Tag Archive for: Pain behind knee

Holding Knee with Arthritis

Three Tips to Protect Your Knees From Arthritis

Knee arthritis is one of the most common forms of osteoarthritis.

Knee arthritis accounts for more than 80% of all osteoarthritis and impacts at least 19% of Americans over the age of 45.

For many, a diagnosis of knee osteoarthritis leads to chronic, debilitating knee pain that stops them from doing all of their favorite activities. Sometimes it’s simply due to the limiting belief that once you have arthritis – you’ve got “bad knees” for life.

Other times it’s because you’ve been told you have “bone on bone” in your knee and there’s nothing you can do – except to scale back on activity so that you don’t make it worse. This line of thinking is flawed and often leads people to unnecessary procedures and surgery. One of the best things you can do to protect your knees from the debilitating effects of arthritis is to keep moving.

Here are three tips to help you protect your knees from arthritis as you age – so that you can keep doing all of your favorite activities and avoid any major procedures or surgery:

1. Strengthen Your Hips and Core

Your knee joint is situated just below your hips and core. And research has shown that when you have poor control of your upper leg muscles – you get more stress through your knee joint.

The strength of your upper leg muscles is very much dependent on your hip and core strength. Your thigh bone – or femur – connects your knee and your pelvis – and your core strength controls your pelvis.

If your pelvis isn’t stable – your femur is going to have a difficult time staying in alignment – which will ultimately have an impact on your knee joint. If you’ve got arthritis in your knees, it’s critical you minimize any added stress to your knee joints.

Strengthening your core and having good hip strength is going to help prevent and minimize the symptoms of arthritis and keep you doing activities you love longer.

2. Keep Your Knees Mobile

Mobility before stability is my mantra.

And I say this for just about every joint in your body. But it’s especially true for your knees. There are joints whose primary function is stability – and there are those whose major function is mobility.

Your knee needs to be mobile.

Its major purpose is to bend all the way so you can squat and pick things up – and it needs to straighten all the way to give you stability when you need it. When either of these motions are lacking – your ligaments and surrounding muscles will suffer.

A lot of folks just “accept” that their knees are stiff – especially if you’ve been told you have arthritis in your knees. The limiting belief is that stiffness is par for the course. But the truth is that if you keep your knees mobile as you age – you can not only maintain the mobility you have but improve what is lacking.

If your knees are stiff – start moving them. The thing to understand about arthritis is that it’s a normal part of aging. Debilitating mobility is not. Even a 10% improvement in your knee mobility – which can happen even if you’ve got arthritis – will result in huge improvements in your knee function.

It can be the difference between a natural solution to knee pain vs undergoing a major surgery like knee replacement.

3. Don’t Stop Your Activities

When people find out they have arthritis – and especially if they’re in pain – they often think that slowing down or stopping activity will help protect their knees.

This couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Study after study – including one from the Center for Disease Control – shows that severe joint pain among adults with arthritis is worse with inactivity. When you remain active, you keep blood flowing, your knee joints mobile, and your muscles strong. These are very important factors in managing your arthritis. Sometimes, the knee pain you feel when you’re doing certain activities has nothing to do with your arthritis. Statistics show that only 15% of patients with evidence of knee osteoarthritis on X-ray even had symptoms.

That means that the other 85% is walking, biking, and running around enjoying their most favorite activities – despite the fact their X-ray showed arthritis too. The point here is to keep doing your activities – whether you’ve got arthritis already or not – it’s one of the best ways to prevent and protect your knee joints as you age.

So – to review…

If you want to optimize your knee health as you age – which you still can even if you’ve been told you have “advanced arthritis” – prioritize your core strength, the mobility of your knees, and stay active.

Focusing on these three things can have a significant impact on how arthritis affects you – and can help you avoid major (often unnecessary) surgery in your future.

Is knee pain keeping you from doing your favorite activities? Are you considering a major procedure or surgery but not sure if you need it?

Join us on Tuesday Oct. 25th from 6-7pm for our Free Masterclass for Knee Pain Sufferers.

Sign up using this link —> Knee Pain Masterclass.

We hope to see you there!

Can’t make it live? All participants will receive a complimentary replay of the class 🙂

Dr. Carrie Jose, Physical Therapist and Pilates expert, owns CJ Physical Therapy & Pilates in Portsmouth and writes for Seacoast Media Group. To request a free copy of her Knee Pain Free Report CLICK HERE  or to get in touch, email her at info@cjphysicaltherapy.com.

