There are so many causes of hip and knee pain, from excess weight to sports injuries, advancing age to repetitive motion injuries. Whatever the cause of your hip and/or knee pain, if you are experiencing it regularly you need to find a way to manage it. Many people use medications like anti-inflammatories to minimize their discomfort. However, these medications do have potential side effects, so it can be helpful to find other ways to relieve your pain. Physical therapy may be the solution you are looking for.
An Alternative to Daily Pain Reliever Use – Physical Therapy for hip and knee pain
If your doctor has told you to take pain relievers every day for your hip and/or knee pain, you should follow your doctor’s recommendations. But it also cannot hurt to ask about alternatives like physical therapy. Working with a physical therapist can help reduce or eliminate your pain in a variety of ways, including:
- Identify the causes of your hip and knee pain. There may be one or several reasons why you are experiencing hip and knee pain. A physical therapist can examine your movement to help identify things that are contributing to your pain, such as poor posture, unhealthy walking patterns or unhealthy movement patterns at work. Once they identify these kinds of issues, physical therapists can tell you how to correct them.
- Exercises to increase your strength. Loss of muscular strength can contribute significantly to hip and knee pain because the weaker your muscles get, the more stress is put on your joints. Physical therapy centers around specific exercises designed to target various muscles and strengthen them so that they better support your joints.
- Exercises to improve mobility and flexibility.Often hip and knee pain can lead to loss of mobility and flexibility – which then increases the wear on your joints and leads to even more pain. Physical therapists can take you through exercises to improve your mobility and flexibility so that you can move your limbs and joints in the fullest range of motion that is available based on your body and circumstances.
- Heat and ice therapy.Heat can be used to improve your mobility and decrease the amount of pain you are experiencing so that you can move more freely. Ice can also be used to lessen pain from your hip and/or knee as well as to reduce inflammation.
- Ultrasound therapy.Ultrasound is used by physical therapists to apply heat deeper in your soft tissues to provide pain relief. The heat can improve circulation and aid in healing, which can ultimately reduce the pain you experience day to day.
How Does Physical Therapy Reduce Daily Pain?
You may get pain relief when you are at the physical therapist and going through treatment, but what about when you go home? A major goal of your physical therapist is to heal your injuries over the long term. The various exercises and treatments they use with you will steadily improve your condition so that you experience less pain on a daily basis. As your body gets stronger and more mobile, you are likely to experience less pain in your hips and knees.
Should I Stop Using Pain Relievers for hip and knee pain?
If your doctor has prescribed you pain relievers it is best to follow the guidance of your doctor. However, you are welcome to discuss physical therapy with your doctor as well. If you find that your pain level has decreased through physical therapy, you can discuss reducing your pain reliever usage with your doctor.