C o mm o t i o n The Newsletter About Your Health And Caring For Your Body The Back in Motion
DO YOU HAVE HIP, KNEE OR LEG PAIN? YOU ARE NOT ALONE
Nearly one-third of people said they experienced some form of hip, knee or ankle joint stiffness or pain within the previous 30 days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Pain in your hip, knee or leg can be debilitating, and prevent you from going to work, attending school, playing sports or taking care of your family. You want to seek treatment, but the risks associated with surgery or drugs may worry you. Fortunately, physical therapy can help alleviate many types of hip, knee and leg pain. About Hip, Knee and Leg Pain Your hips and knees are the largest joints in your body, according to Harvard Medical School. Trauma can cause hip, knee and leg pain, but disease can also cause pain and inflammation in these areas. Pain can occur within the hip or knee joint itself or in the muscles, tendons and other structures surrounding the joint. Osteoarthritis is one of the main causes of hip and knee pain. While this type of arthritis can develop in any joint in the body, it occurs most commonly in the weight-bearing joints, especially the knee and hip. Up to 70 percent of people with knee pain, due to osteoarthritis, have weak quadricep thigh muscles, according to the Arthritis Foundation. The foundation also notes that physical therapists are an important part of the treatment for osteoarthritis, as they perform hands on treatments, and prescribe exercises that improve strength and flexibility. The Importance of Movement While your knees mainly move forward and backward, they do also rotate, andmove slightly side-to-side. This helps stabilize the rest of your body when you walk, run or bend at the knees. These movements are referred to as accessory motions. In addition, the hip also uses accessory motions to stabilize your upper body as you move.
In time, the tissues around your hip and knee joints tighten in response to disease, injuries, prolonged sitting and everyday use. This tightening can restrict accessory motion and even lead to a gradual loss of the primary motions of moving the joint forward and backward. Loss of motion also causes inflammation, which can lead to excessive pressure on the joint and pain. When you lose movement in your hip, knee or leg, muscles in other parts of your body take on the workload. Without relief, this excessive workload leads to abnormal strain resulting in pain. While analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs can decrease inflammation and alleviate pain, it cannot address the underlying cause of the pain. No matter how you ended up with a hip, knee or leg problem, pain and disability can prevent you from leading an active life. If you are like most people, you want relief from the pain but hope to avoid having to take pain medicines, lie in bed all day, receive injections or undergo surgery. Fortunately, physical therapy helps to relieve hip, knee and leg pain without other more aggressive forms of treatment. Get your hip and knee motion back on track by coming in for an evaluation.
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