Man getting knee pain treatment

Four Reasons Your Knee Pain isn’t Going Away

Approximately 25% of adults suffer from chronic knee pain and for many, they don’t have a clear reason or diagnosis as to why. They’ve been told to accept that their knee pain is due to arthritis, age, or wear and tear.

So why then, are some people able to get rid of their knee pain with proper treatment while others continue to suffer? It starts with the correct diagnosis. And for many chronic knee pain sufferers, this is the problem.

Here are four reasons why your knee pain might not be going away:

 

1. Mobility Before Stability

I’m a firm believer in this concept.

Our joints function better when they have full and free mobility. With knees in particular, everyone tends to focus on how well a knee is bending, but a lot of people miss when a knee isn’t fully straightening. Most knees have a certain amount of what we call hyperextension.

For example, your knee might look and feel straight, but if it’s naturally capable of “over-straightening”, and you don’t restore that completely, your knee will have problems.

I see it all the time, especially in folks who’ve had previous knee surgeries. If their full knee motion wasn’t restored properly during rehab, or perhaps they didn’t have any rehab at all (common practice now after most arthroscopic knee surgeries), knee pain will persist, and won’t go away no matter how much you strengthen it.

This isn’t something that can be seen on an Xray or MRI. Only a trained expert who knows how to look for this will be able to detect it, teach you how to restore it, and finally help you get rid of your chronic knee pain.

2. It’s Really a Back Problem

When the source of your pain is truly coming from your knee, it tends to be pretty specific and very localized to the knee joint itself. But if your pain tends to move around your knee, or perhaps travel up and down your leg, there’s a good chance your knee pain is coming from your back.

A recent study found that 40% of all extremity pain (including knees) comes from a source in your spine – even when you don’t have any back pain.

How does this happen? Typically it’s due to an irritated nerve that sends pain primarily to your knee and nowhere else. If you’ve been treating your knee for months and it’s either not going away or perhaps getting worse, consider that your knee problem is not a knee problem. Get your spine checked by a proper movement/mechanical therapist who can screen for this and figure it out.

3. Poor Core Strength

Your abdominals, low back muscles, hips, and glutes all make up what we call your “powerhouse” or core.

We all know that a strong core is important to help prevent back pain, but it’s equally important for healthy knees. If your core is weak, or doesn’t activate properly, it will have an impact on how fluid your joints will move during activities.

If you aren’t stabilizing yourself well with a strong core, your knees might try to help out by adding stability. Knees aren’t really meant to do this – they are meant to be mobile. But when your body lacks stability, your joints stiffen up in response, which can cause knee pain over time or aggravate arthritis that’s already there.

If your knees chronically ache – especially during activities – this could be why. You can treat your knees all you want, but if you don’t also address the deficits in your core, your knees will continue to hurt.

4. Stiff Ankles

When your ankles are stiff it will have an impact on your knees.

If one or both of your ankles lack mobility during certain activities – especially running, hiking, and squatting – your knees may strain themselves trying to help out and compensate.

Over time, this pattern will lead to knee pain. If you notice a lot of stiffness in the front of your ankles, or pain/fatigue in the front of your lower legs after repetitive walking or running, this could be a sign that the real problem is coming from stiffness in your ankles.

Stop working on your knees and start mobilizing your ankles instead. Your knees should start to feel better in no time. Knee pain can be tricky to figure out – especially if it’s chronic. Arthritis, age, and wear and tear aren’t common reasons for chronic knee pain. But they are definitely reasons that mislead people into thinking they’ve just got “bad knees”.

At least 70% of the time, knee pain can be resolved naturally and with movement – but you must make sure you’ve got the correct diagnosis nailed down first.

Want some help getting rid of YOUR knee pain?

Talk to one of my specialists for free by CLICKING HERE.

Not ready for help just yet? Join us for our Knee Pain Masterclass happening Tues. Oct 25th via Zoom. We will be going over how you can finally get rid of knee pain on your own – without pills, procedures, injections, or surgery! Reserve your seat and learn more about the Masterclass HERE.

Dr. Carrie Jose, Physical Therapist and Pilates expert, owns CJ Physical Therapy & Pilates in Portsmouth and writes for Seacoast Media Group. To request a copy of her Knee Pain Free Report CLICK HERE  or to get in touch, email her at info@cjphysicaltherapy.com.

