Do you struggle with pain in knees that feel as if they might give out from under you? Does intense pain in your hips make it hard for you to get out of bed in the morning, maneuver during the day, or get comfortable at night? Knee and hip pain can really get in the way of your everyday life, and it’s especially rough if you’re dealing with both at the same time! No matter which of these pains you’re struggling with, physiotherapy can get to the source of your problem safely and effectively, without prescription drugs or unnecessary surgeries.
Did you know that hip and knee pain may start in the joints themselves, but can also be the result of compensations for dysfunction happening in another part of your body? This is because your knees and hips are parts of the same kinetic chain or continuous system of muscles and joints that create movement. We analyze your body by looking at how well coordinated the different parts of the kinetic chain are, and how much compensation may be occurring when you run, walk, go up and downstairs, jump, or sit in one place for a long time. Due to these complex connections, issues you may have in your knee joint can cause you to experience pain in your hips, and vice versa. If one part of the kinetic chain is interrupted or not doing its part, the other parts may become painful.
Your knee and hip joints can develop the same disorders, injuries, and diseases as other joints in your body that move a lot, such as your shoulder and elbow. ‘Overuse injuries’ (tendinitis, chronic muscle strain) can occur in the hips and the knees, usually because of some type of imbalance between what you are asking your body to do (train for a marathon, squat 300 lbs, crouch in your garden, or get up and downstairs) and what it is capable of at the moment. Asking too much of your body too soon can result in pain. The good news is we can always work with you to improve your tolerance for activity, no matter your age.
These joints may also cause pain from acute injuries as well, such as joint dislocations, sprains, and strains.
There are plenty of painful conditions that are specific to either the hips or the knee joints, but not both. This doesn’t mean that painful injuries in the hips can’t also affect the knees — they definitely can! The hip can rotate inwards without you realizing what’s going on if you have weak gluteus medius muscles. This in turn may cause conditions such as patellofemoral stress syndrome or iliotibial band friction syndrome, because stress is put on the knee or kneecap.
Here at Amped Physiotherapy, we offer treatment to relieve and reduce your nagging hip and knee pain so that you don’t have to go down the route of correctional surgeries or potentially addictive medications. Our physiotherapists will assess the areas causing you pain and search for signs of dysfunction. They will also examine your range of motion, strength, ability to squat, and gait. After your physical examination is finished, we will be able to create a customized physiotherapy treatment plan for you. It will be aimed at addressing compensation, reducing unnecessary stresses, improving strength, and restoring proper joint function.
Your physiotherapist will prescribe specific exercises that are designed to target areas of pain and stabilize the weak knee and/or hip muscles. These exercises might be different depending on what kind of condition you are struggling with; for example, research shows that those suffering from patella pain (pain in the kneecaps) are more likely to respond better to exercises that focus on strengthening both the hips and knees, rather than just focusing on the knees by themselves.
Core strengthening exercises might also be assigned to you. These are meant to target tissues in your lower back, pelvic floor, and abdominal muscles. They are aimed at teaching you to understand your body’s control mechanisms and becoming good at knowing when to brake and when to bend. Additional specialized treatments such as soft tissue mobilization to relieve pain and promote the healing of hip and knee pain, as well as manual therapy to improve the movement of your joints might be included in your care plan.