Knee pain a very common problem that can occur at any age group. 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 is not complete here. Let us see what are the common knee problems and how they affect ones functioning and what are the common strategies that assist to alleviate knee pain.
Common knee problems:
Ligament tear (ACL/MCL/PCL/LCL)
Most of the knee problems result into loss of flexion range and then extension, swelling within joint, less motion and increased stiffness and reflex quadriceps inhibition that may cause quadriceps lag. Patient with arthritis also develop disturbed balance responses. In few cases, depending upon age, pathophysiology or causes of knee pain, it is very crucial to take care of the underlying problem right away and prevent it from getting worsened to avoid knee replacement surgery.
Following are the 5 best strategies one can incorporate in their daily routine for long term pain relief.
Strategies to alleviate knee pain:
- Control pain with the help of Ice pack for 20 min if it is acute pain (< 3months) and use 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 knee brace/sleeve or by using assistive devices. It is strongly recommended to see physical therapist before deciding which option is best for you.
- Avoid bed positioning that promotes knee flexion contracture.
- Make functional adaptations till the point your pain is relieved and muscles are strong enough to perform ADLs without discomfort. Examples for functional adaptation may include minimize stair climbing, use elevated seats on commodes and avoid deep seated 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 specific approach to be treated and that is the 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.