“A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world.” —Paul D. White
For some it’s simply time and wear. For others, it’s overuse or acute trauma such as an injury. Regardless of the apparent causes, chronic knee pain can be intrusive, debilitating, and – if left untreated – possibly even crippling.
However, for most people, their chronic knee pain is something they’ve simply learned to live with. But that is an option that also leads to a diminished quality of life.
Why We’re Not Really Dealing with Knee Pain
For some, “dealing” with chronic knee pain simply means ignoring it or, when it gets particularly bad, just taking some OTC medications such as acetaminophen or some form of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen.
While these over-the-counter drugs might help take the edge off the pain, they only treat the most apparent symptoms.
We also tend to believe that only former athletes and others who’ve been extremely active physically or played a great deal of sports are prone to knee problems. As a result, we can treat our own knee pain as something relatively minor and even a bit pedestrian.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.
The reality is that chronic knee pain issues can strike most anyone, both young and old. Even people who are not especially athletic and even sedentary can suffer from chronic knee pain.
What’s Causing Your Chronic Knee Pain?
According to the Orthopedic Institute of Pennsylvania,
“The causes of chronic knee pain can vary, but they’re usually the result of two reasons:
- Trauma: Traumatic injuries are usually ones that happen suddenly, like falling. However, they can also be the result of repetitive motions or receiving a blow to the knee.
- Medical conditions: As we age, our bodies become more vulnerable to degenerative disorders, such as arthritis. Some of these conditions negatively affect the joints, leading to chronic pain.
Chronic knee pain causes ongoing discomfort in the knee — this can be in the form of swelling or sensitivity, and it can affect one or both knees. Traumatic injuries can lead to dislocation of the kneecap, a fracture or tears in ligaments or in the meniscus — which is a piece of cartilage that provides cushioning.
Traumatic injuries are often preventable with simple activities, like ensuring you warm up properly before exercising and using proper protective equipment when playing sports. Medical conditions aren’t always preventable, though.
Degenerative issues, like osteoarthritis or gout, or more serious concerns, like tumors, can result in chronic knee pain, and there’s little a person can do to prevent them. Other medical conditions that may lead to chronic knee pain include:
- Tendonitis: Typically a pain in the front part of the knee, tendonitis will only get worse with continued movement.
- Bursitis: When the knee is overused, especially without proper rest, it can become inflamed, resulting in bursitis.”
Contributing Causes of Chronic Knee Pain
Chronic knee pain is typically long-term pain often accompanied by sensitivity or swelling in one or both knees. Because various conditions can cause or contribute to chronic knee pain, everyone will experience the pain in different ways.
Common acute trauma causes include knee ligament injuries and meniscal tears, while other injuries such as patellar tendonitis, patellar dislocation, and even osteoarthritis in the knee can result in chronic pain.
However, these causes, while common, are not the only issues that can cause chronic knee pain. Issues that may seem unrelated to your knee joints can work to create problems that cause ongoing pain. These include:
- Poor posture or form when doing physical activity
- Not warming up or cooling down before or after exercise
- Improperly stretching before workouts
Any of these – or a combination of them – can cause or contribute to chronic knee pain.
However, regardless of the cause or conditions that lead to chronic knee pain, there is a real approach that can identify both the real cause of your pain and the best treatment option for getting relief.
Assessing Your Chronic Knee Pain
At Pain and Performance Solutions we will diagnose knee pain beginning with obtaining a full medical history. Once that is done, we ask you a series of questions to help focus our diagnosis of your chronic knee pain.
After a full physical examination has been performed along with an assessment of your body movement, we can then diagnose the cause of your 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. Collectively, these tests provide us with a path for treatment options. We then use Anatomy in Motion to generate a gait assessment, which gives us a “roadmap” of the structure of your body.
By combining both the gait analysis with a hands-on assessment, manual therapy, and corrective exercises we can often provide significant improvement in your body’s movement mechanics. The result is significant knee pain relief, as well as improved functionality of your knee joint or joints.
Gaining a clear understanding of your body’s normal functionality and any dysfunctions provides us with the insights we need to develop a therapy approach best suited to treat the real and underlying causes of your knee pain.
Pain and Performance Solutions – Treatment for Your Chronic Knee Pain
We can help you find the answer to your pain.
Getting pain relief with Pain and Performance Solutions begins with an understanding of when and how your pain started. When you come to your first appointment, we will learn about your present discomfort as well as any history of discomfort.
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.