One day you wake up and notice that it’s a struggle to go up or down stairs, stand up after sitting or just hard to walk, due to knee pain. These are functional limitations that make daily tasks difficult, if not impossible to do.
Knee pain can be classified into three categories, based upon the severity and the amount of time it takes to heal. Acute pain is generally the most severe and occurs 1 – 7 days after the injury. Sub-acute pain usually occurs 2 – 6 weeks after the injury and chronic knee pain lasts longer than 8 – 12 weeks.
Whether your sore knees are due to pain, swelling or sensitivity, it is vital to understand what occurred to cause the discomfort. Pain may be a constant ache, sharp and shooting or a dull burning sensation.
Do you have knee pain when walking?
There are many factors that result in knee injuries and pain. While age, lifestyle, previous injuries or trauma and physical activity are contributing factors, other causes exist. These include:
- Repetitive trauma: Inflammation may lead to bursitis.
- Injury, sprain or strain: Dislocation, tendonitis (pain in the front of the knee), chondromalacia patella (damaged cartilage under the knee cap), meniscus tear or a torn ligament may result.
- Poor posture
- Improperly stretching the muscles, not warming up or cooling down before or after physical activity.
- Overweight or obese: For every pound that you are overweight, your knee absorbs an extra 4 pounds of pressure when walking, running or climbing stairs.
- Diseases: Osteoarthritis can cause pain, inflammation and destruction of the joint; Rheumatoid Arthritis can cause painful swelling that can lead to bone erosion and joint deformity, Gout is a form of arthritis caused by uric acid build up, Baker’s Cyst is a buildup of synovial fluid behind the knee, etc.
Discover drug-free, non-invasive knee therapy options!
There are many diagnostic tools available to determine the cause of sore knees. The Doctor or Therapist will conduct a comprehensive Health History, Structural and Muscular Evaluations and X-Rays. In addition to the knee joint – the low back, pelvis, hip, ankle and foot will also be evaluated. Specific tests may include a gait evaluation, range-of-motion measurements, strength measurements and palpation around the knee. If necessitated – Blood Tests, CT or MRI Scans may be recommended.
Once an accurate diagnosis is made, a successful treatment program can be created. Knee therapy may integrate some of the following options:
- Chiropractic Care: Manipulation, Trigger Point Therapy, Ultrasound, Electric Muscle Stimulation, Soft Tissue Massage, Ice Therapy and/or Heat Therapy will help to reduce inflammation, muscle spasms and pain; as well as increase function and movement to the knee and surrounding areas.
- Physical Therapy: To help reduce joint inflammation and pain, sports tape and a support may be recommended. In addition, exercises to improve strength, stability, balance and endurance will be recommended.
- Acupuncture: According to studies, acupuncture helps to relieve certain types of knee pain – especially arthritic conditions.
- Nutrition: Reduce inflammation of the joints by eating smaller quantities of animal fat and protein. Work with a Certified Nutrition Specialist to create a healthy eating program.
- Trigger Point Injections: Help to relax muscles, improve blood flow and speed healing.
Prevent knee injuries!
Once treatment is completed, it is important to follow at-home recommendations:
- Wear properly fitting footwear that is cushioned and supportive. Orthotics may be recommended. Replace running shoes as needed.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Avoid sleeping on your side. If you are lying on your side, place a pillow between your knees.
- Exercise most days (with doctor’s approval) and remember to warm-up, cool down and stretch.
- Stay hydrated, eat healthy foods and supplement with vitamins and nutrients (if needed) to give your body the nutrients it needs.
- Get adequate rest… how old is your mattress?
Enjoy life! You should not have knee pain when walking or enjoying activities with friends and family. There are many knee therapies available to get you back on your feet again!