on your symptoms, your physical therapist may also perform balance tests to see if your balance has been affected. If any areas are inflamed, your physical therapist will focus closely on those areas. The results of these tests will determine what methods will be added into your treatment plan.
Treatment plans will include targeted stretches and exercises, aimed at relieving pain and improving function in the affected hips or knees. Additional methods or modalities may be added as your physical therapist deems fit. Your progress will be closely tracked in order to help you reach your goals as quickly as possible. If you are looking to relieve your hip and knee pains the natural way, contact our office today! We’ll provide you with the treatment you need so you can get back on your feet!