Knee pain plagues many of us at some point in our lives. The discomfort is unbearable, and puts many things, like exercise, on the back burner. However, being completely sedentary isn’t good for your chronic pain either. It can actually cause your knee to get worse, affecting everyday activities and your mobility. But how do you fit in light activity without causing more damage?
The answer is in the technique. At TruWell Health, our team is skilled in the area of physical therapy and regenerative medicine. Our doctors, Dr. Lora Brown and Dr. Michael MacMillan, are here to help you get back on your feet and back to your daily routine through multiple avenues of treatment. Whatever is plaguing your knee, our team can help.
What causes your knee to hurt?
Knee pain is common, and most people go through it to some degree at some point in their life. Sometimes it’s due to a sporting injury, while other times it’s due to a degenerative condition that causes wear and tear on your joint. Either way, it really can make your daily activities almost impossible to accomplish.
Pain usually comes on because your body is trying to tell you that there’s a problem. It’s a natural alarm that tells you to stop what you’re doing and figure out why you started having pain. In your knee, there are many causes of pain, including:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Torn ligaments
The list continues with damage to your knee cap itself, along with tumors in your bone. The most common cause for chronic knee pain is degenerative changes due to arthritis. Your pain may also stem from an injury where the tissues inside your knee never completely healed back to normal.
Knee pain can vary in severity and can last anywhere from a few days in acute cases to several years if you suffer from a chronic condition. So what can you do to keep active without making things worse? The answer may surprise you.
Exercise can help
When you have pain in your knee, whether it’s acute or chronic, you might think that staying off of it is the best way to help it get better. You’re partially correct. If you have sudden knee pain or are doing an activity and it begins to get worse, you should take a break and rest for a day or two. However, too much time without being mobile can actually cause more harm than good.
By staying inactive for too long, your knee joint can actually stiffen up, causing more problems than just pain. It can affect your overall ability to walk or climb stairs, along with other vital, everyday functions.
Research has shown that keeping your joint mobile and active, even with an injury or surgery, can help to lessen pain and help provide lasting relief. At our office, we achieve this through physical therapy. Our therapist shows you how to correctly keep your knee active, without doing any harm or making things worse.
We also show you how to properly work out with your injury or chronic condition, not only at our office, but also at home. This allows your joint to stay mobile, preventing further pain and stiffness from lack of movement.
Here’s how to start getting active
Along with physical therapy, there are some ways you can ensure your mobility without injuring yourself any further or causing yourself more discomfort. The first thing you need to remember is that you need to ease into a new routine. By slowly getting back into exercise, you allow your joint and muscles to slowly get accustomed to working out. Other things you can do include:
- Start with low impact exercises
- Try swimming, walking, and cycling
- Do cardio along with strength training
- Try activities that improve your flexibility
Also, switch up your activities, like swimming or an elliptical one day and maybe yoga the next. Mixing up cardio, strength training, and flexibility will keep your joint healthy and also provide relief.
If at any point in your routine you begin to feel more pain or begin to experience swelling in your knee, make sure you back off and rest for a bit. Don’t push too hard too quick, as this can halt your forward progress.
Don’t put your exercise on hold any longer due to knee pain. To learn more about relieving your pain with activity, call our office at 727-361-2162 or book an appointment online today.