In past articles, I discussed the concept of people’s knees being bone on bone and that their knees are aging faster than they are. There are more than 790,000 total knee replacements performed every year in the United States. That’s a pretty significant number! As a Doctor of Physical Therapy, it’s obviously my goal to give people what they need to allow the body to naturally heal itself. In this article, I’m going to specifically discuss knee pain and how Physical Therapy can be a legitimate option to conservatively reduce pain and improve overall function to potentially avoid surgery or even delay it for quite some time.
- Improve your range of motion:
If you’re getting to the point where you think it’s time for a surgery, you probably notice that you’re stiff in the morning, after too much sitting/resting, or maybe in the afternoon. This can be improved with individualized exercises to address your areas of stiffness/pain. The knee is a very simple joint. How much does it bend? How much does it straighten? For people with bone on bone arthritis they probably have pain or stiffness at the end ranges of motion.
Improve your strength:As knee pain becomes more intense, people start to avoid activity. This could potentially be making the knee dysfunction worse! Like I mentioned above, if you don’t stay moving, you’re going to get stiff and potentially be in more pain. In addition to being more stiff and painful, your muscles are getting weaker which will make your everyday activities such as getting in/out of a chair, getting up/down stairs, and walking long distances more difficult.
Lose weight:A study posted in the Arthritis Foundation found that for every 1 pound of weight loss, there is approximately 4 pounds of pressure taken off of the knee joint. When we take a step, we take all of our body weight and absorb all of that with one knee. Over time, this can make the knee pretty sensitive. Weight loss will decrease the force that is dispersed throughout the knee during walking and reduce your overall pain. In addition, losing weight will make activities such as squatting, stairs, and walking easier as you will have to exert less force. (For any questions regarding weight loss, feel free to speak to our Registered Dietitian here at Total Balance!)
Find options to get you moving in ways that aren’t miserable:You don’t have to strictly go to the gym to perform the above suggestions listed above. Our Doctors of Physical Therapy here at Total Balance Physical Therapy & Fitness understand the importance of life balance and want to work with you to find out what you enjoy. We will then spend time with you to developing an independent exercise program that works for you and your lifestyle to allow you to help yourself.
If you have ever been told that your knees are bone on bone, are struggling with knee pain, or want to delay/potentially avoid knee surgery please call us NOW at 701-293-6037 to schedule a FREE Discovery Visit with one of our Doctors of Physical Therapy here at Total Balance Physical Therapy & Fitness so we can get you to live your best, pain-free life.
-Dr. Casey Sailer, PT, DPT