33% of adults report having problems with knee pain, are you one of these people? Knee pain can occur for a variety of reasons. At Balance Chicago, we see a wide range of patients with knee pain that have been exacerbated by WFH, shelter in place, quarantines, gyms closing, and general isolation due to covid-19. Our flexibility, strength, endurance, and balance have all been negatively impacted. We are here to help you get back on track and get rid of your knee issues. The key to preventing further damage is to find the root cause of your knee problem and address it sooner than later to prevent further damage or deterioration. In this article, we will explore common knee injuries and share some tips for alleviating pain.
Knee pain is typically in the front of your knee. It can be above, below, or along your kneecap. You can experience a clicking or pop sound or sensation when you bend or straighten your knee. It is typically a stress-induced injury from years of wear and tear on your joints or a change in your lifestyle or workouts.
Knee instability is the sensation of your knee moving side-to-side or slipping when you bend or straighten your knee or change positions. Knee Instability is most often associated with ligament damage or knee dislocation. Those who struggle with this issue often feel like their knees are going to give out or a sensation of slipping/buckling especially with specific movements such as turning, shifting or twisting on your knee.
For acute pain, we love the acronym RICE. R = rest, I = ice, C = compression, E = elevation. If your knee does not get better in a few days, it is always good to see your physical therapist to have it checked out. After we find out what is going on, we typically recommend strengthening your hips and core to take the stress off of your knees. This also stabilizes them for long term health and prevents reinjury.
Here are a couple of examples of hip exercises you can do at home.
As always, let pain be your guide, and do not overdo any exercise. 3 sets of 10 repetitions are our standard for exercises.
While standing with an elastic band around your legs, sidestep out to the side, backward and forward.
Start in a crawl position and raise your leg out to the side as shown. Maintain a straight upper and mid-back.
Lay on your side with your legs stacked. Have your knees bent at a 45-degree angle and touching. Ensure that your hips are stacked directly on top of each other. Engage your core by pulling your belly button in to stabilize your pelvis. Keep your feet touching, and slowly raise your upper knee as high as you can.
Lay flat on your back with your knees bent. Keep your feet about shoulder-width apart. Tighten your lower abs and squeeze your glutes. Slowly raise your hips off the floor to create a bridge. Maintain a straight back. Lower back down keeping your core engaged.
Your knees are so important to your mobility, if you are experiencing any knee pain, don’t ignore it. Getting great physical therapy help is the best way to ensure your knees support you for years to come. If you or a loved one is experiencing knee pain, swelling, dislocation, or clicking, come see us at Balance Chicago. We are here to help!