Knee Pain Causes

Top 3 Causes of Knee Pain and What To Do.

Knee pain is the second most common complaint when it comes to musculoskeletal problems – right behind back pain – and it impacts one-third of all Americans at any given time.

I speak to a lot of folks in their 50’s and 60’s who love to ski, run, hike and bike.

Their biggest fear is that ongoing knee pain – when unchecked – could bring an eventual end to their active lifestyles.

The good news is that eighty percent of all knee problems can be resolved without procedures or surgery – but it starts with accurately identifying the root cause.

Here are three common Knee Pain Causes and what you can do to resolve it.

1. Patellofemoral Knee syndrome

Also known as “runner’s knee”, Patellofemoral Knee Syndrome (PFS) is characterized by pain in the front of your knee, usually just below or behind your knee cap.

With PFS, the source of the pain typically comes from unwanted pressure around your knee cap – that eventually results in inflammation and pain. It’s very tempting to just get a cortisone shot or take pain pills to quickly reduce the inflammation and relieve your pain. But unless you’re certain where the inflammation is coming from in the first place – you’re really only addressing the symptoms of your knee problem.

In other words, what causes the pressure in your knee cap to begin with?

It doesn’t just happen spontaneously. If you truly want to put an end to PFS, you’ll need to find the root cause of your problem.

Typically, PFS is the result of an imbalance somewhere in your body that over time, has resulted in poor form and movement habits that ultimately cause more pressure at your knee.

If your hips, quads (front of the thigh), and hamstrings (back of the thigh) aren’t balanced and working together harmoniously, for example, you could end up with problems in your knee.

Once you figure out the true culprit behind the pressure and inflammation at your knee cap, you’ll be able to both resolve and manage PFS naturally and for the long-term.

2. Iliotibial band syndrome

The causes of iliotibial band syndrome are very similar to that of PFS – except that your pain and symptoms will be experienced on the side of your knee instead of the front.

Your iliotibial band (ITB) is a large, thick band of tissue that runs along the side of your thigh to the bottom of your knee. Your ITB is formed from a muscle in your hip called the tensor fascia latae (TFL). When your TFL gets overworked, your ITB suffers, and will result in what often feels like stabbing pain at the side of your knee.

The most common treatment I see for this is foam rolling and massage, and while these are great modalities to relieve your symptoms, they don’t address the root problem.

You must figure out why your TFL is being stressed and overworked if you really want to get rid of your pain. Typically, it’s due to weak glute muscles, the deep ones designed to stabilize your pelvis.

Your TFL is neighbor to your glutes so when they decide to be lazy, your TFL loves to help out, and eventually overdoes it. When you can get these two groups of muscles working properly together, you’ll put an end to ITB syndrome.

3. Osteoarthritis

Many people find out they have osteoarthritis in their knees and think there’s nothing that can be done. They either have to “live with it” or get a total knee replacement.

First, arthritis is normal and it happens to everyone as they age. What is not normal is for you to think you’re helpless or have to avoid your favorite activities because of it.

Arthritis occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones wears down over time. While there isn’t anything you can do to reverse this process, there is plenty you can do to minimize the symptoms you get because of this condition.

It all comes down to balanced joints and movement. The more mobility you have, and the more stability you have around your knees, the less symptomatic your arthritis will be.

Some key areas to focus on when you’ve got arthritis in your knees is good core and hip strength, and good flexibility in your hips and ankles.

If anything is off in these areas, your knees will want to compensate, which could result in compression at your knee joint and aggravation of your arthritic symptoms.

“Motion is lotion” isn’t just a saying.

It very well could be the difference between you suffering from debilitating knee symptoms versus living an active lifestyle despite your osteoarthritis.

If you’re suffering from knee pain, remember that there is a very good chance you fall into the eighty percent of people who can successfully get rid of it completely on their own.

There is no need to rely on pain pills, or believe that procedures and surgery are your only options. As you can see, three of the most common causes of knee pain are due to movement problems.

Therefore – movement should be your solution – not something you avoid.

Are you Local to Portsmouth, New Hampshire and experiencing knee or any other type of pain?

CLICK HERE to book a discovery visit with one of my specialists. Someone from my team will reach out to you, find out what’s been going on, and see if we’re a good fit for you to get you back to doing the activities that you love.

