HEALTH & WELLNESS NEWSLETTER 2020 KNEE AND HIP PAIN RELIEF
Don’t Wait Until It Is Too Late! When an injury develops, seeking the support of a physical therapist is the best course of action. Working with a physical therapist soon after an injury develops can help reduce your recovery time and improve your ability to cope with the pain and discomfort by introducing you to targeted exercises and stretching techniques that can enhance your ability to recover from the injury. When you are dealing with a knee or hip injury, every step requires more effort than typical. This can really drain your energy level as you attempt to go about doing even basic tasks. What Can Physical Therapy Do to Help? Physical therapy is not a one-stop cure-all for pain management. This is a long-term solution to pain and suffering through the use of targeted exercises and stretching techniques that are designed to strengthen the targeted areas and help the body recover and heal. By identifying the exact points on the body that are not moving as they ought to be, it is possible to make a plan to increase flexibility, motion, strength and even improve coordination. Who Needs Physical Therapy? Are you moving like you should be? Your hips and knees are essential to everyday movement; whether you are sitting, standing, walking or running, you need your hips and knees in great shape. Sometimes, when your hips and knees are in pain, it can cause you to change the way that you are moving, causing you to change the flow and pace of your gait, which is the way that you walk. Other times, prolonged pain can cause you to stop doing movements that are indicative of healthy joints. If you’ve experienced any hip or knee pain and are considering whether physical
therapy is a good choice for your health needs, consider the following: • From a standing position, are you able to lean over and touch your toes? If so, then this indicates that you have proper hip and low back flexibility. If not, then you may need to improve your flexibility and joint range of motion, and physical therapy could be helpful. • In a sitting position, can you comfortably cross your legs, leaving your ankle to rest comfortably on the opposite knee? If this is painful, or one knee constantly must be lower than the other, then this may be indicative of knee concerns that could be addressed with physical therapy. • From a standing position, with your feet planted flat on the floor, can you push your body into a squatting position? You should be able to squat all the way down so that your buttocks are almost touching your heels. If you aren’t able to do this, then physical therapy may be helpful in improving your range of motion. • Standing near a wall or countertop, arrange your feet so that you are standing with the heel of one foot touching the toes of the other, as if on a balance beam, and see how long you can stand still. Can you balance for 10 seconds? If not, then physical therapy may be able to improve balance and coordination. The goal of any physical therapy program is to restore range of motion and improve flexibility and strength while reducing the general experience of pain. Unfortunately, hip and knee injuries often tend to linger. Every movement relies so heavily on the hips and knees that it makes it difficult to allow these joints to actually rest following an injury. Physical therapy provides targeted exercises that support the joints with precise movements that help reinforce strength and range of motion. For more information, contact your physical therapist to learn more about options that will suit your health needs.
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