Knee pain is one of the most common complaints that bring people to physical therapy. Ironically, the truth about knee problems is that they’re often not actually knee problems! Many of our clients have struggled with chronic pain, instability, or stiffness in their knees, but for the majority of these individuals, those knee issues actually stemmed from a different part of the body.
With the most knee pain, the underlying issues can either be traced to a locality directly below the knee (i.e. the ankle or foot) or directly above it (the pelvis, hips, core, and lower back). Not engaging your core throughout your daily movement actually puts a huge amount of strain on your knees. As your legs swing and rotate, the torque that should be occurring through your pelvis and hips is overloaded onto your knees. As we age, we may start feeling a sense of wear and tear or weakness in our knees that actually comes from a lifetime of improper movement. The purpose of a physical therapist is to train you in correct, healthy movement that both relieves your body of pain in the short term and protects from further damage in the long term.
Poor balance is a common symptom of a weak core, and being off balance in your movement is bound to affect crucial joints such as your knees – especially in simple everyday activities like climbing stairs and walking. That’s one of the many reasons we like to combine physical therapy with Pilates in our practice. Pilates-based rehabilitation is a unique, core-centric approach to teaching healthy movement patterns. We love seeing our clients become stronger, balanced, and pain free as they are able to combine the full body workout of Pilates with the practiced eyes of a physical therapist who can identify movement problems and guide the client through correcting them.
The fact is, knee problems are rarely just knee problems, and if you have chronic knee, it’s worth asking a physical therapist to help out! If this sounds like something you’re interested in, you can request a free phone consultation with us to see what PT is all about, and how we can work together to create a customized plan of action for your individual needs. We’d love to hear from you!