Hip & Knee Pain
The knees and hips are the body’s largest joints. Hip pain may be on the outside of your hip, upper thigh or outer buttock. The pain may occur when resting, walking or participating in some kind of activity. Knee pain is a common complaint of many people. Signs and symptoms may also include swelling, stiffness, instability, popping noises or the inability to fully straighten the knee. Both hip and knee pain can be persistent and limit mobility and activities.
The Causes of Hip and Knee Pain
Even though the hip joint is durable, the joint can get worn down with age or usage, resulting in hip pain. Bones in the hip can break after a fall and lead to hip pain. Arthritis, hip fractures, bursitis, and tendinitis are common causes of hip pain. Arthritis leads to the breakdown of cartilage. It causes reduced range of motion of the hip, stiffness, and pain. Bursitis occurs when the bursae get inflamed. There’s friction from the tissues rubbing together. Usually, inflammation of bursae is a result of repetitive activities that irritate the hip joint. Tendinitis is inflammation of the tendons, which are thick bands of tissues that connect bones to the muscles. Like bursitis, it’s usually from overuse.
Knee pain can result in any of the bone structures that make up the knee joint, which are the fibula, tibia, and femur. Knee pain can also be caused by damage to the ligaments and cartilage of the knee. Fractures and ligament injuries to the knee can cause pain. The most common ligament injury is anterior cruciate ligament. Often, it is due to a change of direction or sudden stop when participating in sports. Twisting the knee can cause injury to the menisci. The menisci are composed of cartilage and act as shock absorbers. If the knee joint becomes dislocated, this can also cause knee pain.
How Physical Therapy Can Help Hip and Knee Pain
Research has shown that those with hip and knee pain benefit from physical therapy. One study compared patients with manual techniques and mobilizations to people who just did exercises at home to reduce hip and knee pain. The patients who went to physical therapy had twice the pain relief compared to those who didn’t undergo physical therapy. The manual techniques of physical therapists also improved daily mobility and the quality of life.
Our physical therapists at FYZICAL also design specific exercise programs to target hip and knee pain. Patients may also undergo passive treatments, such as ice therapy, heat therapy or electrical stimulation to help reduce pain. All around, physical therapy takes a holistic and multi-faceted approach to help patients manage hip and knee pain.