“Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.” – Helen Keller
Many of us tend to think of knee pain as something that only afflicts the elderly, or athletes like runners. However, the reality is that almost everyone can be prone to knee pain and chronic pain is far more common than we might believe.
Chronic Pain and a Critical Joint
According to the Mayo Clinic,
“Knee pain is a common complaint that affects people of all ages. Knee pain may be the result of an injury, such as a ruptured ligament or torn cartilage. Medical conditions — including arthritis, gout and infections — also can cause knee pain.”
While it is true that athletes and others that are physically active tend to be more prone to joint and muscle injuries and pain, they’re not alone. Many people who are not athletic and much more sedentary also suffer joint pain, even chronic knee pain.
The website at HealthLine.com notes that,
“Most people experience knee pain at some point in their lives. Sports, exercise, and other activities can cause muscle strains, tendinitis, and more serious injuries to ligaments and cartilage.
It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact number of people who experience knee pain over their lifetime, but we do know the rates of how many people experience pain severe enough to turn to knee replacement surgery: In 2017, 966,000 knee replacement surgeries were performed in the United States.”
The signs and symptoms of knee pain vary in severity, depending on the cause of the problem, and can present themselves in somewhat different areas of the knee. These issues sometimes accompany knee pain and can include:
- Swelling and stiffness
- Redness and warmth to the touch
- Weakness or instability
- Popping or crunching noises
- Inability to fully straighten the knee
Most of us tend to resort to self-treatment using over-the-counter medications. Most commonly, these include acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin. While these drugs can help with inflammation and pain, they only treat the most obvious symptoms and are temporary.
One of the things we tend to do is “take it easy” and limit our movement, often thinking that resting our knees is best. However, this is not necessarily the case.
According to an article at WebMD,
“Too much rest can weaken your muscles, which can worsen joint pain. Find an exercise program that is safe for your knees and stick with it. If you’re not sure which motions are safe or how much you can do, talk with your doctor or a physical therapist…
Cardio exercises strengthen the muscles that support your knee and increase flexibility. Weight training and stretching do, too. For cardio, some good choices include walking, swimming, water aerobics, stationary cycling, and elliptical machines.”
Assessment Chronic Knee Pain
Chronic knee pain is often experienced as long-term pain and sensitivity, along with possible swelling in one or both knees. Common causes can include knee ligament injuries, bursitis, meniscal tears, patellar tendonitis, patellar dislocation and osteoarthritis in the knee.
Along with these causes, it’s been shown that obesity and aging can also contribute to chronic knee pain.
Part of the challenge of assessing the actual cause of chronic knee pain are the symptoms that sufferers experience. Everyone will experience chronic knee pain in different ways and, in addition, there are many types of conditions that can either cause or contribute to chronic knee pain.
Most often, doctors will use x-rays and a physical evaluation to diagnose chronic knee pain. In addition, the patient is often assessed for knee pain level, flexibility, and functionality. If the symptoms warrant it, specialized tests may be used to find and identify any type of arthritis, which could be the cause of knee pain.
Assessing Your Gait
At Pain and Performance Solutions we understand that for most people, the actual cause of your chronic knee pain is not always in your knees.
In order to determine the real cause and location, we will diagnose knee pain by first getting your full medical history. We then ask you a series of questions to inform our diagnosis of your chronic knee pain.
After completing our discovery questioning, we will conduct a full physical examination and an assessment of your body movement, which will allow us to diagnose the cause of your knee pain. One of the most effective approaches we use is a movement and structural assessment involving the Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) and Anatomy in Motion, or AiM®.
Why do we use these methods for knee pain?
The SFMA is a series of relatively simple, full-body movement tests that establish a basis for a series of more complex tests. Together, these tests ultimately provide a path for treatment options. Then, Anatomy in Motion is used to generate a gait assessment that gives us a complementary roadmap of the structure of your body.
We then combine the gait analysis along with hands on assessment, manual therapy, and corrective exercises. The result is that we can often provide significant improvement in your body’s movement mechanics, which can then lead to knee pain relief, as well as improved functionality of your knee joint.
Understanding your body’s functionality and dysfunctions provides us with the insights we need to develop a therapy approach best suited to treat the underlying causes of your knee pain.
Chronic Pain Relief with Pain and Performance Solutions
If you are suffering from chronic pain, you know that real relief may seem elusive. If you have tried and have been unable to find relief, we invite you to call us at Pain and Performance Solutions.
When you come to your first appointment, we will learn about your present discomfort as well as any history of discomfort. Getting pain relief with Pain and Performance Solutions begins with an understanding of when and how your pain started.
A full examination will help us determine which form of treatment is best suited to get you on your road to recovery. Your trust in us is key, as is your honesty. Ultimately, getting your body healthy and working properly is the only way to achieve total recovery.
So, don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to help and will answer any questions that you may have. You can reach us at (707) 636-4404 or by filling out our online contact form.