Whether knee pain is caused by arthritis, excessive foot pronation, or overuse of muscles, it can be quite painful, sometimes evwn diblitating. Arthritis of the knee is one of the greatest causes of chronic disability among adults in the United States who are over 65 years of age.
Research has shown that exercise and physical therapy are just as effective as surgery for relief from chronic knee pain related to arthritis. To relieve and prevent knee pain and the factors that cause it, one can follow these important tips from a physical therapist:
- Strengthen your butt
It has been found through research that knee injuries including common Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tears can occur when large hip muscles are weak. Such ACL tears are common among women athletes and it has been found that such ACL tears can lead to other cartilage tears and correlate with knee arthritis later in life.
Butt muscles are weak, causing the pelvis to drop and the upper thigh bone to fall inward. This imbalance creates painful downward stress on the hip, knee and ankle every time you take a step. To help improve this problem, one should try hip extension exercises to strengthen the glutes.
- Stretch the muscles that support your knees
When butt muscles weaken or become imbalanced due to long hours of sitting throughout the day, the hamstrings and hip adductors also overwork resulting in compressive force on the knee joint. It is advised to stretch out the support muscles to decrease the chance of tightness, which is also a factor in muscle imbalances.
- Tone your core muscles
Abdominal weakness causes the pelvis to tilt forward, creating excessive lower-back curvature, shifting the leg bones inward. Strengthening or toning the core muscles helps to keep the back in a neutral spine position and places the lower extremities, especially the knees, in the best possible position for movement without compressing the joint.
- Maintain a healthy weight
Being overweight increases the chances to develop knee osteoarthritis. According to a recent study, it has been found that a 10% decrease in weight will result in a 28% increase in knee function. According to other recent studies, for every 11 pounds a woman loses, there is a remarkable 50 percent decrease in the risk of knee arthritis. This is because fat decreases muscle strength, and excess body weight adds strain to knee joints. In fact, there’s an inverse relationship between body weight and quadriceps muscle strength: the higher the weight of your body, the weaker your knee muscles become. To burn the extra calories, one can try such exercise techniques as water aerobics, an elliptical trainer, or cycling to name a few.
- Wear flat shoes
Wearing high-heeled shoes increase the compressive force on the knee joints by 23%. It also results in tight calf muscles which can be another common cause of knee pain. A tight calf can pull the foot inward to a position known as pronation, which essentially collapses the arch of the foot and causes the lower leg to roll inward, putting stress on the ankle and knee.
To avoid such pain, wear flat shoes and stretch out the calves. Also, it is advisable to replace your workout sneakers every three months to a year depending on your level of activity. This will help provide support for the arches and joints.
For Physical Therapy in New York, Call us at 845-535-9884
If you are in search of a physical therapist to ease your knee pain, call our physical therapists at 845-535-9884 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are a group of experienced physical therapists who analyze and revise personalized programs in order to better assist our patients. Call us today! Our service locations include Rockland, Spring Valley and New City.