Dr. Carrie Jose, Physical Therapist and Pilates expert, owns CJ Physical Therapy & Pilates in Portsmouth and writes for Seacoast Media Group. To request a free copy of her Knee Pain Free Report CLICK HERE  or to get in touch, email her at info@cjphysicaltherapy.com.

Carrie working on a knee

Three Causes of Knee Pain and What to Do

Knee pain has been the hot topic around our office this week!

With the nicer weather we’ve been having – more people are outside – and their knees are “talking” to them.

Knee pain is the second most common complaint of musculoskeletal pain (back pain is number one) and it impacts one-third of all Americans at one time or another.

Most of our clients are in their 50’s and 60’s and love to ski, run, hike and bike. They worry that knee pain could bring an end to their active lifestyles.

The good news is that eighty percent of ALL knee problems can be resolved without procedures or surgery – but it starts with accurately identifying the root cause.

Here are three of the most common causes of knee pain and what you can do to resolve it.

1. Patellofemoral Knee syndrome

Also known as “runner’s knee”, patellofemoral knee syndrome (PFS) is characterized by pain in the front of your knee – usually just below or behind your knee cap. With PFS, the source of the problem typically has to do with unwanted pressure in the front of your knee… that eventually results in pain.

It’s very tempting to just get a cortisone shot – or take pain pills – to reduce the inflammation caused by this wear and tear. But then you’re only addressing the symptoms…

If you truly want to put an end to PFS, you’ll need to find the cause of this problem.

Typically, it’s poor form and movement habits that are the result of an imbalance somewhere between your hips, quads (front of the thigh), and hamstrings (back of the thigh). When you figure that out, you’ll restore healthy, balanced movement in your knee again – and reduce the aggravation at your knee cap.

2. Iliotibial band syndrome

This is a very common problem that is similar to PFS except that you’ll experience pain on the side of your knee instead of the front. Your iliotibial band (ITB) is a large, thick band of tissue that runs along the side of your thigh to the bottom of your knee. Your ITB is formed from a muscle in your hip called tensor fascia latae (TFL).

When your TFL gets overworked – your ITB suffers – and will result in what often feels like stabbing pain at the side of your knee.

The most common treatment I see for this is foam rolling and massage – and while these are great modalities to relieve your symptoms – they do NOT address the root problem.

You must figure out why your TFL is being stressed and overworked if you really want to get rid of your pain. Typically, it’s due to weak glute muscles, the deep ones designed to stabilize your pelvis. Your TFL is neighbor to your glutes so when they decide to be lazy – your TFL loves to help out – and eventually overdoes it.

When you can get these two groups of muscles working properly together – you’ll put an end to ITB syndrome 🙂

3. Osteoarthritis

Many people find out they have osteoarthritis in their knees and think there’s nothing that can be done. They either have to “live with it” or get surgery to replace their knees.

Not true!

First of all… arthritis is normal and it happens to everyone as they age. What is NOT normal is for you to think you’re helpless because of it.

Arthritis occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones wears down over time. While there isn’t anything you can do to reverse this process – there is plenty you can do to minimize the symptoms you get because of this condition.

It all comes down to balanced joints and movement.

The more mobility you have – and the more stability you have around your knees – the less symptomatic your arthritis will be.

Some key areas to focus on when you’ve got arthritis in your knees is good core strength, and good flexibility in your hips and ankles. If anything is off in these areas – your knees will want to compensate – which could result in aggravation of arthritic symptoms.

“Motion is lotion” is not just a saying – it works! Especially when it comes to arthritis.

If you’re currently suffering from knee pain, remember that there is a very good chance you fall into the eighty percent of people who can successfully get rid of it completely on their own.

There is no need to rely on pain pills – or think that procedures and surgery are your only options!

If you’re looking for help here in Portsmouth, New Hampshire CLICK HERE to Request a Free Discovery Session. One of our specialist will reach out to you, ask you about everything that’s been going on, and determine if we’re the best people to help you!

Dr. Carrie Jose, Physical Therapist and Pilates expert, owns CJ Physical Therapy & Pilates in Portsmouth and writes for Seacoast Media Group. To request a free copy of her Knee Pain Report CLICK HERE  or to get in touch, email her at info@cjphysicaltherapy.com.