Dealing with knee troubles? In this blog we will give you some guidance to help you get back to the active and healthy lifestyle you desire, free of painkillers!!
Has your knee pain kept you off the court, field or weight room? Has your productivity at work been effected by your nagging pain? Has your pain taken you away from the activities you love to do or away from spending more time with those you love?
If you have answered yes to any of the above questions, this blog if for you.
Your knee pain should not keep you from doing the things you love to do, neither should it steal your independence. So we will go over some tips that can help you remain active around the pain, encouraging FAST recovery and even strength gains.
Knee pain has become more and more common throughout the years. The good news is this does not mean you will be in pain forever. Knee pain is not a death sentence even if someone told you that you have “degeneration” or anything of that negative nature.
How your body looks, does not (and should not) dictate how you feel or perform. If this were the case you would be able to judge an athlete just by looking at them and nothing else.Prime example; we all have those friends that look like they do zero physical activity yet can smoke most in a race, or jump into the splits. The point is our body shape or physical attributes are less telling then we think. So if you are told you will never be the same based on x-ray or your "degenerative joint disease", that is flat out WRONG!
For this reason we will focus on how we use our structure and how we can use it to our benefit. The first step is finding what movement hurts, followed by changing your movement habits (for now), building up around the pain and staying active.
What movements hurt?
The first step to ridding your knee pain is finding what motions cause symptoms. Performing simple movements can easily screen for this; a squat, lunge and single leg quarter squat/step down (pictured below). Take note of which movements cause your pain and where the pain is located. A common presentation is knee pain during a movement where the knee bypasses the foot located under the knee cap.
All this means is this movement causes an alarm to go off, a warning signal if you will. It is important to note here that this is not at all permanent; it is rather an opportunity to change the movement for the time being.
Our goal here is to stay away from the alarm as often as possible while maintaining an active lifestyle (which will also help us be more productive at work, remain independent and spend time with our loved ones). This brings us to our next step, changing habits.
Changing the habits
Changing habits can calm down your knee pain because you change the movement habit that causes stress on tissue that signals the warning to go off in the first place (which we discovered in step one). The pain from your knee is result of your tissue becoming a bit sensitive. Changing your movement habits aid by stopping the alarm signals as well as gives a chance for the tissues to become less sensitive the less they are poked and moved into. It is important to remind you, this restriction of specific pain triggers are only for the time being until the sensitive tissues are not so on edge.
The best part about this step is know that you are NOT broken and you have the ability to take your health into your own hands. With the guidance of a healthcare practitioner, making small, temporary changes to your movement patterns will be your ticket to a more productive day and the active lifestyle you miss.
Remember the key to this step is finding pain free movements that achieve the same end goal. For example, when bending to pick something up you can use a hip hinge or lunge pattern instead of the squat pattern that causes the knee pain. This carries over to all activity including exercise programming. Again, this is not forever. This is just an opportunity to find ways to stay active with no knee pain.
The third and final step is remaining active. Yes we have all been told that rest is the cure all for our injuries. However this does NOT mean complete reast with zero physical activity. We know now that in order to recover FASTER, remaining physically active crucial to a speedy recovery.
This also does not mean we follow the old adage of “no pain, no gain” by painfully pushing through our workouts even if our body is screaming at us. In step one and step two we found ways to move with no pain (our decreased level of pain) in your knee and this builds the foundation of remaining physically active on your way to a speedy recovery.
We are all stronger and more resilient then we give ourselves credit when given the right stimulus!
Do you want to have the ability to remain physica