“Walking takes longer, for example, than any other known form of locomotion except crawling. Thus it stretches time and prolongs life.” – Edward Abbey
Unfortunately, if you’re suffering from chronic knee pain, walking may even be slower for you than most. And always painful.
For some who suffer from chronic knee pain, even sitting or lying down does little to alleviate the pain. For others, it seems to come and go in severity, but is never far away. Often, the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, may help.
Most people rely on NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin, while others make use of acetaminophen. While these over-the-counter drugs can help relieve the pain of knee sprains or even some forms of arthritis, they only bring temporary relief of the symptoms, but not the cause.
In addition, there is a limit to both the efficacy of over-the-counter medications and to how much one can take before suffering other health issues.
Unfortunately, for a growing number of Americans, surgery becomes an inevitable “solution” to their knee pain.
As Healthline’s website notes, “Knee replacement surgery has become a routine procedure in many hospitals. Surgeons carry out approximately 600,000 total knee replacements annually in the United States.”
Are You Simply “Learning to Live” with Chronic Knee Pain?
Chronic knee pain is typically experienced as constant or recurring pain in one or both knees. In addition, the sufferer may have sensitivity or swelling on or around the knee joint.
The structure of the human knee is important to understand as the various components can all play a part in the cause of the pain.
The knee is the joint where the thigh bone (femur), shinbone (tibia), and kneecap (patella) connect. This is achieved with cartilage, ligaments, menisci, and tendons.
- Cartilage is a slippery substance on the ends of the bones in the knee. It lets the bones rub or pass smoothly over one another as the leg bends and straightens.
- The menisci act as cushions between the femur and tibia that also act as shock absorbers.
- Ligaments hold the bones together and give the knee its stability. Damage to the ligaments can result from overuse, as in sports, or from a traumatic injury.
- Tendons are the connective tissues that attach the muscles in the leg to the bones they control.
When one or more of these components are injured, impinged, or damaged, the knee cannot function as it should, and the person experiences pain when moving the joint.
We often associate chronic knee pain with retired athletes or seniors with arthritis. However, knee pain is a common condition that affects young and old, as well as the physically active and the sedentary.
Typical reasons for experiencing chronic knee pain include bursitis, patellar tendonitis, knee ligament injuries, meniscal tears, patellar dislocation, and osteoarthritis in the knee.
In addition, there can be other contributing factors:
- sprains and strains
- poor posture
- not warming up before physical activity
- improper stretching of the muscles
- Improper form when exercising or working out
The sad truth is that far too many people suffer from chronic knee pain and either rely on OTC medications or, worse, prescription painkillers to manage the pain. Others find that surgery becomes necessary to allow them to even continue walking.
However, depending on the actual cause of the pain, relief can be had without drugs or surgery.
Walk This Way – Assessing the Problem
Traditional diagnosis of knee problems often involves x-rays and even MRIs, if the condition appears to be severe. Doctors may also use specialized tests to find and identify any type of arthritis that may be a primary cause of knee pain.
At Pain and Performance Solutions we will diagnose knee pain by first getting your full medical history. Then we ask a series of questions to direct our diagnosis of your chronic knee pain. This is because we understand that, in many cases, the actual cause of chronic knee pain is not always in the knees.
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.
A common approach is for us to perform a movement and structural assessment using both the Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) and Anatomy in Motion, or AiM®.
The SFMA is a series of relatively simple, full-body movement tests that establish a baseline for a series of more complex tests. Together, these tests provide us with a path for treatment options.
In addition, we use Anatomy in Motion to conduct a gait assessment that gives us a complementary roadmap of the structure of your body.
We then combine the gait analysis along with the proper manual therapy and corrective exercises. In many cases, this approach will provide significant improvement in your body’s movement mechanics. This, in turn, will often result in significant relief from knee pain, alone with improved movement and knee joint functionality.
By learning about and understanding your body’s movement and any dysfunctions, we can gain the insights we need to implement treatment that is best suited for the underlying causes of your knee pain.
Chronic Knee Pain and Pain and Performance Solutions
We can help you find relief from your chronic knee pain.
If you’ve been suffering from knee pain for a long time or have just begun to realize that you have pain that is not letting up, give us a call. We understand that real relief may seem elusive, especially if you have tried various approaches and are still in pain.
Chronic knee pain relief with Pain and Performance Solutions begins when we gain an in-depth understanding of when and how your knee pain started. During your first appointment, we will work with you to learn about your present symptoms 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.
Don’t simply ignore your knee pain and hope it will just go away. Let us help. Contact us today at 707-636-4404 or book an appointment online to start your recovery process.