Click. Click. Click.
You know you’re getting older when your body starts making sounds in areas that you’ve never heard before.
If you hear a clicking sound when you go up or down the stairs, it’s probably your knees. If you are not in any pain, then what’s happening is perfectly fine. But if you’re experiencing pain or discomfort, a check-up may be warranted.
Knee pain is a common issue that affects a lot of adults and is often associated with the general wear and tear of everyday activities. When you perform daily activities that involve walking, bending, standing, and lifting, the pressure from these movements can start to wear on your knees over time. Athletes may experience knee pain a lot sooner from using their knees to perform rigorous activities regularly. To decrease your knee pain and improve your overall mobility, physical therapy is the answer.
Different Types of Knee Pain
There are four locations where you can experience pain in your knees: in the front, back, inside or outside the knee. There are also three types of pain you can feel.
Acute pain is usually the most severe, but with rest and limited movement, your knee will begin to heal. Sub-acute pain happens two to six weeks after the injury when you start to incorporate more movement to help your knee regain its mobility. Chronic knee pain, which is the last type of knee pain you can experience, lasts eight to 12 weeks and should be evaluated by your health care provider.
Procedures to Evaluate Knee Pain
If you are referred to a physical therapist for knee pain, the first visit is crucial in ensuring the correct diagnosis.
Physicians will start with a gait evaluation to assess how you walk at different phases. They will also look at your range of motion, strength and balance, and check for swelling around the knee. There may even be a special test to help determine what is causing your knee pain.
After the evaluation phase is done, your physical therapist will make an engaging program for you to follow. This may include quad sets, leg raises, short arc quads, exercises to strengthen your hips, extremity stretches and balance exercises. You may also get treatment options to help manage the pain while you do these exercises at home or at the physical therapy office. Treatments such as electric stimulation, kinesiology taping, and applying heat or ice can be extremely beneficial.
Your knee is responsible for a lot of the mobility you have throughout the day. It allows you to walk, climb stairs and get up out of a seated position. For these reasons and more, it’s important to take care of your knees proactively, so that you can retain your range of motion and not be in pain.
All these exercises and treatments are done to make sure your knee pain is properly managed while you are in and out of physical therapy. If you are experiencing knee pain, please consult your doctor.
For more information on how physical therapy can help with knee pain, click here.
Article written by William Graves.