7 Ways A Physical Therapist Can Help Relieve Your Hip and Knee Pain
Did you know that millions of Americans go through their day dealing with a chronically sore hip or knee? According to the 2006 National Health Interview Survey prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, knee and hip pain was reported by almost a combined 30 percent of respondents.
We encourage you to contact our physical therapy clinic if you are someone who is dealing with a sore, painful hip or knee. Our team of skilled physical therapists will provide you with flexible and evidence-backed solutions that will maximize your pain relief so that you can get back to doing what you love.
How can a PT provide pain relief for hip and knee pain?
1. They can make a true diagnosis.
If you visit a physical therapist for hip pain or knee pain, prepare to undergo a comprehensive physical evaluation that involves a variety of tests (such as measurements of your range of motion, strength, balance, sensation, joint alignment, and reflexes).
A physical therapist will also review and consult with other medical practitioners involved with your treatment about your family and personal background.
This is all done to clarify your diagnosis and recognize any additional factors, such as muscle shortness or altered foot mechanics, that are contributing to your hip or knee condition. It also helps to provide useful documents that can assist with items such as benefits for workers or make decisions on when you can return to work or sport safely.
2. They can educate you (and your family) about your condition.
Your physical therapist’s job is not only to find and pinpoint the source of your pain but also to make sure that you understand your condition as well. Having insight into why your hip or knee hurts will help you to stay in line with your recovery plan and make sure that you know how to keep your symptoms from getting worse.
In some cases, such as after having joint replacement surgery, patient and caregiver education is of particular importance. You and your loved ones will need to know what your activity restrictions are and how to observe them (e.g., knowing the difference between partial vs. toe-toe weight-bearing or posterior vs. anterior hip precautions).
Physical therapy will maximize results and minimize pain after a hip or knee replacement, so the small expenditure in time and resources is well worth it.
3. They’ll prescribe the best therapeutic exercises
A physical therapist can show you which exercises are indicated for you given your current stage of healing and type of injury, and can also help you progress or modify them appropriately.
Exercise is consistently shown to be one of the most beneficial things you can do for painful hips and knees caused by conditions like osteoarthritis, ligament sprains, and muscle strains.
4. They can ease strain on your joints
A physical therapist has the trained eye needed to identify and correct postural imbalances so that your hips and knees won’t keep getting excessively stressed throughout your day.
Your posture as you sleep, drive, walk, sit, run, or perform work tasks can all influence the amount of force and pressure transmitted through your hips and knees.
5. PT’s can relieve pain in a holistic way
Both clinical trials and individual case reports show that the following treatments can effectively relieve pain and improve function in people experiencing hip and knee pain:
- Therapeutic ultrasound
- Electrical stimulation
- Manual therapy (e.g., soft tissue mobilization, joint mobilization)
- Athletic taping (also called kinesiotaping)
Similar to therapeutic exercise, these physical therapy interventions are non-invasive, opioid-free, and safe for people of all ages. Your physical therapist will get to know you and your medical background to ensure all elements of your individualized treatment plan are appropriate and indicated for your needs and goals.
6. PT’s can educate you on the use of adaptive equipment/assistive devices
Common devices that benefit our hip and knee pain patients include:
- Walkers, crutches, or canes
- Custom-made orthotics and braces
- Grab bars, raised toilet seats, shower chairs, bed canes, and other devices that make it easier to function within your environment
In many situations, you may benefit from the temporary or permanent use of adaptive equipment or devices that can help you control knee or hip pain. A physical therapist can teach you how to use these devices effectively and make sure the correct one is selected for your situation.
7. Physical therapists can teach you how to avoid future injuries
Part of managing your chronic joint pain is understanding when and how to safely adjust your functional activities in order get through your day. This is especially important with issues like hip and knee pain since dysfunction in these joints can increase the risk of balance problems and falls, especially in the elderly
When you have a chronically painful hip or knee, a physical therapist can help you learn how to implement injury prevention strategies such as:
- Instructing in energy conservation strategies to promote better pain control and activity participation
- Teaching you how to minimize joint strain while going in and out of a car, up and downstairs, in and out of bed, etc.
- Making recommendations for environmental and ergonomic modifications in the home and work environment
Tired of dealing with chronic hip and knee pain?
If you’re over the struggle of dealing with chronic hip and knee pain, you’re not alone. We know how frustrating it can be! Call us at our physical therapy office today to schedule an appointment with a physical therapist and start gaining more control over your hip pain or knee pain.