Knee pain a very common problem that can occur at any age group. Learn strategies to help alleviate pain, and how Potential Physical Therapy in Malvern, PA can help.
One may have knee pain secondary to trauma/injury at very young age; athletes are most prone to have ACL injury causing knee pain; osteoarthritis is the common cause of knee pain in older adults; and the list goes on. In this article we examine common knee problems and how they affect one’s ability to function, and what common strategies are to assist in alleviating knee pain.
Common knee problems:
Anterior knee pain
Patello-femoral pain/chondromalacia patella
Patellar tendinitis/Jumper’s knee
IT band friction syndrome
Quadriceps muscle strain
Ligament tear (ACL/MCL/PCL/LCL)
Most of the knee problems result in loss of flexion range and extension, swelling within joint, less motion and increased stiffness and reflex quadriceps inhibition that may cause quadriceps lag. A patient with arthritis can also develop disturbed balance responses. In a few cases, depending upon age, the pathophysiology or cause of the pain is crucial to determine in order to take care of the underlying problem right away and prevent it from getting worse. Not attending to the underlying issue could lead to the need for knee replacement surgery.
Following are the 5 best strategies one can incorporate in their daily routine for long term pain relief:
- Control pain with the help of an ice pack for 20 min if it is acute pain (< 3months) and use a hot pack for 20 min if it is chronic pain (> 3months).
- Maintain muscle function and prevent joint adhesions by gentle muscle setting exercise like quad sets at different angles and stretching exercise e.g. Quadricep stretches, Hamstring stretches, TFL/ITB stretches.
- Protect the joint by wearing a knee brace/sleeve or by using assistive devices. It is strongly recommended that you see a physical therapist before deciding which option is best for you.
- Avoid bed positioning that promotes knee flexion contracture.
- Make functional adaptations till the point that your pain is relieved and your muscles are strong enough to perform ADLs without discomfort. Examples for functional adaptation may include the minimization of stair climbing, the use of elevated seats on commodes, and the avoidance of deep seats or low chairs.
Along with these strategies it is wise to perform strengthening exercises to achieve long-term pain relief.
Learn more about exercises for knee/patella pain
Every knee pain is different and needs a specific approach to be treated, and for this reason it is important to consult a physical therapist or doctor before starting any exercise program.
Call us if you have any question about your knee pain, we will be happy to assist you.
How to properly prepare before Knee Replacement
Knee replacement surgery is a serious undertaking that leaves an impact on your present and future. Is there a knee replacement on the calendar in your future? In this article we lay out the preparation before knee replacement to ensure best and positive outcomes surgery.
1. Plan For It
Before you set a date for surgery, think about how knee replacement will affect your life and how you’ll deal with the changes. Things can be quite stressful for some time, so start prepare yourself to have a smooth and successful surgery with rapid recovery.
2. Ask Queries
Here are few things will help you in preparation before knee replacement. Visit your doctor and gather some important information regarding the surgery. How long the surgery will take? What type of rehab will you be facilitated in? What type of devices and equipment will be used? Ask these types of questions and jot down the answers to ensure the credibility of the doctor’s services and whether the information will benefit you or not.
3. Lose Weight If Required
It is always said that the body tends to recover from any ailment or surgery faster if you are physically fit. Because of this, it is better to get in shape ahead of time so you are able to recover more quickly for your knee replacement surgery. You can consult with your doctor to know which exercises may be better for you before your treatment. If you are a bit heavy, then losing some weight can lessen the stress on your knees.
4. Quit Bad Habits
Bad habits like smoking or drinking slows down the recovery process. Moreover, these habits can cause infections before or after surgery. Quitting these habits can help to jump start your health recovery and make your wounds heal as soon as possible.
5. Medication Adjustments
You might be taking medications for other health reasons, so it is important to consult with your doctor about this prior to surgery. Ask your doctor whether you can continue with your prescribed medicines or if you will need to stop. This step will ensure that you don’t face any complication during or after the treatment.
6. Prepare home environment
Make sure to move items in your home that may hinder your movement so it is easier to get around. Clear your room and hall area to get enough space for moving crutches or using a walker.
7. Exercise routine
Before treatment, start learning the physical therapy exercises that will be required before and after knee replacement. Exercises done before surgery are called pre-habilitation and exercises done after surgery are called rehabilitation exercises. Pre-habilitation helps you to be in exercise routine and strengthens muscles for faster recovery. This will also allow you to start rehabilitation right away instead of taking precious time after surgery to learn them.
Aside from all of these tips, also make sure to always follow the instructions given to you by your doctor.
CONTACT US at 610 240 0001 to discuss precautions to take before and after knee replacement. All the Best!